Leinster LGFA Minor ‘B’ Championship Final
By Denis J. Croke
WHEN these two sides met two weeks ago in the opening round of the championship Louth headed home from Ratheniska having handed the home side a 14 point trouncing.
Fast forward 14 days and when the pair met again, this time in the Leinster final, Laois not just overturned that 14 point defeat but emerged victorious by 10 points, an astonishing 24 point turn around.
From the moment Laois got off to an ideal start, Aishling Fitzpatrick finding the back of the Louth net, they were never headed.
By the first water break Louth had clawed their way back into the game and only trailed by a point. By half time Laois had extended their lead to four points, 1-5 to 0-4.
A Kelly O’Neill penalty saw Laois got six in front midway through the third quarter but a Louth goal had the gap back to four at the second water break. This was astonishing as for most of this period Laois were down to 14 players after Fitzpatrick was harshly sin-binned.
But just before the second water break Louth struck for a goal and could easily have had two or three more but each time elected to take a point. The gap was back to a goal and the pressure was on Laois as Louth were now playing with confidence.
During the water break Laois manager Martina Phelan settled her players and they went on to control the final quarter when two goals in the space four minutes ensured the title a son it’s way to Laois well before the final whistle.
Laois: Kelly O’Neill 1-4 (1-0 penalty, 0-3fs), Aisling Fitzpatrick 1-1, Emily Corbet 1-0, Orla Hennessy 0-2 (0-1f), Grainne Lalor 0-1
Louth: Abi Keenan 1-2, Roisin McGuire, Rachel Leonard, Mia Duffy (f), Sarah Gilmore (f), Seona Halligan 0-1 each
LAOIS: Aoibhe Brennan (Timahoe); Heather Bennett (Timahoe), Sarah Tuohy (Timahoe), Meabh Gallagher (St Brigid’s); Fiona Fennessy (St Brigid’s), Georgina Donovan (Graiguecullen), Ellen Donohue (Ballyroan); Anna Lalor (The Heath), Eleanor Healy (Park/Ratheniska); Kelly O’Neill (Graiguecullen), Aisling Fitzpatrick (The Heath), Emily Corbet (Clonaslee/St Manman’s); Grainne Lalor (Sarsfields), Orla Hennessy (Timahoe), Ciara Crowley (St Paul’s).
Sub: Niamh Conroy (St Paul’s) for G Lalor (60m), Laura Dempsey (Timahoe) for Gallagher (62m)
LOUTH: Rebecca Lambe Fagan; Amy Farrell, Caoimhe Boyle, Caitlin O’Reilly; Ella McEntaggert, Louise Johnson, Emily Johnson; Clara Nic Criosta, Mia Duffy; Abi Keenan, Seona Halligan, Katie Murphy; Sarah Gilmore, Roisin Maguire, Rachel Leonard.
Subs: Kelly Carolan for E Johnson (34m), Maebh Fee for Gilmore (42m), Aine Carolan for Murphy (51m), Evelyn Donnelly for Maguire (58m)
Referee: Gearoid McGrath (Wexford)
Full report in next week’s edition of the Laois Nationalist