Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 3
Roscommon 3-12 Sligo 2-9
Roscommon ladies football manager Ollie Lennon has hailed his team for achieving their goal of reaching the Division 3 semi-final, where they will meet Kildare. Lennon was impressed with his side’s resilience when they withstood a fightback by Sligo in Enfield on Sunday, the Rossies having left themselves vulnerable when two of their team were sin-binned.
Roscommon ultimately won by a six-point margin, and are now busy preparing for that semi-final date with Kildare on the weekend after next. Lennon was a happy man at the full-time whistle.
“We did a lot of good work in the first half. You will never keep a team like Sligo down for the whole 60 minutes. We knew they would have a purple patch, and when we lost two players to the sin bin, Sligo capitalised on that and they brought the margin back to six points. They could have reduced it even further but we defended well and it was a matter of seeing it out in the end”.
In truth, this was the Roscommon team’s best display of the season so far as they accounted for old rivals Sligo by that six-point margin. At the three-quarter stage Roscommon actually led by 12 points (3-9 to 0-6) but the loss of Jenny Higgins and Niamh Feeney with those yellow cards late in the game coincided with a Sligo revival. Roscommon had done enough to weather the storm.
On a perfect day for football Roscommon showed their intent early on, going 1-4 to 0-1 ahead by the 14-minute mark, Jenny Higgins fisting home the goal in the 7th minute after a great pass from
Katie Walsh was keeping Sligo in the match with points from play and frees, but Roscommon’s second goal arrived in the 26th minute when Jenny Higgins spotted Aisling Hanly free inside the Sligo defence and the Kilbride sharpshooter made no mistake from close-range.
There was an element of luck about Roscommon’s third goal. Laura Fleming’s free from 25 metres out looped over Sligo defenders and goalkeeper alike, that fortuitous score helping Roscommon into a 3-7 to 0-6 half-time lead.
Roisin Wynne, Lisa O’Rourke, Laura Fleming, Aisling Hanly, Jenny Higgins and sub Lauran Shanagher were very prominent for Roscommon all through. The home side extended their lead to 12 points with scores from Sinead Kenny and Jenny Higgins on the resumption.
Sligo’s star player Katie Walsh had been off the field with a yellow card, but when she returned and Jenny Higgins was sent to the sin bin, Sligo staged a revival. Roisin Molloy scored a fine individual goal in the 47th minute and with six minutes to go Katie Walsh was fouled by Niamh Feeney (who was also sin-binned) and Walsh buried the resultant spot-kick. But Roscommon held on to win comfortably, with Helena Cummins making a couple of good saves in the final minutes.
Roscommon manager Ollie Lennon hailed the fact that a season target had been met.
“It is so positive for the group to be in the semi-final. We lost our first game against Down and our backs were against the wall after that. We knew we had to win two games to get to the semi-final and we have done that now. Our aim was to get to the semi-final at the start of the years so we are very happy here this evening”.