The Roscommon Under 14 Ladies Footballers dreams of reaching an All-Ireland Final were dashed by Tipperary in Birr, Co. Offaly, this afternoon.
By Anne Marie O Dowd
The game was played in ideal weather conditions and the pitch was in perfect condition and Tipperary choose to play with the aid of the slight breeze in the first half. It took Tipperary two minutes to get the first score of the game, and were dominant in opening exchanges. In the 11th minute Tipperary’s Ava Fennessy was shown a yellow card which earned her a 10 minute sin bin. It was during this period when Roscommon found their rhythm and played their best football but were unfortunate not to be able to put points on the board during this time.
Tipperary extended their lead and were 0-3 to no score up after 17 minutes. The play moved back and forth and it was not until the 25th minute that Kayleigh Shine secured Roscommon’s first score from a free. Tipperary tagged on another two point to go in at half time leading by 0-5 to 0-1.
Roscommon settle quickest in the second half, with Kayleigh Shine finding range and scoring a point from play in the third minute to narrow the gap to 0-5 to 0-2. Soon after Tipperary ran through the Roscommon defence and scored a goal to increase their lead to 1-5 to 0-2.
Roscommon made a number of substitutions in the 11th minute bringing on Clodagh Ownes and Sheena Kilroe for Rebecca Collins and Edel Beirne. Kayleigh Shine scored another point in the 14th minute to reduce the lead, but Tipperary tagged on another two points to extend the lead again; 1-7 to 0-3.
In the 20th minute a Kayleigh Shine shot hit the Crossbar, and Micheala Keogh latched on to the rebound and sent it to the back of the net reducing the Tipperary lead to four points. This score lifted the crowd, who became vocal and willed Roscommon on. Kayleigh Shine stepped up again with another point reducing the difference to a goal; 1-7 to 1-4.
Tipperary got a free in the 26th minute and further extended their lead. They were then awarded a penalty which the formidable Natasha Munnelly expertly saved from point blank range. Aoife Campbell was replaced by Lauren Gallagher, and soon afterwards Roscommon tagged on another point to again reduce the difference to 3 points. Orla Mullaney was replaced by Cora Naughton.
Tipperary were awarded a further two frees and extended their lead to 1-10 to 1-5 and Roscommon replied with their own pointed free. Seonna Devaney replaced Oonagh Kelly.
On the stroke of full time Tipperary scored another goal, to end the game on a scoreline of 2-10 to 1-6.
This scoreline flattered Tipperary and did not reflect the closeness of the game, or the effort and commitment which the girls and management had put in over the past number of months, together with their parents and supporters who travelled to the game.
Panel: Natasha Munnelly (Kilmore), Rachel Mullingan (Caslerea St Kevins), Chloe McDonnell (St Dominics), Aoife O’Neill (Clann na Gael), Abby Curran (St Brigids), Rebecca Collins (St Brigids), Joanna Regan (Strokestown), Lisa O’Rourke (Castlerea St Kevins), Michaela Keogh (Padraig Pearses), Kayleigh Shine (Clann na Gael), Aoif Campbell (Four Roads), Orla Mullaney (Shannon Gaels), Edel Beire (St Barrys), Oonagh Kelly (Four Roads), Lauren Shanagher (Elphin), Zoe O’Callaghan (Shannon Gaels), Seonna Devaney (Shannon Gaels), Aoife Leonard (Kilbride), Rachel Murray (St Ciarans), Clodagh Owens (Kilgalss Gaels), Holly Martin (St Brigids), Ellen O’Beirne (Kilbride), Lauren Gallagher (St Brigids), Cora Naughton (Ballinameen), Sarah Dolan (St Brigids), Shauna Rogers (Michael Glaveys), Caitlin Surlis (Shannon Gaels), Sheena Kilroe (St Ciarans)
Management: – Noel Rogers (Manager), Martin Murphy, Sinead Keenehan, Jenny Murphy. Physio:- Gerry O’Keefe.
The team and Management wish to thank sponsor Mulligan’s Menswear.