Clonaslee St Manman's Hannah Russell kicks for goal against Ballyfin in the Laois LGFA Junior Football Championship final at O'Moore Park. Photo: Denis Byrne
In the first of the double-header of Ladies finals in O'Moore Park on Saturday afternoon, Clonaslee St Manman's ran rampant in the second half to blow away a valiant Ballyfin effort in an 11 goal thriller.
Clonaslee St Manman's 7 - 12
Ballyfin 4 - 3
Laois LGFA Junior Championship Final
Clonaslee St Manman's dominated the opening ten minutes of the game, racking up a ten point lead before Ballyfin would even open their account.
Hannah Russell set the game in motion with less than a minute played with a close-range free. Kate Conroy followed with a sweet effort off of her left, and then Russell sent over her second free of the game to give Clonaslee St Manman's an early three point lead.
Clonaslee compounded their lead after six minutes, referee Shauna Mackey pointing to the penalty spot for an infringement and Emily Corbett stepped up to calmly stroke the place kick into the bottom right corner.
Kate Conroy added her second point two minutes later, and then Clonaslee got in for their second goal. Hannah Russell offloaded the ball to Roisin Poole and she made no mistake with the finish to put them 2-4 to 0-0 ahead.
Ballyfin roared back into the game with a goal from the penalty spot after 11 minutes, Niamh O'Rourke providing the finish to get them going. Three minutes later they lifted the green flag again, O'Rourke on target from the penalty spot after Edel Finn was fouled just as she was about to pull the trigger.
Ballyfin's third goal arrived on the 20 minute mark when Edel Finn wriggled her way through the Clonaslee defence to rattle the back of the net.
Clonaslee wasted no time getting back on track, Kate Conroy applying the finish to their third goal a minute later after their first shot was saved and their second rebounded off of the crossbar.
Odile Fitzpatrick kicked a brace of points for Ballyfin either side of Clonaslee's fourth and final goal of the half from the in-form Hannah Russell to leave the half-time score reading 4-4 to 3-2.
Clonaslee St Manman's returned to their dominating ways in the second half as they hit Ballyfin for 3-8, while holding Ballyfin to a 1-1 total in the closing half.
Of the six points Clonaslee hit in the 15 minutes after the restart, the excellent Hannah Russell accounted for five with Roisin Poole completing the six.
Odile Fitzpatrick led the frontline for Ballyfin and kicked their 1-1 in the closing half as Clonaslee found another gear.
Clonaslee finished with a flourish as they brought their goal tally to seven with Pauline Keating, Rose Dunne and Russell all hitting the back of the net as Clonaslee St Manman's ran out deserved victors in O'Moore Park.
*See Tuesday's Leinster Express Sport for full coverage
Scorers: Odile Fitzpatrick 1-3 (0-1 free), Niamh O'Rourke 2-0 (2-0 pen), Edel Finn 1-0.
Team: Megan Fitzpatrick; Aibhlin McEvoy, Cathy Kane, Rachel Walsh; Kate Fitzpatrick, Rena Duff, Rachel Wheeler; Niamh O'Rourke, Michelle Lynch; Sarah Bergin, Sinead O'Rourke, Helena Dempsey; Aine O'Rourke, Odile Fitzpatrick, Edel Finn. Subs:
CLONASLEE ST MANMAN'S
Scorers: Hannah Russell 2-8 (0-5 frees), Kate Conroy 1-2, Emily Corbett 1-1 (1-0 pen), Roisin Poole 1-1, Rose Dunne and Pauline Keating 1-0 each.
Team: Sarah Corbet; Ann Hyland, Brigid Hyland, Mary Hyland; Shauna Mulhall, Aoife Hyland, Alison Russell; Rose Dunne, Aine Ryan; Ciara Poole, Roisin Poole, Kate Conroy; Emily Corbett, Hannah Russell, Annie Digan. Subs:
REFEREE: Shauna Mackey