Old Leighlin 2-7
(after extra time)
By Harry Shorthose
REIGNING Leinster ladies football junior club champions Old Leighlin march on to this year’s semi-finals after this victory over Kilcock at McGrath Park, Bagenalstown on Saturday.
As conditions played havoc, it was tight with neither side able to get a foothold in the game. With both sides struggling to get a rhythm going due to the conditions, it would come down to who made fewere mistakes.
Both sides had opportunities early on, but it was Kilcock who raced into a 1-1 lead, Emma Robinson netting.
Points from Aoibhinn Gilmartin and Aoife Roche halved the deficit. Midway through the half, Roche netted to put Old Leighlin ahead for the first time but it wouldn’t last long.
Grace White put Kilcock back ahead, adding another 1-1, before Old Leighlin’s Rachel Sawyer levelling things up once again with a superb solo effort, running more than half the pitch to net.
The second half was as close as the first and both sides needed to dig deep. Neither side was ahead for long.
Twelve minutes in, Sawyer struck from a free, and it was advantage Old Leighlin. Two minutes later, she added another, an attempt at goal parried over the bar.
The hosts struggled to contain the busy Grace White and a moment later, she had fired Kilcock back in front with 15 minutes to go.
It was a topsy-turvy game with the lead changing hands frequently. Sawyer added another two points to fire Old Leighlin ahead but White brought things level again from a free.
It was end-to-end and after 10 minutes of injury time, there was nothing separating the two sides; although Old Leighlin did fire just wide.
It was a free in the first period of extra time that would provide Old Leighlin with an opportunity. Up stepped Sawyer, who was at the heart of everything for the hosts.
She sent it over to put her team through to a second successive Leinster semi-final against Longford champions Grattans away on Saturday.
Old Leighlin: Nicole Hanley, Amy Hanley, Anne Roche, Philomena Murphy, Ellen Atkinson, Amy Dooley, Keeva Collins, Helen Roche, Caoimhe O’Neill, Rachel Sawyer (1-4, 0-3 frees), Niamh Forde, Aoibhinn Gilmartin (0-1), Aoife Roche (1-1), Emma Brennan (0-1), Shauna O’Neill. Subs: Muireann O’Sullivan for H Roche (45 mins), Laura Regan for Gilmartin (50 mins), Roisin Maher for Hanley (55mins), Eleanor Meaney for Murphy (57 mins), Siofra O’Neill for A Roche (53 mins), Helen Roche for O’Neill (61 mins), Aoibhinn Gilmartin for A Roche (61 mins).