Home Sport GAA Valliant Laois ladies repel Louth challenge to reach All-Ireland semi finals

Valliant Laois ladies repel Louth challenge to reach All-Ireland semi finals

Photo: Paul Dargan

Laois 3-9 Louth 2-6
All-Ireland Intermediate Ladies Football Championship Quarter-final

The Laois ladies are through to the All-Ireland semi finals following a hard fought win over Louth in Kinnegad this afternoon.

Donie Brennan’s charges will now face Wexford in the All-Ireland semi finals following this six point win.

Goals from Jane Moore, Mo Nerney and Erone Fitzpatrick proved crucial while Sarah Anne Fitzgerald also contributed five points.

Laois were playing against a gale force wind in the first half but they almost had a goal in the opening minute when Jane Moore fed Sarah Anne Fitzgerald but her shot just flashed wide.

With the wind at their backs, Louth took the lead through Lauren Boyle and then got the game’s first goal after six minutes through the same player.

But Laois showed their class after that and dominated the next twenty minutes of the game.

Sarah Anne Fitzgerald and Anna Healy got them underway on the scoreboard and just on the stroke of the water break, they scored a brilliant goal.

Anna Healy won a Louth kick-out and charged forward where she picked out Sarah Anne Fitzgerald. The Portlaoise forward squared the ball to Jane Moore who sidestepped Una Pearson to score a great goal.

Mo Nerney extended Laois’s lead on the resumption before a long range Eimear Byrne score brought Louth’s twenty minute drought to an end.

But Laois kicked on again as Sarah Anne Fitzgerald landed two more while midfielder Fiona Dooley also converted.

Louth then lost Lauren Boyle to a sin bin but they did finish the half with a Kate Flood free and almost had a goal when midfielder Shannon McLaughlin got through on goal but Eimear Barry denied her.

The resulting 45 was cleared and Laois led 1-6 to 1-3 at half time.

But Laois’s lead evaporated two minutes into the second half when a long hopeful Louth ball was allowed to bounce in the Laois defence with Kate Flood pouncing to score a goal into the top corner.

Lauren Boyle returned from her first half sin bin and kicked Louth ahead but Laois instantly responded through Anna Healy.

And then with 39 minutes on the clock, they went back ahead. Erone Fitzpatrick smashed home the game’s fourth goal after great work by Mo Nerney, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald, sub Eva Galvin and Joyce Dunne.

Sarah Anne Fitzgerald curled over her fourth of the afternoon and Laois now led by four after 40 minutes.

And that became seven minutes later when Rachel Williams and Fiona Dooley were involved as Mo Nerney swept through for another goal.

Laois led 3-8 to 2-4 at the second water break and instantly extended that through Sarah Anne Fitzgerald.

They didn’t score again but they didn’t need to as they managed the game professionally.

Kate Flood replied for Louth with a free and then added a point – Louth then thought they had a goal when Eimear Byrne fisted to the net but referee Kevin Corcoran gave a free out for a square ball.

Laois lost Mo Nerney to a sin bin and played the final stages with 14 players but they defended valiantly to reach the last four.

SCORERS – Laois: Mo Nerney 1-1 (one free), Erone Fitzpatrick 1-0, Jane Moore 1-0, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald 0-5 (one free), Anna Healy 0-2, Fiona Dooley 0-1 Louth: Lauren Boyle 1-2, Kate Flood 1-3 (two frees), Eimear Byrne 0-1

LAOIS: Eimear Barry; Clodagh Dunne, Amy Potts, Aimee Kelly; Rachel Williams, Ellen Healy, Laura Nerney; Fiona Dooley, Jane Moore; Anna Healy, Erone Fitzpatrick, Joyce Dunne; Mo Nerney, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald, Orla Hennessy. Subs: Eva Galvin for Hennessy (37), Leah Tarpey for Fitzpatrick (53), Alannah Havill for Dooley (59)

LOUTH: Una Pearson; Eimear Murray, Sarah Quinn, Eilis Hand; Michelle McMahon, Shannon McLaughlin, Ceire Nolan; Aine Breen, Denise McKenna; Aoife Russell, Kate Flood, Rebecca Carr; Laura Collins, Lauren Boyle, Eimear Byrne. Subs: Roisin Kavanagh for Collins (40), Shona Matthews for Hand (43), Aoife Colgan for McKenna (53), Louise Byrne for Russell (58), Holly Lambe for Murray (59)

Referee: Kevin Corcoran (Mayo)

SEE ALSO – Revenge for Kerry as Laois’s All-Ireland Camogie journey ends for 2021

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Stradbally native Alan Hartnett is a graduate of Knockbeg College who has worked in the local and national media since 2008. Alan has a BA in Economics, Politics and Law and an MA in Journalism from DCU. His happiest moment was when Jody Dillon scored THAT goal in the Laois senior football final in 2016.