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Heartbreak for Laois ladies as comeback falls short and Wexford advance to All-Ireland final

Laois ladies footballers

Laois 2-9 Wexford 2-11
Ladies All-Ireland Intermediate Football Championship Semi Final

Laois ladies All-Ireland journey is over after they were beaten by Wexford in Nowlan Park this afternoon.

Donie Brennan’s charges fell behind in the second quarter of the game and despite a late comeback in second half injury time – they just fell short.

Wexford played with the breeze in the first half and got the game underway with a point from Roisin Murphy.

But Laois soon fired into life. Erone Fitzpatrick fisted over a point and then a flowing move ended with Eva Galvin, a late addition to the team, smashing the ball to the net from close range.

But Laois’s lead was short lived as Wexford went straight down the other end where Catriona Murray scored the game’s second goal.

Shereene Hamilton then put them ahead from a narrow angle but Mo Nerney’s first of the afternoon levelled it up again after ten minutes.

But Kellie Kearney and Amy Wilson both pointed before the water break though to leave Wexford 1-4 to 1-2 ahead at that stage.

Wexford took over though then and first another three points on the trot through Murray (2) and Hamilton to move them five clear as we entered the final stages of the half.

Eight minutes of injury time would be played and Laois staged a huge comeback to get back level.

The spark came from a wonderful team goal involving Laura Nerney, Anna Healy, Erone Fitzpatrick and Eva Galvin that ended with Mo Nerney firing home.

Points from Fitzpatrick and Anna Healy followed and now Laois were level.

But two late Amy Wilson frees gave Wexford the advantage at the break – 1-9 to 2-4.

Wexford made it a three point game straight from the throw in as Ciara Banville pointed and it was still that way after 40 minutes as Catriona Murray and Erone Fitzpatrick traded efforts.

Sub Orla Hennessy made it a two point game but then Laois gave away possession with the last play before the water break and Wexford countered where Aisling Murphy shrugged off Amy Potts and placed the ball into the net to leave the Model County 2-11 to 2-6 ahead.

Neither team scored again until the 57th minute when Mo Nerney landed free after Wexford’s Sarah Harding-Kenny had been sin binned meaning they would play the final stages with a player less.

Nerney landed another free soon after and cut the gap to three as we entered injury time.

Ellen Healy grabbed another point but time ran out and Wexford advanced to the All-Ireland final.

SCORERS – Laois: Mo Nerney 1-3 (two frees), Eva Galvin 1-0, Erone Fitzpatrick 0-3, Anna Healy 0-1, Orla Hennessy 0-1, Ellen Healy 0-1 Wexford: Catriona Murray 1-3 (two frees), Amy Wilson 0-3 (three frees), Aisling Murphy 1-0, Roisin Murphy 0-1, Shereene Hamilton 0-2, Kellie Kearney 0-1, Ciara Banville 0-1

LAOIS: Eimear Barry; Clodagh Dunne, Amy Potts, Aimee Kelly; Rachel Williams, Ellen Healy, Laura Nerney, Joyce Dunne, Erone Fitzpatrick, Anna Healy; Eva Galvin, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald, Mo Nerney. Subs: Orla Hennessy for Williams (41), Leah Tarpey for Fitzgerald (50), Alanah Havill for Dunne (61)

WEXFORD: Sarah Merrigan; Loren Doyle, Aisling Halligan, Kellie Kearney, Clara Donnelly, Shauna Murphy, Sarah Harding-Kenny; Ciara Banville, Roisin Murphy; Sherene Hamilton, Catriona Murray, Ailis Neville; Sadbh McCarthy, Aisling Murphy, Amy Wilson

Referee: John Devlin (Galway)

SEE ALSO – In Pictures: Joyous scenes as Clough-Ballacolla players and supporters celebrate 2020 SHC success

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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.