Roscommon Ladies latest news

Our Ward Brothers Intermediate Ladies opened their Lidl National League campaign with a good win against Offaly at Cappincur on Sunday last on a score line of 4-11 to 1-13. In what was a great advertisement for ladies football once Roscommon got their noses in front early in the first half they held on right throughout the remainder of the game but there were times when Offaly got very close but could not quite get level or ahead and Roscommon showed great character to eventually win out comfortably in the end by seven points.

Offaly started the better with two early frees from their outstanding centre forward Roisin Egan and Roscommon were showing early nerves and some poor decision making in front of goal. Indeed it was a full five minutes before Laura Fleming pointed from play, this was followed quickly by another nice point from play from Jennifer Higgins. Suddenly Roscommon had settled and had a grip on proceedings. They pilled forward and goaled through Natalie McHugh in the tenth minute. Offaly responded with their first point from play from the impressive Mairead Daly but Roscommon weren’t willing to let up on the pressure they were now mounting and two quick goals in succession from Gillian Dufficy and Fleming give them a firm grip on proceedings. Offaly to their credit never gave up and ticked over points from Egan (2) and Daly left them nine adrift and then with clock heading nearer half time they (Offaly) got a vital goal from Helen Hensey to leave a little doubt in the Roscommon girls at half time. Score at the break Roscommon 3-5 Offaly 1-5.

The second half started in a similar manner with Offaly reducing the arrears with two early points again from Daly and Egan. Roscommon again rallied and answered with two points of their own from McHugh and Fleming, but then Offaly found their best patch of the game with points from Daly (3) and Egan to Roscommon sole reply from McHugh to suddenly leave only a kick of the ball (3 points) between the sides. Indeed it was during this period that Roscommon’s Aisling MacAuliffe received a yellow card to leave the Rossies with only 14 players for ten minutes. It was all the home side at this stage and you could feel the tension among the travelling supporters. Then in the 51st minute the games pivotal moment arrived when Roscommon midfielder Joanne Cregg broke out of a group in midfield and travelled a good forty yards before unleashing a pile driver to the roof of the net to suddenly leave Roscommon six points ahead again. Offaly were rattled and Roscommon added another point through Higgins to leave seven in it. Offaly kept plugging away and pointed through Claire O Brien and Daly, but Roscommon were not relenting now and answered both scores with points of their own both coming from the impressive McHugh to leave Roscommon deserving winners on a score line of 4-11 to Offaly’s 1-13.

This sets up the Rosette’s nicely for the tough campaign ahead, while they have lots to work on the will be delighted with the hunger and appetite for goals in particular. All in all a good start to the league and a valuable two points.

Roscommon: 1. Karin Roddy Western Gaels, 2. Caroline Gunning Oran, 3. Bronagh McHugh Strokestown, 4. Honor Ennis St Ciaran’s 5. Aisling MacAuliffe Strokestown, 6. Amanda McLoone St Faithleach’s, 7. Sinéad Kenny St Croan’s, 8. Joanne Cregg (1-0) Michael Glavey’s, 9. Laura Fleming (1-2)St Ciaran’s, 10. Rachel Brady Tulsk, 11. Gillian Dufficy (1-1)Tulsk, 12. Jenny Higgins (0-2)Western Gaels, 13. Rebecca Finan (0-1) Éire Óg, 14. Natalie McHugh (1-4) Kilglass Gaels, 15. Caoilionn Beirne (0-1)Tulsk, Subs used: Sheila Brady Michael Glavey’s for Finan, (55mins). Alice Kelly Kilbride for Brady (55mins), Tara Taylor Kilbride, for Fleming (60mins)

Key Moment: Creggs goal. It was just the tonic Roscommon needed when the game seemed to be turning Offaly’s way.

Player of the Match: Mairead Daly Offaly, this was a close call as Daly and her half forward partner Roisin Egan were outstanding for the home side. Equally on the Roscommon side Laura Fleming, Gillian Dufficy had strong periods and Natalie McHugh and Caoilionn Beirne were very impressive throughout.

Next up for the girls is a though first home fixture against Tipperary in Johnstown this Sunday at 2pm. Then it’s away to Meath on the 19th February, home to Down on the 25th February, next up is two away fixtures to Leitrim on the 18th March and Limerick on the 26th March, before finally wrapping up the group by facing Wexford at home on the 2nd April.