The Laois Ladies Footballers got their league campaign off to a losing start away to Monaghan last Sunday.
Two first half goals for the home side proved to be the crucial scores and despite the fact that Laois clawed back some of the deficit in the second-half mainly thanks to a late goal from substitute Aisling Keogh, the damage was done before the break.
Laois opened the scoring when Tracey Lawlor converted a free with just two minutes of the game gone.
Monaghan hit some early wides but eventually opened their accounts seven minutes into the game with a goal on the break.
Joanne Courtney started the move with Ellen McCarron firing to the net to give Monaghan the lead. Grainne McNally added a point for Monaghan but Mary Kirwan responded for Laois to leave two points between the sides midway through the half.
Laois had chances to close the gap further but they couldn’t add to their total. At the other end Monaghan came perilously close to a second goal but Caoimhe Dollard made the save but luck deserted the Laois net minder as the ball broke to Caoimhe Mohan who put the rebound into the back of the net. Monaghan added a further point before the break to extend their lead to 2-2 to 0-2.
Laois needed a good start to the second-half and Patricia Fogarty and Mary Kirwan added frees to reduce the gap between the teams to a managable four points.
Unfortunately for Laois that was as close as they got as Therese McNally pointed to restore the five point lead. The same player should have added a goal soon after from the penalty spot but her shot went wide of the post.
Both sides were struggling for scores but eventually Monaghan’s Caoimhe Mohan pointed to put six between the sides again.
Monaghan were then reduced to 14 players when Isobel Kierans was sin binned but Laois could not take advantage as Ciara McAnespie (2), Ellen McCarron and Caoimhe Mohan found the target to put the home side in an unassailable nine point lead.
Laois did get a consolation goal in extra-time from Aisling Keogh and Tracey Lawlor did add a point but it was too little to rescue the game.
Monaghan: Linda Martin, Joanne Courtney, Sharon Courtney, Christine Reilly, Grainne McNally(0-1), Laura McEneaney, Aoife McAnespie, Amanda Casey, Isobel Kierans (0-1), Therese McNally (0-1), Eileen McElroy, Cora Courtney, Ciara Mc Anespie (0-1), Ellen McCarron (1-1, 0-1f), Caoimhe Mohan (1-2, 0-1f). Subs used Catriona Mc Connell
Laois: Caoimhe Dollard, Aishling Wall, Jane Moore, Ellen Healy, Alison Taylor, Patricia Fogarty (0-1), Laura Hyland, Tracey Lawlor (0-2, 0-1f), Sarah Quigley, Mary Kirwan (0-2f), Anna Moore, Maggie Murphy, Grace Weston, Sinead Doogue, Eimear Fitzgerald. Subs used: Aisling Keogh (1-0), Noirin Kirwan, Olwyn Farrell, Martina Dunne