LADIES GAA | Louth Ladies suffer late, late heartbreak in Limerick

LIDL Ladies National Football League Division Four
Limerick 1–9 Louth Ladies 0–11

Louth Ladies suffered late, late heartbreak in their LIDL National Football League Division Four opener in Limerick on Sunday afternoon as the hosts snatched victory from the jaws of defeat thanks to a couple of frees deep into stoppage time.

Things looked good for Darren Bishop’s side when Kate Flood’s close-range free put them one ahead, 0–11 to 1–7, with the regulation 60 minutes played but Limerick dug deep and left the Reds reeling thanks to a brace of Catriona Davis frees, the second of which came in the 10th minute of additional time!

The fixture was a repeat of last year’s All Ireland Junior Championship final which Limerick won at a canter and Louth looked determined to right the wrongs of that day to forget at HQ.

Despite playing against the breeze, Bishop’s side started brightly with early points from Lauren Boyle and Rebecca Carr settling any nerves. The hosts could only manage one score from play in the opening half an hour but four frees from Davis kept them in touch with Flood and Jenny McGuinness adding further scores at the other end to give the Wee County a 0–6 to 0–5 lead at the break.

Cooley Kickhams star Boyle inched Louth further ahead after the restart but the game was turned on its head when Rebecca Delee beat Una Pearson to put Limerick ahead for the first time in the afternoon, 1–5 to 0–7. Boyle and Davis exchanged a brace of points at either end and Louth clawed themselves back on level terms when Susan Byrne marked her return to the inter-county scene with a cool point to leave it all square.

The pendulum looked to have swung in the Reds’ favour when Pearson made a brilliant save to tip Caroline Hickey’s effort against the post and Flood then edged them in front with what looked to be the winning point. John Ryan’s side, however, had the final say and with referee Barry Redmond content to keep play going, Davis showed nerves of steel to get Limerick off to a flying start.

LIMERICK: Marie Lyons; Kristine Reidy, Sarah O’Sullivan, Ava Hartigan; Megan O’Shea, Katie Heelan, Cathy Mee; Loretta Hanley; Caroline Hickey; Cliodhna Ni Cheallaigh, Rebecca Delee (1–1), Roisin Ambrose, Olivia Giltenane, Caitriona Davis (0–8, 8f), Mairead Kavanagh. Subs: Andrea O’Sullivan for C Ni Cheallaigh; Kristy Carroll for Mairead Kavanagh.

LOUTH LADIES: Una Pearson; Eilis Hand, Michelle McMahon, Shannen McLoughlin; Aoife Russell, Ceire Nolan, Sinead Woods; Eimear Byrne, Aoife Byrne; Rebecca Carr (0–1), Susan Byrne (0–1), Jenny McGuinness (0–1); Lauren Boyle (0–6), Kate Flood (0–2, 1f), Ciara Woods. Subs: Niamh Rice for J McGuinness; Aimee McNally for C Woods; Deirbhile Osborne for E Hand; Rachel McNally for R Carr.

REFEREE: Barry Redmond (Wexford).

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