*This article was originally published in the Leinster Express on April 9, 2008
Leinster U-14 Ladies Football Championship
Football is certainly a game of two halves and the Laois ladies proved this as they clawed back a ten-point deficit at half time to give the scoreboard a look of complete dominance in the Leinster Ladles U-14 FC in Mountmcllick last Saturday.
However this was not the case and in the opening quarter Wicklow had netted four goals and looked unstoppable. An almighty wind played a huge role in each half of this entertaining dash of two very skilful, exciting teams. To the absolute disbelief of everyone present in Agragar, Mountmellick, Wicklow took an early lead against this fancied Laois side.
Wicklow's first sore involved their three most dangerous players on the field. Lauren Allen chipped in a cute ball towards full forward Aoife Kavanagh r who drew the player expertly and left the loose Keyleigh Cranmard with nothing to do but beat the helpless Nlckle Cranny in the Laois goals.
Within two minutes Crannmard claimed her second goal and the full forward line were having it all their own way thanks to a continuous supply of ball being fed through with the aid of a very strong wind. Two goals and a point later Laois refused to lie down and showed experience beyond their years to hold their nerve. They never panicked and knew it was only a matter of time before they would start to make inroads into this game.
Mo Nerney set things in motion for the O'Moore ladies with a pointed free followed closely by point from Laura Marie Maher and Laura Dunne. Nemey again kicked a point before Wicklow undid the damage with three of their own. With the last kick of the half Sarah Quigley added her own to keep the Laois girls within reach of Wicklow who left the field at the break with a ten-point advantage.
The second half was a completely different affair. Laois held Wicklow scoreless and kicked a massive two goals and 15 points. Lauren Reilly kicked Laois off and from there they never looked back. Mo Nemey was absolutely inspirational as she accumulated a total of 10 points. A goal from Laura Dunne had Laois level and Oria McWey stamped the game with her authority immediately after being introduced to put Laois ahead by a goal. Wing back Chloe Dunne used the wind to her advantage and kicked a wonderful point. The rest of the half belonged to the Laos forward line and they finished the game in fine form securing an impressive 11-point win.
Scorers: Mo Nemey 0-10 (0-1 free), Laura Dunne 1-4, Orla McWey 1-1, Lauren Reilly 0-2, Laura Marie Maher, Sarah Quigley, Maria Fitzpatrick and Chloe Ryan 0-1 each.
Team: Cranny; Clodagh Dunne (Ballyroan), Clodagh Dunne (Sarsfields), Becky Dowling; Rosemarie Phelan, Jane Moore, Chloe Ryan; Ciara Delaney, Hazel O'Connor; Mo Nerney, Laura Dunne, Lauren Reilly; Laura Marie Maher, Sarah Quigley, Rachel O' Connell. Subs: Maria Fitzpatrick for Rachel O' Connell (half-time), Orla McWey for Sarah Quigley (39 mins), Joyce Dunne for Laura Marie Maher (49 mins) and Rachel Redmond for Jane Moore (57 mins).
Scorers: Keyleigh Crannmard 3-2, Aoife Kavanagh 1-1, Erinne Murphy 0-1.
Team: Lucy Cush; Niamh O’Donoghue, Hanna Tew, Bridin Geoghan; Calvin Swart, Niamh Roach, Susanne O'Neill; Ciara Callanan,Shauna Fleming; Emma Byrne, Laura Allen, Aine O' Reilly; Erinne Murphy, Aoife Kavanagh, Keyleigh Cranmard. Subs: Katie Kinlon for Susanne O' Neill (29 mins), Maeve Deeley for Laura Allen (39 mins), Sarah Kavanagh for Niamh O’Donoghue (53 mins), Viviane Walsh for Aine O' Reilly (57 mins), Elaine Kehoe for Bridin Geoghan.