Laois 1-10 Cavan 2-17
Ladies All-Ireland Qualifiers Preliminary Round
The Laois Ladies bowed out of the All-Ireland Qualifiers at the first hurdle following a ten point defeat to Cavan this afternoon in Ashbourne.
Kevin Doogue’s side were always on the back foot and a strong end to the first half by their opponents put a gap between the teams that Laois just couldn’t close.
Laois played against the breeze in the first half but they opened the scoring after just 30 seconds through centre forward Clare Conlon.
This would be the only time that Laois held the advantage in the game as Cavan equalised through Claragh O’Reilly before the same player put them ahead by the second minute with a lovely fisted effort.
In what was a frantic opening period, the game’s first goal then arrived a minute later when Aisling Sheridan smashed home after a neat passing move by Cavan.
The sides then traded points with Rachel Williams and Conlon seeing efforts for Laois cancelled out by Donna English and O’Reilly before Cavan went seven points clear by the midpoint of the half via a brace from Aisling Doonan and another from Claragh O’Reilly.
But Cavan were guilty of kicking some poor wides and Laois cut the deficit to five thanks to Aisling Keogh and Emma Lawlor.
However, Cavan outscored Laois by six points to one in the time that remained with O’Reilly, Doonan, Catriona Smith and Aisling Sheridan all splitting the posts for them as just Erone Fitzpatrick could do the same for Laois to send Cavan into a 1-13 to 0-6 lead at half time.
Laois needed a big response at the start of the second half but instead it was Cavan who got the next score as Aisling Doonan slammed the ball into the net from point blank range.
Laois struggled to make an impression in the Cavan lead with their first score of the second half not arriving until the 39th minute when Erone Fitzpatrick slotted her second.
Doonan and O’Reilly pushed Cavan 14 points clear as we entered the final ten minutes.
Mo Nerney and Emma Lawlor replied for Laois but Cavan kept the gap thanks to Sinead McKenna and Sinead McGovern – two second half substitutes.
The Laois Ladies kept going and they got the last two scores of the game through a point from Mo Nerney and a goal from Caoimhe Simms but it wasn’t enough.
According to Ladies Gaelic Association, Laois will be relegated to intermediate for next year if at least two of the five teams that didn’t reach provincial finals are not beaten in the first round of the qualifiers.
If that does happen, it will force a relegation play-off. We will get more clarity on that situation when we can.
SCORERS – LAOIS: Caoimhe Simms 1-0, Clare Conlon 0-2 (0-1 free), Rachel Williams 0-1, Aisling Keogh 0-1, Mo Nerney 0-2 (0-1 free), Emma Lawlor 0-2, Erone Fitzpatrick 0-2 CAVAN: Claragh O’Reilly 0-8, Aisling Sheridan 1-0, Aisling Doonan 1-5 (0-3 frees), Donna English 0-1, Catriona Smith 0-1
LAOIS: Caoimh Dollard (Portlaoise); Amy Potts (St Brigid’s), Jenny McEvoy (Sarsfields), Martha Kirwan (Shanahoe); Anna Healy (Portlaoise), Mags McEvoy (Sarsfields), Laura Nerney (Foxrock-Cabinteely); Aileen O’Loughlin (Sarsfields), Alison McEvoy (Sarsfields), Laura Marie Maher (Sarsfields), Clare Conlon (Sarsfields), Rachel Williams (Sarsfields); Emma Lawlor (St Paul’s), Aisling Keogh (Portlaoise), Erone Fitzpatrick (Park-Ratheniska). Subs used: Mo Nerney (Timahoe), Aine Haberlin (St Conleth’s), Ciara Burke (Sarsfields)
CAVAN: Elaine Walsh; Rachel Doonan, Ailish Cornyn, Sheila Ryan; Sinead Greene, Laura Fitzpatrick, Shauna Lynch; Donna English, Sinéad O’Sullivan; Mona Sheridan, Aisling Dunne, Caitriona Smith; Aisling Sheridan, Claragh O’Reilly, Neasa Byrd. Subs used: Sinead McGovern, Sinead McKenna, Gemma McLoughlin, Andrea O’Reilly, Geraldine Smith