LADIES GAA | Geraldines off to a winning start as St Kevin’s are left frustrated by the woodwork

Halpenny Travel Louth Ladies Senior Championship Group Two
St Kevin’s 0–9 Geraldines 4–7

Helen Ryan of the Geraldines. PICTURE: WARREN MATTHEWS

This Halpenny Travel Senior Championship Group Two encounter in Philipstown was another very tight game in all aspects but the score and St Kevin’s might well have claimed victory but for the intervention of the woodwork on four separate occasions.

The game opened at a frantic pace with Katie Matthews firing over from a Paula Murray pass in the first minute for the Kevin’s.

The Geraldines replied within a minute with a goal from Roisin Soraghan after good work from Fionnuala Cafferty and Sandra Lynch to keep the move flowing.

The Haggardstown side quickly followed that up with a point from Ciara O’Connor after a quick interchange with Helen Ryan and Soraghan.

This seemed to fire the Kevin’s into action and they replied with points from county duo Susan Byrne and Paula Murray.

After a lean spell, the Geraldines scored again in the 12th minute when Emma Gartlan played a one-two with Fionnuala Cafferty and fired over from distance.

The Kevin’s took their chance to reply when Eleanor Smyth played the ball forward to Paula Murray, who in turn found Susan Byrne bearing down on goal.

Geraldines goalkeeper Alannah Finn brought off a fine diving save but her parried effort fell again to Byrne with Finn happy to see her stabbed effort go over the bar.

With scores hard to come by, it was the Geraldines who converted next as Sandra Lynch combined with Soraghan to double their lead.

Brian Cafferty’s side moved further ahead with a fine goal from Sandra Lynch who hit the net after collecting a loose ball on the edge of the square following a dangerous free kick by Grainne Finnegan.

The favour was returned a minute later when Lynch fed Finnegan. She fired over, moving the Geraldines two goals in front.

At the other end, the Kevin’s were left to rue three attempts which came back off the woodwork and they were glad to see a pointed 25th minute free from Susan Byrne go over the top.

Paula Murray added a further point a minute later but Sandra Lynch replied immediately for the Geraldines.

St Kevin’s finished the half on top with Susan Byrne unlucky to see a lob over Finn come back off the base of the post. An Aoife Gregory point reduced the deficit to four at the break, 2–5 to 0–7 in favour of the Geraldines.

It took until the eighth minute of the second half for the first score to arrive, Paula Murray pointing from a free before adding another a minute later.

The Geraldines’ first score of the half came from Fionnuala Cafferty who played a give and go with Helen Ryan from a 45 to shoot over from distance.

The Haggardstown side closed off the game in the next two minutes with two goals in quick succession to build up a 4–6 to 0–9 cushion.

Some good build up from defence saw Sinead O’Keefe find Sandra Lynch on the 20 metre line and her flick found Roisin Soraghan who gave Cliodhna Duffy no chance by driving the ball to the back of the net.

Ciara Power won the subsequent kick out and quickly fed Sandra Lynch who piled on the agony for the Kevin’s with another goal.

The game petered out after that with the Geraldines’ final score coming from the boot of Fionnuala Cafferty after sterling play from Eva Hoey and Grainne Finnegan before Paula Murray’s late consolation for the Kevin’s.

GERALDINES: Alannah Finn, Sinead O’Keefe, Ciara Power, Eilis Hand, Amy O’Donoghue, Abbi O’Connor, Megan Scully, Gemma McCrave, Helen Ryan, Emma Gartlan (0–1), Ciara O’Connor (0–1), Grainne Finnegan (0–1), Fionnuala Cafferty (0–2), Sandra Lynch (2–2), Roisin Soraghan (2–0). Subs: Victoria Prendergast for C Power, Nina Slowey for A O’Donoghue, Katie Todd for A O’Connor, Eva Hoey for S Lynch, Lorna Moriarty for R Soraghan.

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