Leitrim 1-08 Waterford
Following a comprehensive defeat in their opening game against Sligo two weeks ago, Leitrim were determined to improve their performance and they certainly did against a strong cohesive Waterford team who started the game in a very determined fashion. Leitrim had a number of impressive performances with Ann Conlan, Teresa Mylott and Mariead McCawley excellent in defence while in Deirdre McDermott, Aoife Kelly, Lorraine Brennan and particularly in the second half Sarah Mc Loughlin all contributed to a much improved team performance.
Straight from the throw in, Waterford gained possession when the ball was played to the impressive full forward Michelle Ryan who pointed from play. Indeed Waterford dominated the first quarter with Leitrim struggling to adjust to the pace of the game and Waterford’s direct style of play. A minute later Ryan pointed a free to increase the lead. It took Leitrim eight minutes to mount a meaningful attack as Naomi Lee hit a free wide. Ryan and Lorraine Brennan both hit wides before midfielder Ann Dunphy hit a third point through the middle following a perceptive ball from Mairead Wall on the right. Leitrim had an excellent opportunity to open their account five minutes later but the attack broke down and at the other end Louise Loughlin had to save from Linda Wall. Midway through the half full forward Ryan hit a huge point from forty meters from play as Waterford continued to dominate. The turning point of the half came as centre back Anna Conlan broke up another Waterford attack and her clearance to Aisling Brennan set up Deirdre McDermott for a fine point from play. Leitrim won the kickout and set up another attack that resulted in a 13m free that was unfortunately sent wide by Lee. Almost immediately Sarah McLoughlin made amends with a point from play as Leitrim began to settle into the game. Conlan was again influential in Leitrims next score as she again won possession in defence and set up Deirdre McDermott for a point from a free to leave just a point between the teams. Waterford responded with another Ryan free with ten minutes remaining in the half. Evy Guckian had a goal chance three minutes later but was fouled by Grainne Enright who was sent to the sin bin for ten minutes. McDermott pointed the resulting free. Ryan pointed two minutes later from a free as Leitrim desperately defended to keep their goal intact. The final action of the half ended with a great Leitrim point from Aoife Kelly from play following a great move involving Sarah McLoughlin, Camilla McDonagh and Lorraine Brennan to leave just a point between the teams.
The second half proved to be a great contest as Sarah McLoughlin wonm the throw in and found McDermott who wade a great run through the middle of the defence and her pass to Naomi Lee was pointed to level the game. Lee pointed a minute later from a free to give Leitrim the lead for the first time in the game. She had another opportunity to increase the lead but shot wide from a forty meter free as Enright returned to the field. Ryan levelled matters again from a free after five minutes as Sarah McManus replaced Clare Owens in the Leitrim half forward line and Sarah McLoughlin went to midfield. Leitrim then created a great goal chance but Evy Guckian’s effort was brilliantly saved by Amy Jordan after great work from Aoife Kelly to set her up. Waterford led again after ten minutes with a point from Linda Wall and Ryan converted another free moments later to increase the lead to two. Leitrim responded immediately with a great move upfield and when Sarah McLoughlins initial shot was blocked, she was on hand again to unleash an unstoppable left footed drive to the net. Leitrim did have a let off moments later as Waterford hit the crossbar but Lorraine Brennan increased the lead to two after fifteen minutes with a point from play. Michelle McGrath cut that lead to the minimum and Leitrim defended well to prevent a further score. Leitrim replaced Camilla McDonagh and Aoife Kelly with Eilis Quinn and Michelle Reynolds for the final ten minutes as they sought to consolidate their lead. An Aoife Kelly free dropped short and on the counter attack Waterford levelled matters on the stroke of full time with yet another Ryan point from play. Leitrim had one last opportunity to win the game but lost the ball and Waterford made the most of their last chance when Ruth Kirwan pointed from play with the last action of the game. Leitrim must now travel to Wexford next weekend in a game they must win to have a chance of making the play offs and avoid relegation.
Leitrim: Louise Loughlin, Carla Creegan, Sinead Brennan, Mairead McCawley, Teresa Mylott (Capt) Anna Conlan, Camilla McDonagh, Deirdre McDermott, Aisling Brennan, Sarah McLoughlin, Lorraine Brennan, Clare Owens, Evy Guckian, Naomi Lee, Aoife Kelly Subs: E Quinn, M Reynolds.
Waterford: A Jordan, G Enright, E Cooney, L Hogan, N Dunphy, M Foley, A McGovern, M McGrath, A Dunphy, M Foley, E Power, M Wall, R Manahan, M Ryan, L Wall.
Referee: M Farrelly (Cavan)