TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Intermediate Championship
Roscommon Ladies footballers began their All-Ireland campaign with a resounding 18-point win against Leitrim at Dr. Hyde Park last Saturday. The Rossies put up a huge score, and with Siobhan Tully back to her best and Rebecca Finan and young Aimee O’Connor lethal up front, it was an impressive display from the home side.
It’s probably nit-picking to highlight a downside to this performance but it is certain that Michael Finneran and his selectors will not be happy with the concession of three soft goals in the first half which would be very costly against stronger opposition.
There is, however, much to admire about this Roscommon side. They set about their task with relish from the throw-in and by the 20th minute they led by 3-7 to 0-3. In the 5th minute, after a fantastic run from Rachel Fitzmaurice, Siobhan Tully fisted home Roscommon’s first goal.
The second goal arrived three minutes later when Tully was again on the mark pulling first time to the net after Natalie McHugh’s shot came back off the post. Then in the 19th minute the impressive Aimee O’Connor got in on the goal scoring act with a sublime finish.
However, in the last ten minutes of the first half Roscommon fell asleep and Leitrim were back in the match at half-time. Their best player, Vivienne Egan, nipped in behind the Roscommon cover for goal number one in the 21st minute. Two minutes later Laura O’Dowd toe-poked home from close range, and by the 25th minute Leitrim scored their third goal when Egan set up Elise Bruen. Roscommon had been 14 points up at one stage but by half-time that margin was down to just five (3-11 to 3-6).
Stern words must have been issued to the Roscommon team at half-time because they came out in the second half and really stamped their authority on this match. Leitrim didn’t score for 26 minutes and by that time Roscommon had sped far off into the distance.
Roscommon’s fourth goal arrived in the 36th minute when Siobhan Tully sent Rebecca Finan away and she finished brilliantly. After that Roscommon kicked some super points with Finan leading the way.
It’s on to Offaly in Tullamore this weekend now and Roscommon will face that challenge with confidence after this fine display. However, work needs to be done in defence for the bigger tests ahead.
Roscommon: Helena Cummins; Honor Ennis, Amanda McLoone, Niamh Feeney; Joanne Cregg, Alice Kelly, Sorcha Bruen; Sinead Kenny (0-2), Laura Fleming (0-1); Siobhan Tully (2-2), Katie Daly, Natalie McHugh (0-1); Rebecca Finan (1-11, 5 frees), Aimee O’Connor (1-3), Rachel Fitzmaurice (0-1). Subs used: Roisin Wynne for Tully (40), Alanna Hanmore (0-1) for Fleming (40), Louise Brady for O’Connor (50), Amy Curley for Daly (50), Rachel Brady for Bruen (55).
Leitrim: Michelle Hackett; Clare Owens, Louise Maguire, Edel Shanley; Shannon O’Rourke, Aine Heslin, Karen Connolly; Patricia Forde, Laura O’Dowd (1-0); Edel Kelly, Elise Bruen (1-0), Aisling Quinn; Carla LeGuen, Michelle Heslin, Vivienne Egan (1-6, 4 frees). Subs: Eimhin Quinn for A Quinn (35), Natasha McEnroe for Kelly (45), Anne Marie Gallagher (0-1) for Shanley (52).
Referee: Siobhan Coyle (Donegal)