Connacht Ladies 5-15 Tir na nOg 3-16
Connacht Ladies and Tir na nOg met in a preview of next week’s semi final. The game was played with full commitment from both sides and for a long time it looked like the spoils would go to Tir na nOg. Connacht Ladies, who had Imelda McNulty back in the team after a layoff due to injury, stormed back in the final 15 minutes to win the game and perhaps have the psychological advantage going into next weekend’s semi-final.
|Tir na nOg's Amy Connolly in possession.|
The game opened with three goals. Two for Tir na nOg and one for Connacht Ladies. As the sides swapped points it was the goals the separated the teams at the break, Tir na nOg held a 3-7 to 1-7 lead. Anne Marie McDaid and Louise Brett and Sinead Ryan added points for Connacht while it was Noelle Healy with points for Tir na nOg. A late goal from Michelle Walsh put the Brighton side into a two-goal half time lead.
|Anne Marie McDaid tries to round Caroline Hanley.|
Connacht Ladies s dug in for the second half and eventually took the lead with about ten minutes to go. The full forward line clicked. Jane Ward and Sinead Ryan combined for 3 goals, with the Tyrone girl scoring all three. Anne Marie McDaid had netted earlier in the half and was followed by Christina Newton with a point to level affairs mid way through the half. Caroline Nee put Tir na nOg into their last lead of the game with a point and from that point on the Connacht Ladies turned on the afterburners. Ward put away her first goal well, Ryan followed with a point. Tir na nOg battled hard to retake the lead and attacked well, however, their efforts yielded a single point. Ward sealed the deal with another goal as the clock ran out. Maggie Sayers and Nee pointed to bring the Brighton side close, but Ward netted her third goal of the half to finish things off. With more at stake next week a treat is surely in store.
Referee: Norbert Walsh (An Mhi)
Player of the Game: Jane Ward (Connacht Ladies)
Connacht: C. Heraty, L. Burns, J. O’Connell, A. Kerr, L. Ryan, I. McNulty, M. Treanor, C. Newton, K. O’Shea, A. McDaid, L. Brett, J. McDonagh, J. Ward, S. Ryan, K. Lynch. Tir na nOg: A. O’Neill, N. O’Neill, J. Davoran, K. Coombs, C. Hanley, P. Greene, C. Mullen, C. Keoghegan, A. Connelly, S. Bannon, N. Healy, L. Kehoe, M. Sayers, C. Nee, M. Walsh.
By Rory O'Donnell