Donie Brennan’s charges picked up another victory in Division 3 thanks in large part to Mo Nerney’s terrific second-half display. Nerney kicked a total of ten points, with eight coming in the second-half, to help the Laois ladies edge out a courageous Fermanagh effort in Portarlington.
LIDL Ladies National Football League
The first half was a slow and fairly lacklustre affair from both teams, as Laois played against a strong breeze. Fermanagh came out of the gates the quicker, scoring two points from placed balls through midfielder Roisin O’Reilly.
Laois responded with two points from frees as well, with Kate Whelan popping over the first and Mo Nerney slotting the second. Roisin O’Reilly edged Fermanagh back in front, but Laois took the lead for the first time through an Emma Lawlor point from play and a Nerney point from a free.
Fermanagh finished the first half on top, with Brenda Bannon and O’Reilly (free) kicking points at the end of the half to lead 0-5 to 0-4 at the break.
Laois had the aid of the wind in the second-half, but it was Fermanagh who started the second-half the stronger. O’Reilly fired over her fifth free of the day, and Laois seemed to struggle to gain any foothold in midfield.
Laois had their first real goal opportunity though a few minutes later, as Laura Nerney played a swift one-two with Mo Nerney, but her shot was blasted to the right of the Fermanagh goal posts.
Laois were beginning to come into it though, and when Fermanagh’s centre-forward Brenda Bannon was sin-binned, Laois completely took control of the game.
Nerney was to the fore, as she levelled proceedings with two points in a row, one from play and the other a free. Emma Lawlor put Laois into the lead then, as she kicked over two frees from virtually the same spot.
Nerney continued to torment the Fermanagh defence, as she placed over another two points. Laois then missed another goal chance, as Emma Lawlor struck the post, and Kate Whelan’s rebounded effort was saved off the line by Fermanagh keeper Roisin Gleeson.
Wing-back Aine McGovern finally ended Fermanagh’s drought with a point, but Nerney struck over another two points to bring her tally to the day to eight.
However, Laois suffered a huge setback by conceding two quickfire goals. First, substitute Sarah Jane Jones cut the Laois defence apart with her direct running, as she fired to the net. Then, an Aoife Flanagan effort from distance caught the Sinead O’Rourke out in goals with a big bounce and Laois were suddenly behind.
However, Laois showed character in the last few minutes to turn it around once more. Nerney stuck over another two points on the bounce, and Meaghan Dunne sealed the deal with the final score of the match.
Scorers: Mo Nerney 0-10 (0-5 frees), Emma Lawlor 0-3, Meaghan Dunne and Kate Whelan (free) 0-1 each
Team: Sinead O’Rourke (St Paul’s); Andrea Moran (Ballyroan), Amy Pots (St Brigid’s), Ciara Hughes (Sarsfields); Casey Conroy (Sarsfields), Laura Nerney (Foxrock Cabinteely), Anna Healy (C) (Park-Ratheniska); Fiona Dooley (Portlaoise), Eva Galvin (St Conleth’s); Caoimhe Simms (St Brigid’s), Mo Nerney (Timahoe), Aoife Kirrane (St Conleth’s); Meaghan Dunne (Sarsfields), Emma Lawlor (St Paul’s), Kate Whelan (Ballyroan). Subs: Leah Loughman (Portlaoise) for Whelan (38 mins), Kate Jacob (St Conleth’s) for Kirrane (60 mins)
Scorers: Roisin O’Reilly 0-5 frees, Aoife Flanagan and Sarah Jane Jones 1-0 each, Aine McGovern and Brenda Bannon 0-1 each
Team: Roisin Gleeson; Ciara Clarke, Erin Murphy, Eimear Keenan; Sarah McGarville, Courtney Murphy (C), Aine McGovern; Roisin O’Reilly, Aoife Flanagan; Aisling Maguire, Brenda Bannon, Niamh McManus; Roisin McDonald, Laura Grew, Aoibhin Jones. Subs: Shauna Hamilton for Maguire (35 mins), Sarah Jane Jones for McManus (44 mins), Molly McGloin for McDonald (54 mins), Molly Flynn for Bannon (55 mins), Sarah McCausland for Grew (58 mins)
REFEREE: Barry Redmond (Wexford)