BORD GAIS ENERGY LADIES
NFL DIVISION 3
Roscommon made it three defeats in a row in the league when they were out-gunned by Waterford in Hyde Park on Sunday on a bitterly cold day for football.
Laurence Cunningham’s first outing at the helm may have ended in disappointment, but there was enough evidence from the match to suggest, that given time there is much to work from in this Roscommon team. Indeed they probably shaded the possession stakes, kicked around 15 wides over the hour, but were less slick than their more esteemed opponents.
Waterford started the scoring in the second minute when midfielder Michelle Ryan tapped over a close-in free. Roscommon responded in some style when Caroline Conway fed the marauding Sinead Cooney who laid the ball off to Tara Taylor who in turn stuck the ball into the top corner for a great goal. Roscommon were dominant at this stage with Niamh Ward and Anna McCormack winning good possession in the forward line, but both girls were guilty of some bad wides.
Waterford responded with a point from Ruth Kirwan and then we had to wait until the 17th minute for the next score, a good point from Tara Taylor after she dummied beautifully and fired over the bar. Midfielder Caroline Conway added two points within a minute, the first set up by Margaret Fannon, the second assisted by the dominant Tara Taylor. This put Roscommon four up but Waterford took over until half time with a point from full-forward Aileen Wall on 22 minutes, substitute Louisa Ryan scored another point a minute later before Linda Wall set up Sinead Ryan superbly for a goal. Sinead broke clear off the Roscommon defence to bear down on Carol Manning, who stopped the initial shot but Sinead bundled the rebound over the line.
Niamh Ward stemmed the tide for Roscommon with a good point on the run to level the game and this was followed by the move of the match when Loiuse Tully fired narrowly wide following a series of passes between herself and Sinead Cooney. Two further points by midfielders Michelle McGrath and Michelle Ryan left Waterford two up at the break, 1-6 to 1-4.
Waterford rung the changes at the break bringing on substitutes and made several switches in defence to try and cope with Tara Taylor and Niamh Ward but it was their attacking substitute Louisa Ryan who was making a big difference. She scored a goal on the 7th minute of the half and three minutes later the match was effectively over when Elaine Power goaled to give Waterford an eight-point lead. Michelle Ryan increased the lead to nine points before Roscommon’s Margaret Fannon fielded a high cross from Niamh Ward on the edge of the small square and finished to the top corner for a great goal and tonic to the Roscommon girls. Roscommon were still getting plenty of possession but were squandering chance after chance.
Sinead Cooney was totally dominating her centre back position but Roscommon were started to struggle with the pace of the Waterford attack. Waterford’s best forward Sinead Ryan popped up with another point before Caroline Conway pointed in the 17th minute. This started another sustained period of Roscommon pressure and Anna McCormack scored two frees after fouls on Caroline Conway and Sharon Ryan, to leave just five points between the sides with five minutes left. Eilish Fannon had a shot wide, just narrowly wide of the goal before Waterford swept up-field on a counter attack and won what looked like a soft penalty in injury time. No mistake about the finish as Sinead Ryan coolly stuck it in the bottom left corner despite a great effort to save from Carol Manning and substitute Aisling O’Donnell pointed on the last kick of the match to leave Waterford nine point winners. Roscommon now play Wicklow at home in two weeks.
Roscommon: Carol Manning, Susie Keenaghan, Laura Sharkey, Maria Keeneghan, Louise Tully, Sinead Cooney, Alice Kelly, Marla Candon, Caroline Conway 0-3, Niamh Ward 0-1, Tara Taylor 1-1, Eilish Fannon, Anna McCormack 0-2 (2f), Sharon Ryan, Margaret Fannon 1-0.
Waterford: Aimee Jordan, Aileen Barron, Eilish Cooney, Laurissa Hogan, Margaret Foley, Mairead Wall, Mary Fahy, Michelle Ryan 0-3 (2f), Michelle McGrath 0-1, Aoife McGovern, Elaine Power 1-0, Sinead Ryan 2-1 (1pen), Ruth Kirwan, Aileen Wall 0-1, Linda Wall. Subs: Louise Ryan 1-2, Roisin Tobin, Laura Dunphy 0-1, Louise McGrath, Aisling O’Donnell 0-1.