Sarsfields 2-9 St Conleth’s 1-8
Laois Ladies SFC Semi-final
Sarsfields are through to another Ladies Football final after a tough encounter with St Conlenth’s in Mountmellick this evening.
An incredible display from goalkeeper Becky Williams gave Sarsfiedls lifeline after lifeline in a dramatic affair that went right to the wire.
It was a win that sees them keep their dreams of eight titles in a row alive – and they will face Portlaoise in the final next week.
Sarsfields started against the wind but they started the scoring with a fine effort from Laura Marie Maher. Clare Conlon curled over her first of the evening to give the defending champions an early lead.
St Conleth’s managed their first score through an Aoife Kirrane free and they then pinned Sarsfields in their own half for the next 15 minutes.
Marie Byrne couldn’t miss as she pointed three in a row as St Conleth’s dominated the Sarsfields’ kick outs.
Becky Williams pulled off three saves to keep Sarsfields a point behind and her team responded. Two more Conlon points eased the pressure on Sarsfields.
St Conleth’s were denied yet another goal by Williams until finally they worked the ball to Laura Dunne who raised a green flag.
Dunne had a shot deflected over for a point by Willaims which left the sides 1-7 to 0-5 at half-time.
Sarsfields now had the wind and they upped the tempo in the second half. Joyce Dunne set up Mags McEvoy for a point before a fine team move ended with Lorna O’Sullivan finishing low to the net.
Momentum was firmly with Sarsfields now and Meagan Dunne pointed a superb effort to level the game.
Byrne popped up with another point to push Conleth’s ahead by one. This was instantly cancelled out by Joyce Dunne for Sarsfields.
The sides were level 1-8 a piece with 14 minutes to go but St Conleths wouldn’t score again.
Rosemary Birmingham had an instant impact off the bench as she looped a shot into the top corner to put a goal between the sides.
St Conleth’s kept pressing hard for the ball and were rewarded with a chance for Byrne but Williams saved once again.
Laura Marie Maher pointed with her weaker foot with three minutes to go to put four between the sides.
Williams made yet another save in the dying moments to secure a four point win for Sarsfields.
St Conleth’s will rue their misses as Sarsfields will now turn their attention to making it eight in a row in the final.
SORERS – Sarsfields: Clare Conlon 0-4 (three frees), Laura Marie Maher 0-2, Joyce Dunne 0-1 (free), Rosemary Birmingham and Lorna O’Sullivan 1-0 each, Mags McEvoy and Meagan Dunne 0-1 each. St Conleth’s: Marie Byrne 0-4 (1 free), Laura Dunne 1-1, Sinead Culleton and Eva Galvin 0-1 each.
SARSFIELDS: Becky Williams; Orla Whelan, Jenny Murphy, Ava Lawlor; Rachel Williams, Emma McEvoy, Leah Tarpey; Joyce Dunne, Alison McEvoy; Mags McEvoy, Clare Conlon, Gráinne Lawlor; Lauren Kearney, Lorna O’Sullivan, Laura Marie Maher. Subs: Meghan Dunne for A Lawlor (HT), Aisling Bohane for Conlon (36), Amy Loughman for Tarpey (36), Rosemary Birmingham for G Lawlor (40), Ciara Hughes for Murphy (61)
ST CONLETH’S: Sarah Walsh; Mary Cotter, Tinashe Chapwanya, Noami Luttrell; Nicole Byrne, Aimee Kelly, Aoife Kirrane; Áine Haberlin, Claire Fox; Alanna Havill, Eva Galvin, Shifra Havill; Marie Byrne, Laura Dunne, Sinead Cullen
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