Sarsfields picked up the Leinster Ladies SFL trophy in Killeshin on Wednesday when they comfortably defeated Wicklow side Arklow Geraldines-Ballymoney.
It was the third Leinster club league title in four years for the Mountmellick based outfit and second award in three days, having won the inaugural Professor Hollywood game in O’Moore Park on Monday.
Wednesday’s match fitted into the well clichéd category of a ‘game of two halves’ as the outstanding feature of the evening was the strong wind blowing towards the Carlow end of the very impressive Killeshin venue. Sarsfields had first use of those elements and chalked up, what looked like, an unassailable lead of 3-12 to 0-2 at the break.
The Blues’ scores came from Rachel Williams, Ciara Burke and Tracey Lawlor with much of the outfield work provided by the industrious Joyce Dunne, ably assisted by Rosemarie Bermingham, Alison McEvoy, Mags McEvoy and Amy Grehan. Aine O’Reilly and Catriona Byrne accounted for the Arklow tally.
The second half was a different story as Sarsfields emptied the bench, Arklow got the wind in their sails and duly took advantage of both. Midfielders Niamh Arthur and Suzanne Tyrrell gained a foothold in the centre and full forward Aine O’Reilly caused major headaches for the Sarsfields defence.
Ciara O’Loughlin’s goal came under increasing pressure. The improvement in the possession stakes began to pay off as O’Reilly, Byrne, Georgina Canavan and Jessie Hurley found the target. Despite Arklow’s second half tally of 2-7 the outcome was never seriously in doubt as Sarsfields kept the score board ticking at the other end with Laura Peake and Mary Keating supplementing the contribution of Lawlor and Dunne.
After the game Leinster Ladies Football President Marie Hickey presented the League Trophy to Sarsfields captain Emma McEvoy and the ‘Player of the Match’ trophy to Tracey Lawlor.
SCORERS - Sarsfields: Tracey Lawlor 1-8, Meaghan Dunne 1-3, Rachel Williams 0-5, Ciara Burke 1-2, Laura Peake, Mary Keating 0-1 each; Arklow: Aine O’Reilly 1-4, Catriona Byrne 1-2, Georgina Canavan 0-2, Jessie Hurley 0-1
SARSFIELDS: Ciara O’Loughlin; Ashling Dunphy, Jenny McEvoy, Chloe Dunne; Amy Grehan, Emma McEvoy, Mags McEvoy; Alison McEvoy, Joyce Dunne; Rosemarie Bermingham, Tracey Lawlor, Meaghan Dunne; Rachel Williams, Ciara Burke, Lorna O’Sullivan. Subs: Olwyn Farrell, Daphne Behan, Roisin Dunne, Lauren Kearney, Laura Peake, Mary Keating, Amy Coss, Niamh Coss.
ARKLOW: Lionda Dempsey; Eimear O’Brien, Orla Byrne, Christine Byrne; Kirsty Hughes-McCabe, Jessie McElheron, Aine Byrne; Niamh Arthur, Suzanne Tyrrell; Anne Conroy, Catriona Byrne, Jessie Hurley; Georgina Canavan, Aine O’Reilly, Sinead Arthur.
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Carlow)