Sarsfields breezed into the Leinster Ladies final with a comprehensive twenty-eight point dismantling of their Longford opposition, Killoe, in Acragar on Saturday afternoon.
Leinster Ladies Club SFC semi-final
Killoe (Longford) 1-4
Despite playing into the near gale force wind for the opening half in Acragar on Sunday afternoon, Sarsfields came straight out of the blocks and opened the scoring with less than a minute on the clock thanks to Clare Conlon’s first of the day.
Sarsfields continued to keep the ball in the opposition half, a task easier said than done with the ever-present wind, and reaped the rewards as Conlon and Meaghan Dunne extended the Sarsfields lead to three points inside the opening four minutes.
Still launching attacks at will, Sarsfields pushed their lead out to five points as both Laura-Marie Maher and Dunne rose the white flag in the space of two minutes to put their side in an ideal position with six minutes on the clock.
With just seven minutes played in the game Sarsfields claimed what was an inevitable first goal as Clare Conlon brought her tally to 1-2 for the opening seven minutes of the game. Killoe opened their account soon after as Beany Hackett ended their drought with a point after eight minutes to set their side of the scoreboard into action.
Unhappy with having slipped a point to their opposition, Sarsfields made up for it in typical fashion with their second goal of the day a minute later, this time Tracey Lawlor providing the finish as Sarsfields racked up 2-5 inside the opening ten minutes.
For any other side playing into such a strong wind, if you had offered them a six, maybe even seven point deficit at half time they’d have snapped your hand off. Sarsfields on the other hand, amounted 2-5 in the first ten minutes of play, 1-5 of which was unanswered, before they even shot their first wide.
Tracey Lawlor followed up her goal with a point shortly after, before Sarsfields claimed their third goal in the opening quarter of an hour through Ciara Burke to push their lead to fourteen points.
Killoe kept in touch with a well-taken point from Sharon Tracey, but Sarsfields continued to attack at will and notched a futher three points from Lawlor (2) and Dunne as the half approached the final ten minutes.
Killoe pulled another point back in the final minutes of the half through Beany Hackett, but a Ciara Burke point right before the half-time whistle ensured that Sarsfields led by sixteen points at the interval on a scoreline of 3-10 to 0-3, with Sarsfields due to play with the aid of a gale force wind behind their backs in the second half.
Laura-Marie Maher restarted the scoring three minutes in with her second of the day, before Killoe hit-back almost immediately through a Hackett free to give them a glimmer of hope in the half to come.
Any notion of a Killoe fightback was shortly put to bed as they failed to score for the following twenty-two minutes, leaving Sarsfields to rack up a stunning 2-9 without reply - on top of an already handsome scoreline of 3-11.
Rachel Williams came off the bench to fire 1-1; Tracey Lawlor added a further three points to bring her tally to 1-6 for the day, while Lorna O’Sullivan claimed their fourth goal just thirty seconds after being introduced.
Killoe kept fighting until the end and found a consolation goal three minutes from time as Beany Hackett provided the final touch, bringing her tally to 1-3 of Killoe’s 1-4, but it was little too late as Sarsfields held out for a twenty-eight point victory.
Scorers: Tracey Lawlor 1-6 (0-2 frees), Ciara Burke and Clare Conlon 1-3 each, Rachel Williams 1-1, Lorna O’Sullivan 1-0, Meaghan Dunne 0-3, Laura-Marie Maher 0-2, Hazel O’Connor and Mags McEvoy 0-1 each
Team: Ciara O’Loughlin; Amy Grehan, Jenny McEvoy, Laura Peake; Mags McEvoy, Emma McEvoy, Alison McEvoy; Joyce Dunne, Olwyn Farrell; Meaghan Dunne, Ciara Burke, Laura-Marie Maher; Rosemary Bermingham, Tracey Lawlor, Clare Conlon. SUBS: Rachel Williams for Olwyn Farrell; Lorna O’Sullivan for Meaghan Dunne; Hazel O’Connor for Ciara Burke; Daphne Behan for Laura Peake; Niamh Williams for Clare Conlon.
Scorers: Beany Hackett 1-3 (0-1 free), Sharon Tracey 0-1
Team: Derval Murphy; Fiona Toher, Kathryn Lynch, Muireann Mulcahy; Fiona Byrne, Catherine Carrigy, Niamh Devaney; Edel Quinn, Fiona Fox; Alison Kenny, Anne Marie Bratten, Anna McDonnell; Ciara Keogh, Beany Hackett, Sharon Tracey. SUBS: Mary Reynolds for Fiona Byrne; Emma Dorris for Niamh Devaney.
Referee: James Flood (Wexford)