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Sunday 17 December 2017

Loreto make good start against mighty Leo's

LORETO WEXFORD began their Leinster 'A' Senior football championship campaign on Tuesday last in O'Hanrahan Park, Carlow. Many of the Loreto team were involved in last year's Leinster 'A' Shield victory and were pitted against the current Leinster 'A' champions, St. Leo's of Carlow.

The Wexford side began the stronger with some early scores from the tenacious Julie Coakley, Leanne Moore (free), Niamh Crosbie and Eleanor Kehoe. St. Leo's came back with two scores, leaving it at 0-3 to 0-2.

Then Loreto began to take a grip on the game with a break coming from the energetic Aisling Cronin which led to space opening for corner-forward Aisling Kelly, and she fired brilliantly into the roof of the net from close range. Further points from Julie Coakley (two) and Leanne Moore stretched Loreto's advantage. The half ended with a long-range Marie-Claire Morrissey effort dropping short and squeezing in under the crossbar to leave Loreto leading by 2-8 to 0-3 at the break.

As expected, St. Leo's came flying out of the blocks after the re-start, and kicked the first score with a fine long-range effort. Julie Coakley replied but then St. Leo's got the goal they were searching for to kick-start their comeback.

They pressurised the Loreto back line but couldn't breach them thanks to three fine saves from Blackwater's Aine Wright and some fine defensive displays from Róisín Kavangh, Ellen Barrett, Laura Ross, Rebeeca Stafford, Shauna Murphy and the influential Ciara Corrigan who restricted St. Leo's to longrange efforts.

Loreto made five changes in the second-half with Aisling Berry, Martha Rochford (0-2), Amy Cardiff, Aisling Kavanagh and Julie Barry slotting in to keep the momentum of the first-half going. Loreto finished the stronger with two fine scores from Aisling Cronin and fullback Shauna Murphy who found her way up to the other end of the pitch to cap off a first victory over St. Leo's at Senior level in many years.

The team will now play Coláiste Iosagáin of Stillorgan in their second group game on Friday next, October 19, at 12 noon with a venue still to be decided. Hopefully a further victory in this fixture will guarantee safe passage into the latter stages of the competition.

Panel: Aine Wright, Aisling Kelly, Aisling Berry (Blackwater), Shauna Murphy, Ciara Corrigan, Hannah Duggan, Megan Smith, Sinéad Moore (Shelmalier), Ellen Barrett, Marie-Claire Morrissey, Eleanor Kehoe, Amy Cardff, Aisling Cronin (St. Martin's), Leanne Moore, Róisín Kavanagh, Niamh Crosbie, Aisling Kavanagh, Rebecca Stafford, Martha Rochford, Fiona Bennett (St. Anne's), Julie Barry, Ellie O'Connor (Kilmore), Niamh O'Gorman, Michelle Rowe (Taghmon-Camross), Laura Ross and Julie Coakley (St. Fintan's).

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