Leinster Minor Championship
THE Carlow minor girls got their Leinster Division 2 campaign off to a great start at the Carlow Training Centre on Saturday. Having prepared and trained well with some great results in challenge matches, there were high hopes that Carlow would do well here.
The hard work bore fruit and Carlow were far too strong for Longford who did enjoy a dominant spell in the third quarter but the game was won by half-time. In the first 30 minutes Carlow played with the wind and built up a 4-10 to 0-0 interval lead.
Cliodhna Ní Shé was outstanding and she had to have been happy with her total of 2-5 before she was rested in the second half.
“We needed to have a big score up by half-time,” remarked Bart Gilmartin who is joint coach along with Paul Kenny.
“I was pleased with the work-rate, they are a great bunch of girls and have a great attitude.”
While Ni Shé was the leading scorer there were others who contributed massively. At full-back Amy Dooley led the defence well while Ellen Atkinson and Orlagh Hickey mopped up a huge amount of ball in the middle of the field. Aobhinn Gilmartin and Rachel Sawyer also featured with first-half goals as the home side dominated.
In the third quarter Longford finally got something going. After making some great saves sub-keeper Shannon Cotter was finally beaten when a rocket of a shot lodged in the top left-hand corner of the net.
Carlow then upped the ante once more and a passing movement with Hickey saw Rachel Whelan find the net from close range. Carlow ended the game in the ascendancy and left Gilmartin a contented man.
“Very happy overall with the performance,” he smiled but had a message for his charges.
“There are big challenges ahead and we want to keep it going now.”
On Saturday February 20 Carlow are at home to Louth and a month later, on March 20, they travel to take on Kilkenny who beat Louth on the road by 4-5 to 2-7 in their opening round.
Carlow: Nicole Kehoe Dowling (Burren Rangers); Ciara Nolan (Bennykerry-Tinryland), Amy Dooley (Old Leighlin), Rebecca Kelly (Burren Rangers); Doireann Walshe (Bennykerry-Tinryland), Anne Roche (Old Leighlin), Niamh Forde (Old Leighlin); Ellen Atkinson (Old Leighlin), Orlagh Hickey (Burren Rangers 0-2); Holly Lillicrap (St Anne’s), Aoibhinn Gilmartin (Old Leighlin 1-4), Katie Bullen (Bennykerry-Tinryland 0-1); Katie Byrne (Burren Rangers), Cliodhna Ní She (Bennykerry-Tinryland 2-5, 1-0 pen, 0-4 frees), Rachel Sawyer (Old Leighlin 1-0). Subs: Rachel Whelan (Rathvilly 1-2) for Lillicrap (h/t), Jane Bullen (Bennykerry-Tinryland) for Walshe, Shannon Cotter (Bennykerry-Tinryland) for Kehoe Dowling, Grainne Mullins (Burren Rangers) for Ní Shé, Amy Monaghan (Old Leighlin) for Kelly.
Longford: Una Mulligan; Becky Kane, Shannon McEntire, Gemma Reilly; Danielle McLoughlin, Ellen Byrne, Sarah Farrell; Cait Murphy, Aoife O’Brien; Emer Esler, Eimear O’Brien, Una Clarke; Aine Farrell, Meegan Creegan, Lauren Burke.