LADIES GAA | Louth Ladies to meet Limerick in last four after loss to Wicklow

LIDL Ladies National Football League Division Four
Louth Ladies 0–7 Wicklow Ladies 0–12

Louth Ladies will meet Limerick in the LIDL National League Division Four semi-finals after slipping to a five-point defeat to Wicklow on Easter Sunday.

The Wee County went into the game knowing that a win would secure them top spot — and a fixture against fourth placed Antrim in the semis — but they found themselves second best to a Wicklow side who deservedly topped the section with seven wins from as many outings.

A blustery wind made conditions difficult in Stabannon but Louth settled right from the throw-in and they were soon off the mark with Susan Byrne firing over with a couple of fine early scores.

A brace of Laura Hogan frees pulled Wicklow level before Georgina Clavan put them ahead in the 10th minute after Hogan was fouled just outside the Louth 13m line.

Kate Flood dropped one short before Byrne saw an effort drift wide of the target and Wicklow punished Louth with Katie Miley sending a fizzing effort over the bar before Jackie Kinch put her name on the scoresheet with a 15th minute free.

Louth needed a response and they got it through quickfire Flood and Byrne efforts but Wicklow hit back with Hogan and Amy Murphy flashing over with a couple of nicely hit scores to lead by three, 0–7 to 0–4.

The hosts lost Emma Singleton to the sin bin in the 26th minute, the Dowdallshill player very unlucky to pick up a yellow card, but Flood’s second score of the day, this time with a booming free, reduced the arrears before Amy Murphy’s sweet left-foot extended the visitors’ lead back to three at the interval.

Flood got the second-half off to a good start for Louth with another impressive score. Running away from goal, she managed to turn and fire into the breeze but Wicklow tagged on another through Marie Kealy straight after.

The Reds were reduced to 14 again when Deirbhile Osborne was booked for persistent fouling in the 44th minute and Wicklow worked the extra space well with Rose Fagan coming from the back to make it a four-point game, 0–10 to 0–6, with 13 minutes to play.

With Lauren Boyle unavailable, the Reds struggled to make inroads against a well-drilled Wicklow backline but Flood went really close to hitting the afternoon’s first goal when she let fly with a right-footed effort that Kim Connors did well to push behind for a ‘45.

Anxious to try and raise a green flag, Louth passed up a couple of opportunities to go for points and late scores from Amy Murphy and Marie Kealy sealed it for Wicklow before Flood hit a consolation free in stoppage time.

LOUTH LADIES: Una Pearson; Eilis Hand, Rachel Kane, Eimear Murray; Ceire Nolan, Deirbhile Osborne, Emma Singleton; Sinead Woods, Rebecca Carr; Aoife Russell, Susan Byrne (0–3), Paula Murray; Bronagh McGrane, Kate Flood (0–4, 3f), Ruth Hanna. Subs: Michelle McMahon for E Hand, 46 mins; Roisin Kavanagh for S Woods, 50 mins; Emma McArdle for R Hanna, 56 mins; Coirin Rice for U Pearson, 59 mins; Shauna Markey for E Murray, 59 mins; Orla McGeeney for R Carr, 59 mins.

WICKLOW LADIES: Kim Connors; Sarah Hogan, Sarah Jane Winder, Aoife Gillen; Rose Fagan (0–1), Sarah Miley, Alanna Conroy; Niamh McGettigan, Aoife Gorman; Georgina Canavan (0–1), Jackie Kinch (0–1), Laura Hogan (0–3, 2f); Amy Murphy (0–2), Katie Miley (0–1), Marie Kealy (0–3). Subs: Shona O’Connor for R Fagan, 55 mins; Naoise Baker for A Gorman, 56 mins; Clodagh Fox for K Miley, 56 mins.

REFEREE: Jason Corcoran (Kildare).

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