Sarsfields emerged victorious after a very entertaining contest in the Laois Ladies JFC semi-final in Crettyard on Sunday. The game was played at a championship intensity throughout, but in a marvellous spirit, and was excellently handled by referee Kevin Kealy.
It was game that Killeshin could have won, they failed to put away numerous goal chances, but in the end the greater accuracy of the Sarsfields forwards saw them through.
Killeshin were first off the mark with a point from Johann Dempsey after two minutes, but Sarsfield’s full forward Lisa Guinane replied with a point and a goal within three minutes. The goal was the culmination of some great outfield work by Carol Hughes and Joyce Dunne. Sarsfields never subsequently lost the lead and by half time led by 1-7 to 0-5.
The Killeshin points came from their outstanding player Eva Brennan (0-2), Emma Cummins and Lauren Brennan while Joyce Dunne, Ruth Williams and Louise Jones were on target for Sarsfields.
Within 20 seconds of the Jones sent over her third point but Killeshin fought back with points from the Brennans and Colette McDonnell to reduce the gap to three points. They were unable to sustain the effort and with Jenny O’Shea and Hazel O’Connor shading the midfield battle against Johann Dempsey and Laura McDonnell and Joyce Dunne orchestrating the forwards Sarsfields struck for home.
Points from Ruth Williams, Dunne, O’Shea and Guinane saw them safely through.
It could have been different if only some of the Killeshin shots had found the target. Great efforts by Lauren Brennan, Johann Dempsey and Emma Crimmins were thwarted by Sarsfields goalie Aoife McEvoy, who pulled off some marvellous saves in the second half. In front of her Becky Dowling, Sinead Walsh, Dapne Behan and Colette Cashin defended tenaciously.
For Killeshin, Michelle Magee was also in fine form and was well protected by a solid back six in which Sarah Dempsey, Aoife O’Rourke and Philomena Kelly stood out.
SCORERS - Sarsfields: Lisa Guinane 1-3, Ruth Williams 0-4, Louise Jones 0-3, Laura O'Shea and Joyce Dunne 0-2 each; Killeshin: Lauren Brennan 0-4, Eva Brennan 0-3, Johanne Dempsey, Emma Crimmins and Michelle Brennan 0-1 each
SARSFIELDS: Aoife McEvoy; Fiona Burke, Sinead Walsh, Colette Cashin; Daphne Behan, Becky Dowling, Laura O’Shea, Hazel O’Connor , Mairead McEvoy, Joyce Dunne, Louise Jones,Carol Hughes, Lisa Guinane, Ruth Williams. Subs: Avril Westman, Ciara Burke.
KILLESHIN: Michelle Magee; Sinead Farrell, Sarah Dempsey, Aoife O’Rourke; Philomena Kelly, Edel Kennedy, Sonya Hayden; Johanne Dempsey, Laura McDonnell; Sarah Kelly, Eva Brennan, Colette McDonnell; Emma Crimmins, Lauren Brennan, Ashling Moran. Subs: Michelle Brennan, Ciara Shorthall, Ciara Dowling, Emma Shorthall.
Referee: Kevin Kealy