Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Ladies reach league semi final


Roscommon 2-08 Offaly 1-05

Roscommon Ladies booked their place in the semi-final of the Bord Gáis Energy National football league, after a low scoring encounter with Offaly, at wind swept Woodmount on Sunday last.

While Roscommon dominated early on, they had to wait until the tenth minute to register their first score, that came when Maria Keenehan beat her marker to the ball in the back line, and a move, involving Sharon Ryan, ended with a point from Emer Casey. The Ros ladies took the lead in the twelfth minute after a foul on Jenny Higgins on the 45 metre line. A quick Higgins free to Jenny Conlon ended with a second point of the afternoon from Emer Casey.

With Roscommon backs firmly on top they continued to dominate with the half back line of Laura Sharkey Michelle Walsh and Louise Tully being the launch pad for every Roscommon attack, but their final touch up front was letting them down. Casey edged Roscommon two points in front in the 17th. With the Roscommon back lines keeping Offaly to a solitary point in the opening 25 minutes, their management made a number of tactical changes. Those changes paid off as they began to win more ball around their own half forward line. In the 27th minute there was a let off for Roscommon as a Lorraine Kenna goal bound shot came off the upright. One minute later Offaly raised the white flag with a Lorraine Kenna pointed free after she was fouled on the 13 metre line. From the kick out the ball was won again by Kenna who was deemed to be fouled. A quick free to midfielder Teresa McManus saw Offaly level matters. With half time looming, Offaly, took the lead in the first minute of injury time, with a fine point from corner forward Elisha Hewnjou, after a move involving Amy Kerrigan and Therese Hickey. On the stroke of half time, Emer Casey restored parity, with a free from the 13 metre line, after Sinead Cooney was fouled.

The second half was a very dogged affair, as Offaly brought a number of players behind the ball. The first score coming in the thirty sixth minute, a Claire Grehan point, after a Sarah Finnerty, goal-bound shot was blocked by Offaly keeper Leanne Galvin, Grehan tapped the rebound over the bar. Seconds later, Finnerty put Roscommon two ahead from a free, after Sharon Ryan was fouled.

After playing into the strong wind in the opening half Roscommon began to tire at this stage of the game, which allowed Offaly to counter attack. Were it not for some tenacious defending by Maria Keenehan and Louise Tully, Offaly could have had two goals in the fortieth and forty second minute. On the three quarter hour mark the Offaly pressure paid off as another counter attack ended with a great goal by Kym Furey into the top corner to put the visitor’s one ahead. Roscommon management made changes, and introduced Claire Kelly for Susie Keenehan and Jenny Downey for Emer Casey.

Claire Grehan settled Roscommon nerves in the forty seventh minute as her powerful goal bound shot was tipped over the crossbar by the goalkeeper. Cliodhna McHugh who was introduced for Rachel Ryan, scored Roscommon’s first goal of the afternoon in the fiftieth minute. A long ball out to Sinead Cooney, ended with McHugh slotting to the back of the net from the right side. Two minutes later, Roscommon were awarded a free in the middle of the field, after a high tackle on Marla Candon, she launched a high ball into the square, which was won by Jenny Downey. Downey was fouled inside the box and the referee pointed to the spot. The resulting penalty was slotted to the back of the net by the same player. Offaly pulled back a point in the fifty seventh minute. The final score of the day came in the fifty eight minute, a Cliodhna McHugh free after she was fouled on the thirteen metre line. Final score Roscommon 2-08 Offaly 1-05. Roscommon now play Louth in the league semi-final on 16/17th April at a neutral venue. 

Roscommon: Claire McDermott, Maria Keenehan, Aishling Egan, Suzie Keenehan, Laura Sharkey, Michelle Walshe, Louise Tully, Marla Candon, Sinead Cooney, Sharon Ryan, Jenny Higgins, Jenny Conlon, Emer Casey (4), Sarah Finnerty (1), Rachel Ryan. Subs used: Claire Grehan (2) for Jenny Conlon (inj). Claire Kelly for Aishling Egan, Jenny Downey (pen) for Emer Casey, Cliodhna McHugh (1-01) for Rachel Ryan Natalie McHugh for Sarah Finerty, Sarah Brady for Suzie Keenehan.