Win and loss for Loreto
The Loreto (Wexford) Senior ladies' football team had mixed fortunes in their first two engagements in the Leinster 'A' championship recently, recording a big win over St. Leo's (Carlow) but losing heavily to Scoil Chríost Rí (Portlaoise), the holders.
Loreto (Wexford) 9-6, St. Leo's 1-6: Loreto made a fantastic start to their season as they aim to reach their fourth provincial showdown in a row.
St. Leo's got off to a good start by scoring a point but it was followed ten minutes later by star forward Emily Coakley grabbing a goal to get Wexford off the mark.
There was a lull in the scoring for a short period as both teams put up a great defence. However, 20 minutes in, St. Leo's garnered two points to draw level.
Goals from Niamh Bennett and Emily Coakley though left Loreto with a healthy 4-0 to 0-4 half-time lead.
Loreto resumed very well with scores from Coakley, Bennett, Cathy O'Connor, Lauren Cousins, and Niamh Buckley with a fisted point. Strong performances from backs such as Ciara O'Riordan, captain Lauren Carty and Enya Byrne ensured Leo's chances of scoring were few and far between, while Sadbh McCarty dealt with anything that came her way in the Loreto goal.
Although they did score a late penalty, it was not to be St. Leo's day, as Loreto walked away victorious with eight goals to spare.
Team: Sadbh McCarthy; Kate Stafford, Lauren Carty (capt.), Caroline Kavanagh; Ciara O'Riordan, Clare O'Gorman, Enya Byrne; Niamh Buckley (0-1), Emma Cousins; Eimear Buckley, Emily Coakley (5-1), Lauren Cousins (0-1); Niamh Bennett (2-2), Cathy O'Connor (1-1), Rachel Cantwell. Subs. - Katie McGuire (1-1) for E. Buckley, Jai-Keira McNamara for Cantwell, Emma Beaver for N. Buckley, Clare Barry for Byrne, Niamh Berry for Stafford, also Sarah Sweetman, Gillian Banville, Caitríona Roche, Katie Hannigan, Aoibhínn Butler, Ruth Rochford, Clodagh Dee, Emma Codd, Becky Hamilton.
Scoil Chríost Rí (Portlaoise) 5-12, Loreto (Wexford) 2-4: Loreto (Wexford) and Scoil Chríost Rí (Portlaoise) met again in a repeat of last year's Leinster Post Primary Schools 'A' final.
In the neutral surroundings of the Netwatch Cullen Park, Carlow back pitch, Portlaoise made the better start and showed just why they are reigning champions. Aided by a strong wind, they burst out of the blocks and raced into an early 0-3 to nil lead.
This was followed up by two goals, one from the penalty spot, as they led by 2-8 to no score at the interval. No blame could be put on Sadbh McCarthy who made some fantastic saves to keep Loreto within touching distance at half-time.
Loreto hadn't given up hope and started the second-half showing the determination that got them to last year's final. Within minutes of the re-start they had registered 1-1, thanks to great work from Lauren Cousins in midfield and clever forward play by her Kilmore clubmate, Cathy O'Connor, to finish for a green flag.
That's as close as it got for Loreto though as they traded scores for the remainder of the half but couldn't get within touching distance. Emily Coakley did register a second goal but Portlaoise followed it up with their fifth as they ran out winners on a scoreline of 5-12 to 2-4.
Team: Sadbh McCarthy; Kate Stafford, Lauren Carty (capt.), Caroline Kavanagh; Ciara O'Riordan, Clare O'Gorman, Enya Byrne; Niamh Buckley, Emma Cousins; Eimear Buckley, Emily Coakley (1-1), Lauren Cousins (0-2); Katie Hannigan, Cathy O'Connor (1-1), Rachel Cantwell. Subs. - Katie McGuire for Byrne, Sarah Sweetman for Cantwell, Emma Codd for O'Riordan, Aoibhínn Butler for Coakley, Gillian Banville for E. Cousins, Caitríona Roche, Clare Barry, Ruth Rochford, Clodagh Dee, Emma Codd, Becky Hamilton, Niamh Berry, Niamh Bennett, Jai-Kiera McNamara.