Ladies survive scare to get off the mark

Lidl Ladies National Football League Division Three (Round 1)

Roscommon 3-10  Fermanagh 1-12

By Brendan Cregg at Dr. Hyde Park

Roscommon Ladies made it a winning start in the first round of their league campaign with a hard-earned win over Fermanagh at Dr. Hyde Park on Sunday last.

New manager, Diane O’Hora, said afterwards that she was pleased with the result but hoped for improvement ahead of the Rossies’ second outing against Down this coming weekend.

Roscommon were forced to survive a late Fermanagh rally in order to secure the two points on offer, with Laura Fleming and goalkeeper Helena Cummins to the fore.

The visitors were edgy early on and Roscommon could have made things a little more comfortable for themselves had they shown more composure in front of goal. Chances went astray for both Aisling Hanly and Rebecca Finan as the Ulster side came into the game.

In fact, Fermanagh edged ahead with a brace of points before Finan settled the hosts’ nerves with a pointed free. Hanly, making her competitive senior debut, then clipped over a nice point before the visitors hit back ahead of the first water break.

The teams went in level at half-time despite a really well-worked Roscommon goal which saw Jenny Higgins and Laura Fleming combine before Fleming hammered the ball to the net.

Direct Fermanagh running caused Roscommon problems in the second half despite a fast Roscommon start following a Natalie McHugh goal.

Laura Fleming grew in influence as the game wore on while goalkeeper Cummins was forced to pull off a number of saves to keep an improving Fermanagh at bay.

The visitors did eventually raise a green flag but Fleming’s second goal of the afternoon had given Roscommon a cushion and they held out for a hard-fought win.

Roscommon: H Cummins; N Feeney, S Kenny, R Wynne; J Cregg, S McVeigh, S Wynne; J Higgins (0-1), L Fleming (2-3); N McHugh (1-1), A Hanmore, E Irwin (0-1); A Hanly (0-1), R Finan (0-2), A Gavin. Subs:  C Beirne for McVeigh, M Kelly for Feeney, C Conway (0-1) for Hanmore, A O’Connor for Gavin, R Fitzmaurice for McHugh, M McHugh for Finan.