Dublin emerged clear cut winners of this Round 5 of the Leinster Ladies U-16 A Football championship tie in Mountmellick on Sunday.
The game was played in a slightly surreal atmosphere as both sides have already qualified for the final and neither Meath, or Kildare, had any chance of overtaking them. It’s difficult to take much from the shadow boxing performances of the teams on Sunday except to say that Dublin will enter the final as odds on favourites to take the title.
Laois started very strongly and went into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after seven minutes with Ciara Burke(3) and Shannon Costello (1) finding the target. Megan Morrissey pointed for Dublin. It could have been much better with Laois forwards missing some gilt-edged opportunities of finding the net. Before the game was over they would seriously regret misses. The Jackeens simply upped a gear and from then until half time bombarded the Laois defence and led at the break by 3-8 to 1-4, the Laois goal coming from Meaghan Dunne.
To their credit the Laois defence tightened up considerably in the second half but the horse had already bolted and Dublin were content to knock over points and contain the Laois challenge. Fiona Kelly at fullback and half backs Amy Loughman and Fiona Dooley never gave up the fight and defended like demons, against the odds, until the end. At the other end of the field the Laois forwards made little inroads against a sold Dublin backline but the excellent Ciara Burke and Caoimhe Simms worked hard and succeeded in setting up Shona Redmond for two well taken goals and Meaghan Dunne also chipped in with a point.
LAOIS: Leona Delaney (St Joseph’s), Rachel Rafter (Park-Ratheniska), Fiona Kelly (Park-Ratheniska), Amy Coss (Sarsfields), Fiona Dooley (Portlaoise), Gillian Hannigan (Portlaoise), Amy Loughman (Sarsfields), Ciara Burke (Sarsfields), Shauna Redmond (The Heath), Caoimhe Simms (Crettyard), Shannon Costello (St Conleth’s), Lorna O’Sullivan (Sarsfields), Emma Murphy (St Conleth’s), Ann Fitzgibbon (Portlaoise), Meaghan Dunne (Sarsfields), Sharon Kelly (Park-Ratheniska), Ella Lacey, Carla McGovern (Park-Ratheniska), Aisling Crosby (St Joseph’s), Chloe Dunne (Sarsfields), Niamh Smith (Crettyard), Orlaith Phelan (Portlaoise), Libby Weldon (St Conleth’s), Kate Shortall (Timahoe), Sarah Phelan (Portlaoise), Anna O’Neill (Timahoe), Rachel Kelly (Timahoe), Roisin Dunne (Sarsfields).