Ballyroan Ladies made a winning start to their Championship campaign, hitting seven goals along the way to get the better of Park-Ratheniska on Sunday morning.
Ballyroan 7 - 9
Park-Ratheniska 2 - 12
Laois Ladies Intermediate Football Championship Round 2
While this game was Ballyroan’s first as they had a bye in the opening round, Park-Ratheniska fell to St Joseph’s at Kellyville by eight points as they looked to make an instant return to the Senior ranks.
Three goals in the first-half from Aoife McWey (2) and Rachel Fitzgerald saw Ballyroan hold a five-point lead at the break, despite a super goal from Park-Ratheniska’s Laura O’Connell mid-way through the half.
The first score of the day went to Ballyroan when full-forward Aoife McWey took off on a great run before crashing the ball into the Park-Ratheniska net with less than five minutes played.
Park-Ratheniska opened their account through a Sophie Delahunt point, but Ballyroan replied with their second goal of the day when Rachel Fitzgerald got on the end of a quick-free to find the top-corner with a floated shot.
Park-Ratheniska closed the gap to the minimum when Laura O’Connell split the uprights with a point before rattling the Ballyroan net less than a minute later. Ballyroan broke the home side’s momentum with a close-range free from Kate Whelan to leave two points between the sides.
A brilliant passing move involving Ellen Donoghue and Fitzgerald saw Aoife McWey raise her second green flag of the half, and Ballyroan went six points clear with a Whelan point directly after.
Park-Ratheniska outscored Ballyroan by four points to three in the final minutes of the half with Erone Fitzpatrick (2), Rachel O’Connell and Shauna Redmond helping them to reduce the deficit to five points going in at the break, 3-5 to 1-6.
The home side attacked from the throw-in and posted two points inside a minute of the restart, both from midfielder and Laois co-captain Anna Healy. Ballyroan almost had a goal shortly after, only for a last-gasp clearance off the line from Ellen Connolly.
A Shauna Redmond point had them within four points of Ballyroan, but Ballyroan’s third goal arrived seven minutes after the restart when Fitzgerald cooly finished.
Laura O’Connell pulled one back for Ratheniska, as did Healy, but Ballyroan returned both through Whelan and Fitzgerald as the game headed toward the final ten minutes.
Ballyroan landed a brilliant goal from Emily McWey, but Ratheniska hit-back immediately with a goal of their own through Shauna Redmond as six points separated the sides.
Ballyroan saw out the game with 2-2 in the final minutes, Fitzgerald grabbing her hat-trick and wing-back Emily Mulhall getting in on the scoring as they finished with twelve points to spare.
Scorers: Rachel Fitzgerald 3-2, Aoife McWey 2-0, Emily McWey 1-2, Kate Whelan 0-4 (0-3 frees), Emily Mulhall 1-0, Roisin Fitzgerald 0-1.
Team: Than Phelan; Caoimhe Delaney, Clodagh Dunne, Amy Fitzpatrick; Emily Mulhall, Sarah McMahon, Isabelle McWey; Leah Kelly, Andrea Moran; Ellen Donoghue, Emily McWey, Eimear McWey; Rachel Fitzgerald, Aoife McWey, Kate Whelan. Subs: Emma Cass for Delaney (47 mins, Inj), Ailish O’Neill for Aoife McWey (47 mins), Roisin Fitzgerald for Whelan (55 mins), Lucia Mezzapelle for Donoghue (61 mins), Anna McWey for Fitzpatrick (62 mins).
Scorers: Laura O’Connell (0-1 free) and Shauna Redmond 1-2 each, Erone Fitzpatrick and Anna Healy 0-3 each, Rachel O’Connell and Sophie Delahunt 0-1 each.
Team: Fiona Kelly; Ailbhe Griffen, Claire Dollard, Ciara Foran; Aoife Daly, Elaine Daly, Ellen Connolly; Anna Healy, Lara Hyland; Erone Fitzpatrick, Catriona Fogarty, Sophie Delahunt; Shauna Redmond, Laura O’Connell, Rachel O’Connell. Subs: Aoidean Delaney for Foran (23 mins), Caoimhe Lalor for Rachel O’Connell (HT), Lisa Buggy for Fogarty (48 mins), Laura Buggy for Griffen (55 mins).
REFEREE: Brendan Hickey (Graiguecullen)