Laois Ladies Minor ‘A’ Football Championship Final
PORTLAOISE minor ladies, and Leah Loughman in particular, turned on the style when saw off Graiguecullen with two goals to spare in the Minor ‘A’ Football Championship final. While this was an all round team performance by the Town’s young girls Loughman stood out scoring an imposing 2-7.
Gráinne O’Reilly opened Portlaoise with a point in the opening minutes. Graiguecullen were creating chances but a very solid Portlaoise defence was making life very difficult for their forwards. Rachael Doyle finally got the Barrowsiders off the mark with a 14th minute point.
It was end to end stuff but at this stage it was the two defences which were ruling the roost. When Rebecca Reddin stormed forward out of defence she was fouled in the Graiguecullen area and a penalty awarded. Loughman stepped up and calmly slotted the spot kick to the net.
Graiguecullen hit back with points from Rachael Doyle and Kelly O’Neill bringing them right back into contention and at the break the sides were level, 1-3 to 0-6.
Both sides upped the pace and their efforts on the restart. And soon Portlaoise were back in front after Loughman’s looping shot from 20 metres out dipped under the Graiguecullen cross bar. And the star payer ensured her side maintained the momentum with her successful free taking.
Kerrie Smith was causing Portlaoise a lot of problems and was rewarded with a good point. Kelly O’Neill converted two frees and the sides were level again when Aoibhinn Kelly scored a cracker of a goal.
Graiguecullen suffered a huge blow with five minutes remaining when Danielle Forbes was dismissed after picking up her second yellow card.
Loughman edged Portlaoise back in front with a point but Graiguecullen were not prepared to lie down but they were shattered when Jasmine Kinsella saw the line for a second yellow with minutes remaining.
Portlaoise took this to full advantage when Julia Cahill found the back of the net.
Late points from Cahill and Kirsten Keenan put a gloss on the scoreline that in fairness did not do justice to Graiguecullen.
Portlaoise: Cara Phelan, Aoibhe O’Brien, Rebecca Reddin, Molly McNulty, Julia Cahill (1-1), Ciara Byrne, Anna Healy, Amy Byrne, Kirsten Keenan (0-2), Sinead Murphy, Gráinne O’Reilly (0-1), Leah Loughman (2-7), Rachel Glynn, Alana Doheny, Katie O’Reilly.
Subs: Koren Dunne for Doheny (39m), Ella Byrne for Murphy (55m), Eimear Marum for Healy (62m)
GRAIGUECULLEN: Chloe Nolan, Sara Kerfah, Danielle Forbes, Sally Amond, Nicole Sheehan, Katie Byrne, Rachael Doyle (0-5), Jade Nolan, Georgina McManus, Aoibhinn Kelly (1-0), Caoimhe Fitzpatrick, Kate McDonald, Jasmine Kinsella, Kelly O’Neill (0-5), Kerrie Smith (0-1).
Subs: Emma Doyle for Sheehan (53m), Ella Byrne for Kelly (53m)