LADIES GAA | Louth Ladies book their place in semis with win over Limerick

LIDL National Ladies League Division Four
Louth Ladies 2–5 Limerick

Louth Ladies booked their place in the Division Four semi-finals of the LIDL National Ladies Football League after a four-point win over Limerick on Monday afternoon.

The unavailability of a venue in the Wee County meant that the Reds had to concede home advantage and play the game at O’Dwyer’s GFC in Balbriggan but Micheal McKeown’s side still had enough about them to run out well-deserved winners.

Despite making seven changes to the team that beat Derry in their previous outing, Louth laid the foundations for this win in the opening half as they took a three point lead into the break despite playing against the breeze.

On a cold blustery day, it took some time for both teams to get into their stride and eight minutes had elapsed before the game had its first score when Mairead Kavanagh pointed for Limerick.

Louth midfielder Rebecca Carr won possession from the restart and after travelling some 40 yards, passed to Lauren Boyle who found Emma McArdle in space and the teenage St Brides player fired low into the corner of the net from an acute angle.

Boosted by that goal, Louth began to dominate and were unlucky not to add to their lead with Boyle dropping an effort short before Susan Byrne shot narrowly wide after a spell of good passing involving five red shirts.

The St Kevin’s player then found herself on the receiving end of a very dangerous tackle from Niamh Ryan which resulted in the Limerick defender being sent to the sin-bin.

Boyle hit the Wee County’s first point of the day in the 18th minute after Sinead Woods did well to intercept a Limerick attack.

The latter stages of the half was more evenly contested with Catriona Davis hitting a brace for the Treaty County while Susan Byrne did likewise for Louth, sending them in 1–3 to 0–3 in front at the break.

McKeown’s side began the second-half impressively and added points from Carr and Byrne in response to a solitary reply from Davis.

The game’s decisive score arrived in the 39th minute when a superb pass by Sinead Woods found Rebecca Carr in space and the Geraldines star — who only returned to action recently after almost a year out with a troublesome Achillies tendon injury — took a few strides before floating a brilliant shot from 30 yards high into the net, 2–5 to 0–5.

Limerick enjoyed most of the possession in the remaining 20 minutes but could only muster two points, both frees from Davis, as Louth held out for their fourth win in five games to bank a place in the semi-finals.

LOUTH LADIES: Una Pearson; Shannen McLaughlin, Rachel Kane, Sarah Englishby; Roisin Osborne, Ceire Nolan, Michelle McArdle; Sinead Woods, Rebecca Carr (1–0); Aoife Russell, Susan Byrne (0–3), Rebecca Howell; Lauren Boyne (0–2), Leanne Sharkey, Emma McArdle (1–0).

LIMERICK: Karen O’Dwyer, Kristine Reidy, Clodagh McGrath, Megan O’Shea, Shauna Ryan, Niamh Ryan, Cathy Mee, Loretta Hanley, Caroline Hickey, Kate Geary,Mairead Kavanagh (0–1), Olivia Giltenane, Kate Kennedy, Catriona Davis (0–6), Cliodhna Ni Cheallaigh.

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