TG4 Connacht Ladies Intermediate Final
Roscommon won their first ever Connacht Intermediate title and first provincial ladies football title in 40 years as they proved far too strong for a Sligo side that is in transition following several retirements. But Roscommon played some great football on the day to deservedly win this final.
Sligo had the better of the opening 15 minutes as they led by 0-5 to 0-3 three with points coming from the talented Katie Walsh, but a 16th minute goal from St. Ciaran’s Laura Fleming (who would contribute 2-2 in total for Michael Finneran’s side) put Roscommon back in the game.
A point from Alice Kelly was followed by a second Roscommon goal on 23 minutes. It was a super individual effort from Joanne Cregg and it saw Roscommon ahead by six points. Sligo responded with points before the break from Nicola Brennan and Sarah Reynolds but Roscommon also finished the half strongly, scoring three on the spin, with a brace from Sheila Brady as they led at the break 2-8 to 0-7.
Jenny Higgins, who would deservedly pick up the ‘player of the match’ award, extended Roscommon’s lead on the restart. Sligo had a chance to get back into the match when Katie Walsh pointed and was then denied a goal shortly after by a great Helena Cummins’ save. As it was, Sligo had to settle for a point in the follow-up which came from Tourlestrane youngster Tara Walsh.
Sligo were to rue that goal miss when a Sheila Brady point was quickly followed by a wonder goal from Jenny Higgins as Roscommon took firm control.
Higgins’ goal was one for the highlight reel as she went on a mazy solo run before firing the ball past Noelle Gormley to stretch the Rossies’ lead to 11 points.
Sligo replied with three points, the pick of them coming from Lauren Boles, but Roscommon always looked dangerous down the other end and they cancelled out those scores with points from Laura Fleming and Jenny Higgins.
Sligo did get a goal from Walsh after a super run through the middle from Sarah Reynolds to offer the defending champions a chink of light at 3-15 to 1-13. But Roscommon quickly quashed all hope when Laura Fleming got her second goal of the match to ensure the Rossies claimed their first ever Connacht Intermediate title and in tremendous style too!
Roscommon: Helena Cummins; Honor Ennis, Rochelle Mullaney, Rachel Brady; Amanda McLoone, Aisling McAuliffe, Sinead Kenny; Joanne Cregg (1-0), Jenny Higgins (1-2); Alice Kelly (0-3), Roisin Wynne, Laura Fleming (2-2); Sheila Brady (0-5,1 free), Rebecca Finan (0-2,1 free), Niamh Feeney. Subs used: Rachel Fitzmaurice for Alice Kelly (39 mins), Jenny Downey (0-2, 2 frees) for Sheila Brady (45 mins), Sorcha Bruen (0-1) for Aisling McAuliffe (48 mins), Feena Beirne for Rebecca Finan (54 mins), Louise Brady for Jenny Higgins (60 mins).
Sligo: Noelle Gormley; Michelle McNamara, Grainne O’Loughlin, Claire Dunne; Lisa Casey, Lauren Boles (0-1), Sinead Regan; Sarah Reynolds (0-1), Laura-Ann Laffey; Kelly Ann Henry, Elaine O’Reilly (0-1), Nicola Brennan (0-1); Katie Walsh (1-7, 5 frees), Aoife Morrisroe, Tara Walsh (0-2). Subs used: Bernie Connolly (0-1) for Lisa Casey (h/t), Denise McGrath for Elaine O’Reilly (h/t), Ailish Gordon for Aoife Morrisroe (39 mins), Sinead Naughton for Nicola Brennan (48 mins), Siobhan Brennan for Tara Walsh (54 mins).
Referee: Shane Curley (Galway)