Boston Shamrocks 3-8 Connacht Ladies 1-8
The Ladies senior football championship became much more interesting after the Boston Shamrocks put in a solid 60 minutes to win their first game of the season, and see themselves into a semi-final against the losers of the final game of the regular season next Sunday. Shamrocks got some great performances from their defenders, as well as Sara Delahunt in the middle of the field, and Rebecca Mongan at center forward. Two goals in the first half proved to be the difference in the end.
|Jane Ward shoots for Connacht Ladies|
Boston Shamrocks banged in two goals in the first half, one each from Lisa Flynn and Anna Finnegan. Rebecca Mongan was full of running at center forward, and when she was in possession the spaces opened up for the Shamrocks. Also Sara Delahunt in the middle of the field was a force. Mongan was involved in both goals after putting two points over the bar, and on a third occasion Connacht had to clear the ball off the line.
Connacht played well in spells with moves starting in the half back line through Tori McLaughlin and Hazel Potts. Nicola Donnelly at center forward was also key to the efforts of the Connacht Ladies. Points came from Donnelly, Emily Hannon, and Jane Ward and at the break it was the Shamrocks in a 2-4 to 0-5 lead.
|Liah Lavin on the ball for Boston Shamrocks|
The second half saw each side open with a goal each. Jane Ward put the finishing touch on a shot from Ruth Cox for Connacht Ladies, while Shamrocks got it back almost right away after a quick free from inside the 21 from Louise Murphy caught the Connacht rearguard napping. Ward and Lisa Flynn traded points as the Shamrocks lead remained intact.
The Shamrocks last line of defence worked very hard to keep their opponents from making a breakthrough. Cathy McEleaney, Sheila McLaughlin, and Brid Devlin did well to force turnovers or missed shots as Connacht pushed to try and turn the tables.
Connacht came within a whisker of netting on a handful of occasions over the final minutes, each time the ball went just wide of the posts to the relief of the Shamrocks faithful. One on occasion Tori McLaughlin hit the post as the Shamrocks goal was under siege towards the end. The siege was finally lifted near the end as Flynn and Mongan put a couple of insurance points over. A delighted Shamrocks celebrated their first win of the season, and now have a semi-final to look towards later in the month.
Shamrocks: L. Burke, C. McEleaney, S. McLaughlin, B. Devlin, L. Murphy, B. Murray, C. McCormick, S. Delahunt, S. Woods, A. Montague, R. Mongan, A. Finnegan, L. Lavin, L. McCrystal, L. Flynn. Connacht: J. McDonagh, A. Griffin, J. McDonnell, K. Lynch, D. Taggert, H. Potts, T. McLaughlin, C. McMahon, C. Fitzpatrick, R. Cox, N. Donnelly, M. Mullen, J. Ward, A. McGuckin, E. Hannon.
By Rory O'Donnell