Monday, April 25, 2022

TG4 Leinster LGFA IFC Group A Rd 2

Aisling Donoher (Laois) playing this ball beyond Offaly’s Elee McEvoy during the TG4 Leinster LGFA IFC game in MW Hire O’Moore Park on Sunday Photo: Denis Byrne

Laois 2-12

Offaly 1-14

By Pat Delaney

THE score line suggests a thriller and despite a strong cross-field breeze both counties got some great scores in MW Hire O’Moore Park on Sunday. On the other hand, both missed some great scoring opportunities and Laois were lucky in the end to come away with victory.

The opening half was a slow burner until Laura Marie Maher cut through the Offaly defence and hit the back of the net with 12 minutes played. When the same player found space two minutes later she repeated the feat and Laois led 2-2 to 0-3 and looked as if they would kick on.

Instead the Faithful produced a great ten minutes of football during which they kicked points by Saorah Doyle, Ellen McEvoy, and defender Saoirse McGuinness. Emma Lawlor settled the boat for Laois who were reduced to 14 players five minutes before the interval.

By half time Offaly had gone in front leading 1-9 to 2-4 at the break, and deservedly so.

Laura Marie Maher opened the second half scoring and the teams were level when Emma Lawlor converted another free. Offaly got back in front mainly through the accuracy of free kicker Saorah Doyle.

Midway through the half we went ten minutes went without a score at either end but the stalemate was broken thanks to a superb point by Eve Kelly which saw the visitors go two in front with ten minutes remaining.

The last ten minutes were full of incidents. Emma Lawlor kicked a free between the posts to level matters and then returned the ball between the uprights for the lead.

Offaly had not gone away and the reliable Saorah Doyle levelled matters again with four minutes remaining.

Then a move, started by Erone Fitzpatrick, when she picked out her former school colleague Emma Lawlor who knocked over her eighth point.

Offaly hit back for a good point from Marie Byrne but Laois raced down field and it was Emma Lawlor who added another point after a great run.

It might have been over then but Offaly are famous for their late rallies. They were nearly through on goal but Laois a defender halted their progress and the referee called back play for a free and a black card. Offaly might have gone on for a winning goal but instead they were awarded a free. For once, their scorer-in-chief Saorah Doyle dragged her shot across the goal and wide on the left hand side.

That was it and Laois have full points and welcome Wicklow on Sunday next, and dare we say, victory will qualify them for a semi-final place.


Laois: Emma Lawlor 0-9 (0-3fs), Laura Marie Maher 2-1, Claire Conlon and Anna Healy 0-1 each

Offaly: Saorah Doyle 0-7 (0-6fs), Ciara Walsh 1-1, Elle McEvoy 0-2, Marie Byrne, Saoirse McGuinness and Eve Kelly 0-1 each

LAOIS: Becky Williams; Anna Moore, Amy Potts, Aimee Kelly; Fiona Dooley, Ellen Healy, Anna Healy; Jane Moore, Aisling Donoher; Emma Lawlor, Laura Marie Maher, Erone Fitzpatrick; Shifra Havill, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald, Eva Galvin.

Subs Alannah Havill for Fitzgerald (43m), Rachel Williams for A Moore (45m) Claire Conlon for S Havill (48m), Aoife Kirrane for Galvin (48m)

OFFALY: Eimear Evans; Imelda Fleming, Emer Nally, Nicole Buckley; Michelle Mann, Emma Maher, Saoirse McGuinness; Emma Hand, Roisin Ennis; Fiona Dempsey, Ciara Walsh, Marie Byrne; Saorah Doyle, Ellee McEvoy, Roisin Mealiff.

Subs: Orla Whelan for Maher (42m), Eve Kelly for Mealiff (50m), Alisha Murphy for McGuinness (55m)

Erone Fitzpatrick kicking for a score against Offaly on Sunday Photo: Denis Byrne

Jane Moore (Laois) gains possession against Offaly at MW Hire O’Moore Park Photo: Denis Byrne

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