Ladies are Division Three champs!

Rosie delivers for Rossies!

Lidl Ladies NFL Division Three Final
Roscommon 0-9 Wexford 1-5

By Aisling Clery

Roscommon manager Ollie Lennon says his players had taken a huge step forward as they bridged a 13-year gap to claim the Lidl National Football League Division Three title on Sunday afternoon last.

  The former Kilbride manager, who took the reins ahead of the 2022 campaign, watched on as his team somehow found the wherewithal to fight back after Catríona Murray’s goal looked to have sealed promotion for Wexford.

  Wexford had gone all the way to Croke Park last September for the TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship final, and although they fell to a big defeat at the hands of Westmeath, they would have fancied their chances at St. Brendan’s Park in Birr last Sunday.

  But Rosie Lennon scored points from two late frees to send the Division Three crown west instead.

  “Even at half-time, they knew they weren’t at their best, in the second half they still weren’t at their best but you dig out these results,” said Lennon.

  “At the end of it all, the history books will show we won, nobody will be bothered about the quality of the game.

  “We are absolutely thrilled. You can play all the fancy football you want, it’s (this) a better result than going out in a shoot-out and losing by a point.

  “We are thrilled for the girls, it’s a huge achievement and a huge step forward for this bunch of players”.

Wexford beat Meath in the 2018 final and they were on top in the early exchanges here with Murray scoring two frees to put them in the ascendancy.

  But the sides were level, 0-4 each, at the first water break and Murray’s next free was the only score of the second quarter as Wexford took a narrow lead into half-time.

  Wexford’s goal arrived in the 50th minute when Murray blasted high into the Roscommon net and her side were 1-5 to 0-6 in front at that stage.

  But late points from Laura Fleming and Lennon (two) ensured the silverware went to Roscommon while Wexford suffered another agonising final defeat.

Roscommon: H Cummins; S Kenny, R Fitzmaurice, L O’Rourke; R Wynne, R Brady, A McAuliffe; K Nolan, L Fleming (0-4, 3 frees); M McHugh, J Higgins (0-1), C Conway; A Hanly, F Tully (0-1), N Feeney. Subs used: R Lennon (0-2, 2 frees) for Hanly (30), L Shanagher (0-1) for McHugh (39), S McVeigh for Brady (48), N McHugh for Conway (51).

Wexford: S Merrigan; C Neville, A Halligan, N Cloke-Rochford; O Kehoe, R Murphy, C Donnelly; K Kearney, C Banville; S Hamilton (0-1), C Murray (1-3, 3 frees), E O’Brien; A Wilson (0-1), A Murphy, B Breen. Subs used: S Harding-Kenny for Cloke-Rochford (45), A Cullen for Wilson (46), T Doyle for Breen (50), E Tomkins for O’Brien (59).

Referee: Gavin Finnegan (Down).