Cummins stars in narrow ladies win



Lidl Ladies NFL Division Three

Roscommon 3-8

Longford 1-12


The Roscommon Ladies footballers once again stuttered to another narrow win in this competitive curtain raiser at Dr. Hyde Park last Sunday. The final score tells us that Roscommon won by two points but Michael Finneran and his selectors and the rest of the Roscommon players can be thankful for the contribution of goalkeeper Helena Cummins who saved at least five certain goals with stunning saves throughout the match.

  In fact, in my match notes the Michael Glavey’s net minder made at least seven last-ditch saves when players were one on one with her, which must constitute some kind of record. Thankfully for Roscommon they could get vital scores down at the other end of the field. But serious repair work needs to be done in defence if Roscommon are to feature at the business end of league or championship this year. Longford simply got in far too easily time after time.

  After only four minutes Cummins was called into action to smother two shots from Longford full-forward Aisling Greene but after that scare Roscommon settled down and it looked as if the home side would take control. Alice Kelly scored a fifth minute goal and points from Rebecca Finan (2), Katie Daly and Jenny Higgins saw Roscommon lead by 1-4 to 0-1 after fifteen minutes.

  From that point on Roscommon were under pressure but to their credit they were always able to get a score or two when they needed them and that was vital in the end. Four Longford points on the spin reduced the margin to just two in first half injury-time. Then Rebecca Finan fisted home Roscommon’s second goal and at half-time it was 2-4 to 0-5. But they needed the assistance of Helena Cummins twice more in the second quarter as she remained defiant in the face of some slick Longford play.

  Longford were edging closer in the third quarter, and despite two Roscommon points from Rebecca Finan, had reduced the margin to three (2-6 to 0-9) by the 40th minute. Then Roscommon struck for goal again, and this time it was Laura Fleming who hit the target after good work from Rebecca Finan. However, two minutes later Longford were back in the match when Anna McDonnell blasted home after Cummins had blocked her first effort. It was hard to believe that a shot had actually beaten the Roscommon goalkeeper!

  Rebecca Finan and Aoife Darcy exchanged points and with ten minutes to go the margin was still three. Darcy and Aisling Green were on target late for Longford but Niamh Feeney’s point in the 58th minute proved vital for Roscommon who held out for a two point win.

  For Roscommon, apart from the undoubted heroine and Player of the Match Helena Cummins, Jenny Higgins, Laura Fleming and Rebecca Finan were Roscommon’s best performers.

Roscommon: Helena Cummins; Honor Ennis, Sinead Kenny, Amanda McLoone; Joanne Cregg, Shauna Bannon, Niamh Feeney (0-1); Aine Ryan, Jenny Higgins (0-1); Alice Kelly (1-0), Katie Daly (0-1), Laura Fleming (1-0); Siobhan Tully, Rebecca Finan (1-5), Rachel Fitzmaurice. Subs: Rachel Brady for Ennis (15), Sheila Brady for Ryan (18), Sorcha Bruen for Kelly (44), Loiuse Brady for Tully (50), Grainne Lohan for Fleming (55), Nimah Shanagher for Higgins (58).

Longford: E Esler; R O’Farrell, L Keegan, N Darcy; C Farrell, E O’Brien, M Moore; O Nevin, M Reynolds; E Heaney (0-2), M Farrell (0-2), C Healy (0-1); A McDonnell (1-0), A Greene (0-4), A Darcy (0-3). Sub: K Shannon for Reynolds.


Referee: John Devlin (Galway)