By Denis J. Croke
Mo Nerney was on song as Laois got the LGFA national league off to a winning start in MW Hire O’Moore Park. The Timahoe player 1-8 accounting for half her sides tally in this closely fought and enthralling contest.
There was never more than a few points between these two sides over the hour. Kildare had held the upper hand for most of the opening period but on the change of ends Laois began to get to grips with the Lilies.
Mo Nerney scored Laois’s first three points and when placed by Anna Healy found the bottom corner of the net.
Kildare got their opening goal through Nessa Dooley midway through the opening half and it could have been but for the Laois goalkeeper who made a number of very good saves. A second goal from Kildare’s Lara Curran ensured her side went into the lead 2-2 to 1-4 at the water break. .
Nerney and Jane Moore soon had Laois back in front after the restart but with both sides popping over points it was the visitors who had increased their lead to a goal at half time, 2-8 to 1-8.
And so it continued after the restart with the sides matching each other until Leah Tarpey’s shot, midway through the half, looped in over Brooke Dunne’s head for Laois’s second goal to edge her side ahead.
From there to the end Laois kept their heads as Kildare piled on the pressure but never seriously threatened to reel in the winners.
Laois: Mo Nerney 1-8 (0-6fs), Leah Tarpey 1-0, Sarah Ann Fitzgerald, Jane Moore, Laura Nerney, Eva Galvin and Orla Hennessy 0-1 each
Kildare: Roisin Byrne 0-6 (0-2fs), Nessa Dooley 1-3, Lara Curran 1-0, Hazel McLoughlin, Orlaith Sullivan (f), Grainne Kennelly and Grace Clifford 0-1 each
LAOIS: Eimear Barry; Clodagh Dunne, Amy Potts, Aimee Kelly; Rachel Williams, Ellen Healy, Laura Nerney; Fiona Dooley, Jane Moore; Anna Healy, Eva Galvin, Anna Moore; Mo Nerney, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald, Aoife Kirrane.
Subs: Erone Fitzpatrick for Moran (h/t), Leah Tarpey for Kirrane (33m), Orla Hennessy for Dooley (43m), Sarah Larkin for E Healy (55m, inj), Emma Lawlor for Fitzpatrick (58m, inj), Sinead Farrelly for Nerney (64m)
KILDARE:Brooke Dunne; Clairen Sullivan, Lara Gilbert, Mia Doherty; Lauren Murtagh, Laoise Lenehan, Hazel McLoughlin; Siobhan O’Sullivan, Grainne Kennedy; Orlaith Sullivan, Lara Curran, Grace Clifford; Ellen Dowling, Nessa Dooley, Roisin Byrne.
Subs: Aoife Rattigan for Dowling (h/t), Mikaela McKenna for Sullivan (42m), Ciara Wheeler for Curran (41m), Shauna Kendrick for McLoughlin (47m), Caoimhe Fagan Hynes for O’Sullivan (54m), Sarah Munnelly for Murtagh (61m)
Referee: Ciaran Groome (Offaly)
Full report and interview in Tuesday’s edition of the Laois Nationalist