Leitrim 1-11 Wexford 1-07
Leitrim Ladies continued their good start to the Tesco Home Grown National League Division 3 when they accounted for a youthful but talented Wexford side in St Lomans GAA Grounds, Mullingar. Both teams adapted well to the St Lomans 3G pitch and the game was played at a furious pace. The difference between the sides was the greater discipline of the Leitrim rearguard and the free taking of Aine Tighe who scored 1-08. Seven points from frees and a penalty. Wexford were in the game up until the very end and it was not until the 29th minute when Leitrim got the insurance score and a 4-point lead that you could be certain that they would take full points.
Wexford started the Scóring in the 3rd minute after a sustained attack. Ellen O’Brien went to ground and Catherine Doyle pointed the free from 25 metres. In the 6th minute Aine Tighe opened Leitrim’s account with a well struck free way out on the left. A brilliant Leitrim move involving Sinead Fowley, Anna Conlon and Mairead Stenson was finished by Aine Tighe to put Leitrim ahead. Leitrim were now dominating possession in the middle third but scores were hard to come by as several attempts went narrowly wide, but good approach play by Deirdre Ward and Aine Tighe saw Roisin Fowley point from an acute angle.
In the 12th minute a brilliant block by Mary Farrell who was outstanding on the day led to Aine Tighe bearing down onÓgoal but she was fouled. Aine Tighe scored the resultant penalty superbly to put Leitrim 5 points up. Leitrim continued to dominate possession but Wexford defended in numbers. Then Wexford came back into the game when a Clara Donnelly quick free was worked into Ali Evered who got behind the Leitrim cover and gave Leitrim keeper Michelle Guckian little chance. Wexford then had a few more chances that they could not put away. In the 20th minute Aine Tighe pointed a free after Roisin Fowley was fouled. Enya McWeeney blocked a certain score but Clara Donnelly got possession and pointed. Kirby Gilgunn came raiding up the right played the ball to Erin Farrell who fed Deirdre Ward who fired over from 35 metres. Aine Tighe added 2 more frees while Michelle Guckian saved well from Rosie Lawlor to leave Leitrim leading at the break 1-07 to Wexford’s 1-02.
Wexford kept Leitrim waiting for the start of the second half and from the throw in Ali Evered scored in front of the goals. Wexford continued to take the game to Leitrim and were rewarded with a Roisin Murphy point. At this time Wexford seemed quicker to the ball as they tried to reduce the deficit further. Eventually the Leitrim players reached to the higher intensity that Wexford had brought to the second half and a brilliant selfless run by Sharon Kerrigan found Aine Heslin in space who scored from close in to steady the Leitrim ship. Aine Tighe and Katie Redmond exchanged frees as the game swung from end to end. Clare Donnelly now operating at full forward finished of a Wexford move that started in their own back line. With Clare Owens, Anna Conlon and Sinead Fowley winning a lot of breaking ball the final delivery let Leitrim down and Scóring opportunities were hard to come by.
Another Redmond free in the 21st minute left only 2 between the sides. With the game really up for grabs the tackling was relentless on both sides. Aoife McAuliffe pulled of an excellent save from Laura O’Dowd then Erin Farrell kicked wide under pressure. However another flowing move ended when Aine Tighe was pulled down and she pointed the free from 35 metres. With less than 2 minutes to go another move initiated by Mairead Stenson saw Michelle Heslin brought to ground with Aine Tighe firing over the free which was the last score of the match. Wexford came looking for a goal but got little change out of the Leitrim rearguard and Leitrim finished deserved winners by 4 points.
Leitrim had excellent performers in Mary Farrell, Clare Owens, Sinead Fowley, Anna Conlon Deirdre Ward and Aine Tighe while Wexford had Clara Donnelly, Katie Redmond Maeve Quill and Roisin Murphy
Two wins from two games means Leitrim have put themselves in an excellent position to do well again in this Division. This Sunday they travel to Tipperary to take on one of the favourites for the Division. If the Leitrim Ladies can improve their performance by a couple of percent, they have every chance of rattling Tipperary. There is a solid look about this Leitrim team and if they can unearth another score getter they will be a very serious threat to the rest as the season unfolds.
Michelle Guckian, Mary Farrell, Enya McWeeney, Sharon Kerrigan, Kirby Gilgunn, Mairead Stesnson, Clare Owens, Sinead Fowley, Niamh Tighe, Deirdre Ward (0-01), Anna Conlon, Aine Heslin (0-01), Roisin Fowley, Erin Farrell, Aine Tighe (1-08).
Subs: Laura O’Dowd for Roisin Fowley (0-01), Michelle Heslin for Niamh Tighe
Mary Rose Kelly, Linda Casy, Mary O’Neill, Marguerite Doyle, Maeve Quill, Catriona McCabe, Maeve Kehoe, Roisin Murphy (0-01), Kelly Kearney, Kate Caulifield, Clara Donnelly (0-02), Rosie Lawlor, Ellen O’Brien (1-00), Catherine Doyle (0-01), Ali Evered (0-01)
Subs: Katie Redmond (0-02) for Catherine Doyle, Sharon Kehoe for Kelly Kearney, Aoife Tormey for Linda Casy
13-Feb-13 by Clare Noone Leitrim Ladies PRO