Laois 3-13 Longford 7-5
2019 Leinster Ladies Minor ‘B’ Championship Round One
It was a game of mixed weather and mixed emotions as the Laois minor ladies began their championship campaign in Timahoe against Longford with a defeat.
Goals proved to be the killer for the Laois Ladies, with five hitting the back of the Laois net in the second half.
It was a nightmare start for Laois as Longford midfielder Orla Nevin soloed through the defence to hit the bottom of the net after 30 seconds.
Longford sharpshooter Ciara Healy added three points, two from frees and one from play – aided by the formidable Kara Shannon.
Ciara Sutton won the next Laois kickout which set up a first point from Clodagh Lohan while Ciara Foxe found the net to make it 2-4 to 0-0 to Longford after 10 minutes.
However Tom McKettrick’s side were down but not out. Hard work by wing-back Danielle Forbes and the strong Sarah McMahon ensured a cut-off of Longford scores as Laois got to work.
Shifra Havill was on hand for Laois’s first goal following the rebound of an Emily Lacey free. Leah Loughman and Lacey added points before Havill was at it again with a second shot that flew into the Longford net.
Longford’s Healy lobbed over a free but this was met by points from Lacey, Jade Nolan and a Sarah Walsh goal after picking up a rebounded Loughman shot to complete the Laois comeback.
And a frantic half came to a close with Laois leading by 3-4 to 2-5 at the break.
Longford made the intent for goals known straight out of the blocks in the second half. A Healy goal from a free after 40 seconds from throw-in was a forecast of things to come.
Laois hit back with a series of points from Loughman, Lacey and Leah Kelly but it would be goals that would win this championship opener.
A 42nd minute penalty from Healy proved unstoppable as it blasted the back of the Laois net. As the teams went level after 49 minutes, Longford pulled ahead through goals by Holly Carraig Cassidy, Ciara Sutton and Cait Kiely.
Points by Lacey and substitute Lisa Keane were not enough to cut the deficit as the game ended as Laois lost out by four in the end.
Laois still have two group games to come. They are up against Wexford next on March 16 and then at home to Westmeath on April 13.
They will most likely have to win both of those games in order to get out of the group.
SCORERS – Laois: Shifra Havill 2-1, Sarah Walsh 1-0, Emily Lacey 0-6 (0-1 frees), Leah Loughman 0-3 (0-1 frees), Jade Nolan 0-1, Leah Kelly 0-1, Lisa Keane 0-1 Longford: Orla Nevin 1-0, Ciara Foxe 1-0, Ciara Healy 2-4 (0-3 frees), Ciara Sutton 1-0, Cait Kiely 1-0 Holly Craig Cassidy 1-0, Clodagh Lohan 0-1
LAOIS: Niamh Phelan (St Brigid’s); Lisa Walsh (St Brigid’s), Sarah McMahon (Ballyroan), Sarah Kerfah (Graiguecullen); Danielle Forbes (Graiguecullen), Niamh Crowley (St Paul’s), Rebecca Balfe (St Paul’s); Jade Nolan (Graiguecullen), Sarah Larkin (Timahoe); Leah Kelly (Ballyroan), Shifra Havill (St Conleth’s), Jenny Murphy (Timahoe); Emily Lacey (St Joseph’s), Sarah Walsh (St Conleth’s), Leah Loughman (Portlaoise). Subs: Sinead Farrelly (St Joseph’s) for Sara Kerfah (46m), Lisa Keane (The Heath) for Kelly (53m)
LONGFORD: Riane McGrath; Ciara Mulligan, Sorcha Dawson, Aoife Nolan; Ciara Sutton, Muireann Claffey, Karen McLoughlin; Orla Nevin, Shauna Hagan; Clodagh Lohan, Ciara Healy, Kara Shannon; Ciara Foxe, Nichole Nwilon, Deabhaile Rooney. Subs: Holly Carrig Cassidy for Clodagh Lohan (23m), Lauren McGuire for Aoife Nolan (32m), Grace Shannon for Shauna Hagan (ht), Hannagh Glennon for Karen McLoughlin (ht)
Referee: Ciaran Groome (Offaly)