Timahoe advanced to another Laois Ladies SFC semi-final following their anticipated victory over Portlaoise in the last game of Group B in the league stage of the championship.
The game was played in Timahoe on Friday evening in ideal weather conditions and produced some excellent passages of football. The hosts always held the whip hand and never looked like being seriously threatened by the up and coming Portlaoise outfit. Since both teams have already defeated St Conleth’s a semi-final position was guaranteed, the downside being that the runners up in the Group will face the winners in Group A.
The early exchanges were evenly balanced with points from Martina Dunne and Jessie Curley being cancelled out by similar scores from Claire Dunne and Aisling Keogh for Portlaoise within the opening ten minutes. A Mo Nerney goal and points from Maggie Murphy, Martina Dunne and Sarah Quigley brought a lone response from Ciara Delaney to leave Timahoe 1-6 to 0-3 ahead at the break. Portlaoise cause was not helped by the sin-binning of Aisling O’Gorman for ten minutes.
As they did in the opening ten minutes of the game Portlaoise competed strongly in the early stages of the second half, with Ciamh Dollard and Claire Dunne matching Maggie Murphy’s two points. However goals by Sarah Quigley and sub Rachel Kelly put paid to a Portlaosie revival and left the score at 3-8 to 0-5 in favour of Timahoe at the half way stage.
Quigley, Murphy and Dunne completed the Timahoe scoring while a defiant Ciamh Dollard, better known for blocking shots, notched a goal - from a penalty - and a point to wrap up the Portlaoise total. With two games still to play in Group A Timahoe and Portlaoise’s opponents in the semi-final will not be known until after these games are completed on Sunday 2 September.
SCORERS - Timahoe: Martina Dunne 0-5 (three frees), Sarah Quigley 1-2, Maggie Murphy 0-4 (three frees), Mo Nerney, Rachel Kelly 1-0 each, Jessie Curley 0-1; Portlaoise: Ciamh Dollard 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1 free), Claire Dunne 0-2, Ciara Delaney, Aisling Keogh 0-1 each
TIMAHOE: Bernie Deegan; Maureen Young, Karen Curley, Siobhán Delaney; Alison Hooban, Aisling Quigley, Shona Barry; Mary Casey, Angela Casey; Mo Nurney, Maggie Murphy, Jessie Curley; Martina Dunne, Sarah Quigley, Liz Cahill. Subs: Rachel Kelly for Liz Cahill (44 mins), Louise Delaney for Jessie Curley (54 mins), Áine Quigley for Maureen Young (57 mins), Niamh Kennedy for Siobhán Delaney (57 mins), Emily Horgan for Alison Hooban (57 mins)
PORTLAOISE: Amy Dunphy; Ashling Gorman, Ellen Healy, Clodagh Brennan; Fiona O’Connor, Ashling Saunders, Aoife Conroy; Ciamh Dollard, Fiona Dooley; Michelle Lynch, Nicki Kelly, Alison Taylor; ClaireDunne, Ciara Delaney, Aisling Keogh. Subs: Edel Gilligan for Michelle Lynch (40 mins), Kate Dunne for Aoife Conroy (54 mins), Aisling Bohan for Nicki Kelly (54 mins), Sasha Troy for Claire Dunne (57 mins), Joanne Smith for Clodagh Brennan (57 mins).
Referee: Arthur O’Connor