Connacht Ladies 4-17 Boston Shamrocks 3-8
Connacht Ladies took a second victory in the Ladies senior football championship with an impressive win. The westerners built up a large first half lead and early in the second added to it to give the Shamrocks a cliff face to climb. The Shamrocks did make a burst in the second half, but by that stage the horse had bolted the barn. With the best of 5 format, the Connacht Ladies are one win away from repeating as champions.
|Anna Bolger shoots for goal.|
Connacht Ladies went in at the break with a seven point advantage. At corner forward Sinead McGovern was on form and the Connacht Ladies controlled the middle of the field. Aoife Heffernan covered a lot of ground and banged in the first goal after a well worked move. Emma McGovern was the ball winner for the second goal, and it found its way to her name sake, Sinead McGovern who finished from close range.
Stacey Fuller was busy in goal for the Shamrocks and made some excellent stops when a goal looked imminent, but the westerners took their points and the lead continued to grow. McGovern in the corner was on the mark with three points, while Emma McGovern, Ciara Stringer and Michaela McGuigan also contributed in the point column. The Shamrocks made up some of the difference towards the end of the half with points from Eadoin Connolly, Laura Kiernan and Paula Doran but it was an uphill battle for the girls in green. With Jane Ward sitting in the Connacht Ladies back line, the Shamrocks forwards were forced into turning the ball over on several occasions and it was apparent that a goal would be needed sooner rather than later once the second half began. At the break it was a 2-9 to 0-7 Connacht lead.
|Sinead McGovern on the run at the Shamrocks defence.|
The Shamrocks needed some quick scores to get off to a good start for the second half, however, it was the Connacht Ladies who had added seven more points to their lead within 5 minutes of the restart. Not what the doctor ordered from a Shamrocks viewpoint. A somewhat fortunate goal got the ball rolling after a free kick came high off the post and Ward was on hand to palm the ball into the net. Points followed in quick succession from McGovern, McGuigan and Emma Hegarty, and the writing was on the wall.
The Shamrocks put in a mini comeback and threw players forward in an effort to make a comeback. Paula Doran slotted away a penalty after substitute Lauren Jacobsen was pulled down in the box. A second goal soon followed from McDonald and the Shamrocks had some momentum, another goal would pull the Connacht Ladies back into view. It began to look as though we might have the makings of a good finish.
It was not to be. On the attack again, the Shamrocks won a free kick however, it was intercepted by the Connacht Ladies, and with Shamrocks players committed forward, the westerners swept downfield on the break. The Shamrocks protested that there should have been a sin bin offence, but with the ball changed hands and a 2 on one, McGovern finished another goal and the curtains on a Shamrocks comeback closed. A third goal from the Shamrocks added some respectability to the final score, but it is the Connacht Ladies with the big advantage in the best of 5 series. One more win and the Ladies will be crowned champions again.
Shamrocks: Stacey Fuller, Cathy McEleaney, Doireann Peeto-Dennehy, Erin Cody, Katie O’Donnell, Anna Bolger, Laura Kiernan, Eadoin Connolly, Paula Doran, Shannon Costello, Sarah Jane McDOnald, Ciara Mallon, Katie Stapleton, Shannon Reilly.
Connacht Ladies: Rachel O’Driscoll, Catherine Cullen, Shauneen McAleer, Jackie McDonagh, Catherine Boyle, Shauna Hynes, Dearbhla McGovern, Emma Hegarty, Aoife Heffernan, Ciara Forde, Emma McGovern, Ciara Stringer, Michaela McGuigan, Jane Ward, Sinead McGovern.By Rory O'Donnell