Roscommon Intermediate Ladies got their Division 4 League off to the perfect start with a convincing win over a very poor Kilkenny side at a sun-drenched Kiltoom on Sunday last.
From the throw in Benny Morris’s charges had nothing but a win on their minds with only 37 seconds gone when a long ball from midfielder Marla Candon into Emer Casey who in turn released a quick ball to full forward Jenny Higgins who pointed with aplomb. Two minutes later Roscommon got the first of their four goals when they were awarded a free after a foul on Niamh Ward. The quick thinking Claire Grehan took a quick free to Sharon Ryan who found Emer Casey in front of goal with a defence-splitting pass and the Ballinameen lady had no problem finding the net as she bagged the first of her two first half goals.
The next came four minutes later when a great catch by Louise Tully was released to her clubmate Natalie McHugh, who moved the ball quickly to Shatron Ryan who once again found the unmarked Emer Casey on the 13 metre line and she had no problem beating the Kilkenny net minder for the second time with a low hard drive into the corner.
From the resulting kick out a high catch by midfielder Sinead Cooney was driven towards the full forward Jenny Higgins who was now becoming a thorn in Kilkenny’s side. She let the ball off to Niamh Ward scoring a fine point from the corner. Kilkenny’s first attack on the Roscommon goal didn’t come until the tenth minute but the in-form Marla Candon took the ball from under the posts and moved it quickly out to her midfield partner Sinead Cooney. She found Natalie McHugh who bisected the posts for Roscommon’s third point at this stage Roscommon were 2-03 to the good.
From the resulting kick out the Kilkenny keeper found her own midfielder, one of Kilkenny’s better players Jenny Reddy, who took on the Roscommon defence and scored a fine point from 30 metres out. There was an instant response from the Roscommon ladies with the kick-out being won by wing back Laura Sharkey finding Sharon Ryan who moved the ball quickly into Higgins, who scored her second point of the day, and this put paid to any Kilkenny comeback.
With Roscommon now firmly in the driving seat and the half back line driving forward, Roscommon went on to score a further nine points Emer Casey (3), Natalie McHugh (2), Sinead Cooney, Niamh Ward, Louise Tully and Claire Grehan a point each to Kilkenny’s two points, their first in the twenty fourth minute after Eileen Fitzpatrick was fouled. Miriam Maher got their third point of the afternoon in the twenty eight minute of the half. Roscommon went into the break with a 2-12 to 0-03 lead.
The second half went as the first the Roscommon side scored 2-17 the goals coming from Niamh Ward and substitute Sarah Finnerty to Kilkenny’s solitary point. The Management got a chance to empty the bench with the unlimited subs rule used to the full, all eleven subs got a chance to display their talents. The game finished on a scoreline of Roscommon 4-27 Kilkenny 0-04. Roscommon played very well as a unit and some fine football but there will be sterner tests ahead this was a very young and inexperienced Kilkenny team.
Roscommon travel to Carlow next Sunday when the play their first away game of the League.
Roscommon: Claire McDermott, Maria Kennehan, Suzie Kennehan, Claire Kelly, Michelle Walshe, Laura Sharkey, Louise Tully (0-2), Marla Candon (0-1), Sinead Cooney (0-1), Sharon Ryan, Natalie McHugh (0-5), Claire Grehan (0-2), Niamh Ward (1-03), Jenny Higgins (0-3), Emer Casey (2-3). Subs used Bridgetta Menton, Stacey McGarry, Michelle Carey, Aine O’Brien, Jenny Conlon (0-2), Jenny Downey (0-1), Rachel Ryan (0-3), Sarah Finnerty (1-0), Cliodhna McHugh (0-1).