Ladies Senior Football: Connacht Ladies 1-13 Boston Shamrocks 5-10
The Boston Shamrocks and Connacht Ladies delivers another very exciting, open, and fast ladies senior football contest. The Shamrocks repeated their feat of two weeks ago, but in a more convincing fashion with fine displays from Mary and Linda Cronin, Alisha Smith, and Edel McGovern. It was anybody’s game until the final 10 minutes when a flurry of scores and a Sarah Cunningham goal effectively decided and exciting contest.
The game was finely balanced and at the end of the first half it was all square at 2-4 for the Shamrocks to 1-7 for Connacht Ladies. The first quarter belonged to the Shamrocks who played some great passing football. Sharon McGovern got things going with a well taken goal. McGovern tipped the dropping ball over the head of the advancing Caroline Heraty for the Shamrocks first score of the game. Then it was the Cronin sisters who reciprocated with Linda supplying Mary with the ball for one score, and then the other way around for another point. With the Shamrocks rolling and keeping things in the back line tight, thanks in large part to the efforts of Edel McGovern at full back, another goal came from Orla Heavey. Heavey was played through with a lovely ball and made no mistake from close range. Connacht settled into the game and began to win more of the ball. Sinead Ryan took advantage of free taking opportunities and the Waterford native pointed three times from frees and twice from play. Annemarie McDaid and Jane Ward had also scored to make it just a one goal difference, before the high ball in to Christina Newton paid dividends. Newton fed the incoming Louise Brett who drilled the ball into the top left corner on the stroke of half time to set up an enticing second period.
The Shamrocks had doubled their goal tally before the second half was 10 minutes old. First it was Mary Cronin who finished brilliantly from a tight angle, and shortly afterwards it was Linda who put away a penalty after McGovern was fouled in the large square. It was still close though. Connacht had pointed through Ryan and Ward and following the goals through Brett and Ryan and there was just the two points in it. The Shamrocks then powered it home with some fine performances. Alisha Smith in the middle of the field won a healthy amount of ball and at wing back Niamh Lonergan turned on the after burners on a few occasions. The key to the game was a sequence of points from the Caherciveen sisters. Each put a lovely point over the bar, and Linda a third to make it a six point game. Smith then fed Cunningham for the Shamrocks fifth goal and that was the game. The Shamrocks stand at the top of the table and meet Tir na nOg next Sunday.
Connacht: C. Heraty, A. Kerr, J. O’Connell, L. Burns, M. Trainor, E. McElroy, L. Ryan, K. O’Shea, L. Brett, A. McDaid, J. Wad, J. McDonagh, K. Lynch, C. Newton, S. Ryan. Shamrocks: Laurna Behan, D. Hallissey, E. McGovern, S. McMahon, A. McDonnell, B. Gallagher, N. Lonergan, A. Smith, S. Carroll, O. Heavey, L. Cronin, S. Cunningham, S. McGovern, C. Hegarty, M. Cronin.
Galway 2-10 Wexford 2-13
Wexford pulled off a well deserved win in what has been the most intensely contested senior hurling championship match this season. Galway lined out with Dubliner, Liam Rushe, at corner forward and would have been considered the slight favourites. Wexford worked hard for the 60 minutes and had to stand firm to hold out Galway in the final minutes and preserve the victory.
At the end of the first half Wexford surprisingly held an eight point lead. Galway conceded two goals, both from dead balls. On the first occasion Paudie Kehoe fired the ball into the corner of the net from inside the 45. The second was a dropping ball into the box delivered from the opposite side of the field that seemed to slip past a clash of hurls and into the net. Wexford were the more fired up of the teams and played with that bit more intensity than their opponents. Michael Moloney, Eoghan Kavanagh, and Kehoe all found the mark while for Galway Kevin Canty put a couple of neat scores over the bar, Liam Rush and Gunian also pointed. Galway switched Barry McNamara from midfield for Cian McBride late in the half in an effort to sway the game to their advantage. The question at the break was whether Wexford could keep it going for another 30 minutes.
Wexford continued to work hard in the second half, especially when the Galway back line were trying to clear the ball. Paudie Kehoe took advantage on one occasion and what looked like a Galway clearance ended up a Wexford point. Galway, however, got right back into the game with two goals in the space of 5 minutes. The first came from Stephen Brown who fired in from the 14 yard line. The second was the result of some perceptive play by Cian McBride. The Dubliner got free on the far side of the field and had a go from long range. The shot was saved by Spruhan, but Moylan was on had at the far post to put the ball away. Wexford found the going tougher as Galway stepped up the tempo. Brown, Watkins,and Cian Kelly at the back cleared their lines well, while Seamus Corry kept it going in the middle of the field. Guinan popped over a couple of frees as Wexford were forced to foul on occasion. The Slaneysiders did manage to keep their noses in front as they capitalized on the chances they had. Paudie Kehoe pointed three times from frees down the stretch and with time almost up there was still a three point difference. Galway won a 21 yard free as John Moylan was fouled, and Michael Walsh received a yellow card. Guinan went for goal and the ball was stopped, but then a schmozzle ensued in which Walsh received a second yellow. There was more dramatics as Galway were hell bent on getting the equalizing goal, and at least three times the Wexford men held firm on the line. Ed Spruhan kept his composure on a couple of occasions to save well, during all of which Liam Rushe received his marching orders for a dangerous pull. Wexford managed to clear each time and were very satisfied following the win over their Brighton rivals.
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