Great defensive performance key to Roscommon advance

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies IFC quarter-final: Roscommon 1-10 Louth 0-6

Ollie makes case for defence!

Top class defending was key to Roscommon’s victory in Sunday’s All-Ireland Ladies IFC quarter-final according to the team’s manager, Ollie Lennon.

Lennon was full of praise for his hard-working side after Roscommon defeated Louth by 1-10 to 0-6 in Kinnegad, thus advancing to the All-Ireland last four.

“It was always going to be tough on a day like today with the conditions the way they were” Lennon said, referring to the difficult weather faced by both teams.

“We had looked at Louth and although they don’t score a lot they don’t concede much either so we were very happy to score 1-10. Our defending was top class today. We closed them down any time they threatened and it was the winning of the game”.

  The manager said that reaching a semi-final was the aim all along and that date with Wexford has now been secured.

“We have a nice bit of momentum built up. Our girls know that there is a big prize available at the end of the next match and we will concentrate hard on that now for the next two weeks”.

Lennon agreed that Roscommon’s defensive display was the key to the victory. “It looked as if some of Louth’s shooting was rash out there but it was down to the pressure that our girls put on them throughout…that was the key”.

An excellent all round team display from Roscommon saw them emerge seven-point winners in this quarter-final played in difficult conditions at Coralstown-Kinnegad on Sunday evening.

While a fisted goal from Aisling Hanley a minute before the break was the crucial score from a Roscommon point of view, that excellent defensive display was the basis for this impressive victory.

Rachel Brady, Roisin Wynne, Sinead Kenny and sweeper Caroline Conway were outstanding all through as Roscommon restricted Louth to very few clear goal chances. Down the other end of the field, Laura Fleming played a captain’s part, scoring six points.

On a day of strong winds and squally showers scores were at a premium early on. Laura Fleming nipped in to score a fine point from play after only 40 seconds, but it was a full 20 minutes before we saw another score as both defences ruled the roost. Louth had more possession but they were restricted to shooting from long-range by the tenacious Roscommon defence. Indeed Louth amassed nine wides over the course of the game to Roscommon’s one.

Jenny Shine increased Roscommon’s lead in the 21st minute but the Wee County girls hit back with points from Laura Collins (free) and Rebecca Carr by the 25th minute.

In a decisive scoring burst, Roscommon tacked on 1-2 before the break. Fiona Tully scored two fine points from play in the 26th minute, and with a minute to go to half-time a great team move ended with Tully passing to Aisling Hanley who fisted to the Louth net. A late Collins free for Louth meant it was Roscommon 1-4 Louth 0-3 at half-time.

A Laura Collins point from a free six minutes into the new half gave Louth some hope, but Roscommon then took over. Laura Fleming with two points (one a free), and another from sub Rosie Lennon saw the lead stretched to six – and now Roscommon were looking comfortable. Collins was on target for Louth with another free in the 50th minute, but two more pointed frees by the 55th minute from Roscommon captain Fleming kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Laura Collins crashed a thunderbolt of a shot against the crossbar in the 59th minute and Lisa O’Rourke was sin-binned in injury-time, but Roscommon had done more than enough and now they will turn their attentions to a meeting with Wexford in the All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday week.