Shels exit Leinster championship
Ladies Football at Haggardstown, Louth
The Shelmalier ladies travelled to Dundalk on Saturday last to take on the home club in the first round of the Leinster ladies football Junior club championship in their impressive facilities at Haggardstown.
Geraldines (Louth) 2-11 Shelmaliers3-07
This was a close and exciting game throughout between two evenly matched teams.
Shelmalier were forced to revamp their county final lineout with the experienced and influential full-back Nikki Scallan and her daughter Megan absent due to holidays in the US.
Centre forward Bridget Curran who had such an influential role in the county final lined out at full-back with Sadbh McCarthy coming into the attack.
Geraldines are the Louth Intermediate champions. Louth are graded as Intermediate for Provincial and All-Ireland club championship purposes.
Their Senior county champions represent the county at Intermediate level whilst their Intermediate champions represent them at Junior level.
Their early pressure lead to a pointed free from Lorna Moriarty but in Shelmaliers first attack Sadbh McCarthy expertly tucked away a half chance to the Louth net after three minutes.
They further extended the lead with the pacy Eleanor Neville pointing after she ran at the Louth defence.
Intercounty midfielder Rebecca Carr who will be lining out for Louth v Scotland in the All-Ireland Junior final on Sunday week pointed which was quickly followed by another from Andrea Lennon to narrow the gap to the minimum.
During a period of Geraldines' supremacy the Shels defence was under severe pressure but with some sterling defending from Mary Cullen, Roisin Tobin, Bridget Curran, Aine Barron and Michelle Harding in particular they prevented the home side from the rewards that their approach play deserved.
They had a let off when Sandra Lynch shot across the face of the goal and wide and Victoria Prendergast escaped the clutches of the visitors defence to slam to the net after 19 minutes.
The Shelmalier response was swift when in a well-worked move saw Leanne Corrigan giving keeper Caoimhe Byrne no chance with a crisp shot.
Shelmalier dominated the rest of the half and created a number of goal chances with Michelle Hearne, Sadbh McCarthy Siobhan Cloake and Fiona Cullen especially prominent.
However a combination of overpassing and poor shooting saw only a fine Niamh Doyle point in an exchange with a Moriarty pointed free as their only reward to leave the score at 2-2 to 1-3 at the interval.
Andrea Lennon and Eimear Curtin had two early points for the home side with Michelle Hearne kicking two long range points for Shels.
Further points from Prendergast and Moriarty tied up the scores by the 38th minute before Niamh Doyle restored Shelmaliers lead after 42.
With Enya Byrne and Geraldine Doolan exerting a greater influence on their flanks, Shels were gaining the upperhand and Hearne extended the lead with yet another excellent point before points from Carr and Eva Hoey tied up the scores after 50 minutes, 1-9 to 2-6. Leanne Corrigan who was causing the home defence problems with her ability to run at them pointed and impressive midfielder Kate Stafford burst through the home defence to shoot low past the keeper after 52 minutes to give the Shels girls a four point lead.
The home side got a reprieve when they were rewarded a penalty after 54 mins following a foul on Lennon and where the referee very harshly sin binned Geraldine Doolan.
Many in attendance questioned the decision as they felt that the corner forward was falling to the ground.
Lorna Moriarty tucked the penalty kick into the bottom corner of the net to give Mary Cullen no chance.
Cullen pulled of a great one handed save shortly afterwards before Rebecca Carr tied up the scores with a point from play after 58 minutes.
With extra time looming, Aine Barron was clearly pushed in the back when going for a ball and the referee awarded a free in when deeming that the forward was fouled in picking up the loose ball.
Sandra Lynch pointed the resultant free after 59 minutes.
The Shels girls pushed forward in an attempt to retrieve the situation and the Louth girls had a goal disallowed following a foul on Cullen before the referee blew his the final whistle to leave the home side winners on a 2-11 to 3-7 scoreline.
Geraldines now go forward to meet the Dublin champions.
Shelmalier: Mary Cullen, Roisin Tobin, Bridget Curran, Aine Barron, Enya Byrne, Michelle Harding, Geraldine Doolan, Kate Stafford 1-0, Eleanor Neville 0-1, Leanne Corrigan 1-1, Fiona Cullen, Siobhan Cloake, Niamh Doyle 0-2, Michelle Hearne 0-3, Sadbh McCarthy1-0. Subs: Gemma Fox for Doyle, Maeve Doyle, Katie McGuire, Amy Doyle, Niamh Potter, Lauren Dempsey
Geraldines: Caoimhe Byrne, Eilis Hand, Roisin Soraghan, Jane Connolly, Megan Scully, Rebecca Carr 0-2, Amy Dalton, Sandra Lynch 0-1, Eimear Curtin 0-1, Katie Todd, Lorna Moriarty, 1-3, Niamh McDermott, Andrea Lennon 0-2, Victoria Prendergast 1-1, Eva Hoey 0-1. Subs: Alannah Finn, Fionnuala Cafferty, Nina Slowey, Liadan McDermott, Ciara McQuillan, Amy O'Donoghue, Isobel Jones, Rachel McArdle, Sorcha McCooey, Laoise Grennan, Eilise Fingleton, Lelia McDonnell, Moya Leavy, Laura Matthews.
Referee: Ciaran Groome (Westmeath)