Laois 4-15 Roscommon 5-9
Ladies National Football League Division 3 Semi-final
The Laois ladies are through the the Division 3 league final following a dramatic comeback in Tang in Westmeath this afternoon.
Donie Brennan’s charges looked dead at buried at the second water break as they trailed by seven points.
But they showed amazing powers of recovery to turn the game around and win by three points to set up a league final with Kildare.
Mo Nerney top scored once again while there were also brilliant displays from Erone Fitzpatrick, Jane Moore, Laura Nerney and Ellen Healy. While Orla Hennessy made a massive impact after coming off the bench as a second half substitute.
Roscommon almost had a goal in the opening minute when Joanne Cregg got through one on one with Eimear Barry – but as she has done on countless occasions this year, she made a stunning save.
Roscommon did take the lead through a Rebecca Finan free but Laois soon found their stride as Mo Nerney equalised.
Laois then took the lead after nine minutes. A slick move began by Eva Galvin and involving captain Laura Nerney and Jane Moore resulted in the ball coming to Anna Healy who lobbed Helina Cummins.
But Roscommon instantly replied. They almost scored a first goal through Rebecca Finan but keeper Barry once again made a stunning save and was then fouled.
However, her pass from the free went wrong and Joanne Cregg pounced to intercept and rattle the back of the net.
Laois steadied with two Mo Nerney frees but Roscommon went down and grabbed a second goal through midfielder Laura Fleming and then Rebecca Finan added her second free to leave them 2-2 to 1-3 ahead at the water break.
Laois made a brilliant start to the second quarter. Anna Healy injected pace into the attack and fed Erone Fitzpatrick who blasted a shot into the roof of the net.
Roscommon hit back with a brace from Finan as the lead swapped hands again but Leah Tarpey levelled matters with five minutes of the first half to go.
And then we had the half’s fifth goal as Laois regained the lead once again. Sarah Anne Fitzgerald did really well to win a loose ball and then Leah Tarpey and Jane Moore combined to set up Mo Nerney who found the bottom corner.
Erone Fitzpatrick added a point and Laois led 3-5 to 2-4 at half time.
Roscommon started the second half as they did the first – forcing Eimear Barry into a stunning save with wing forward Joanne Cregg forcing the Shanahoe woman into action.
Laois extended their advantage soon after through Leah Tarpey but Roscommon did get their third goal after 35 minutes when Aisling Hanley flicked a long ball into the corner of the net.
Mikaela McHugh levelled the game and although Erone Fitzpatrick hite back for Laois, Roscommon got their fourth goal through Natalie McHugh. Laura Fleming added a point and the Connacht side now led by three.
Things really began to unravel for Laois then as Jennifer Higgins added a point and Laura Fleming added her second goal to move them seven ahead, 5-8 to 3-7, at the second water break.
Laois needed a strong final quarter and their star forward Mo Nerney reeled off 1-1 in a minute to cut the gap to three points once again.
Orla Hennessy added a point and Mo Nerney kicked a free as Roscommon were reduced to 14 players for the rest of the game as Megan Kelly was sinbinned for a foul of Nerney.
Centre back Ellen Healy levelled the game with three minutes to go and then Anna Healy put them ahead – completing a remarkable comeback from seven points down.
Erone Fitzpatrick then swung over her second of the game and captain added another as Laois took a three point lead with the game in injury time.
Laura Fleming reduced the arrears to two but Aoife Kirrane instantly replied and that was the final act.
SCORERS – Laois: Mo Nerney 2-4 (two frees), Erone Fitzgerald 1-3, Anna Healy 1-0, Leah Tarpey 0-2, Orla Hennessy 0-1, Ellen Healy 0-1, Laura Nerney 0-1, Aoife Kirrane 0-1 Roscommon: Laura Fleming 2-2, Aisling Hanley 1-1, Rebecca Finan 0-3 (two frees), Natalie McHugh 1-0, Joanne Cregg 1-0, Mikaela McHugh 0-1, Jennifer Higgins 0-1
LAOIS: Eimear Barry; Clodagh Dunne, Amy Potts, Aimee Kelly; Rachel Williams, Ellen Healy, Laura Nerney; Jane Moore, Fiona Dooley; Anna Healy, Eva Galvin, Erone Fitzpatrick; Mo Nerney, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald, Leah Tarpey. Subs Orla Hennessy for Dooley (38), Aoife Kirrane for Tarpey (43), Andrea Moran for Fitzgerald (49), Kate Jacob for Dunne (60)
ROSCOMMON: Helina Cummins; Niamh Feeney, Sinead Kenny, Megan Kelly; Saoirse Wynn, Sarah McVeigh, Rachel Brady; Ellen Irwin, Laura Fleming; Roisin Wynne, Natalie McHugh, Joanne Cregg; Aisling Hanley, Jennifer Higgins, Rebecca Finan. Subs: Rachel Fitzmaurice for McVeigh (18), Aoife Gavin for Finan (29), Mikaela McHugh for Wynne (ht), Sinead Glennon for Higgins (45)
Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow)