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Laois beat Dubsto reach final

IN her programme notes, the Camogie President, Aileen Lawlor, hailed the deeds of the Irish rugby women's team and Ireland's U19 female soccer side.

Sunday's Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Junior Premier Championship semi-final also earned high praise.

Laois beat Dublin, 3-12 to 3-4 at Geraldine Park, Athy. They'll play Down in the final.

The Kildare climate had a touch of winter about it. It was grey and cold. Raining too. There was a stiff breeze. The woolly hats were back out.

There wasn't a spare seat in the stadium. The terrace hummed under the shed.

The tannoy came over loud and clear. The man on the mike for Midlands 103 summed it up best when he declared: "There's no time to breathe here."

The hour rattled along and it developed into a real battle of the Blues.

Laois had a class act in captain and centre half-forward, Sarah Ann Fitzgerald. She hit 1-10, seven of the points coming from frees.

Their goalkeeper, Laura Dunne, was most accomplished and they have a towering centre half-back in Eimear Delaney.

Dublin's own 'keeper, Stephanie Carthy, had a busy day. She rushed to the game after finishing fourth in the Poc Fada on the Cooley Mountains.

The Dubs didn't spare the pretrol. Young Siobhan Kehoe did many fine things. She wore the number 13 shirt. At one stage during the first period, she was deep in her own half. She is a terrific talent.

Dublin had to show resolve. They conceded a goal within the opening seconds, and they trailed for most of the journey, but two Elaine Gallery goals within seven minutes of the second half had them ahead.

It was Fab Fitz that blasted in that opening goal after she was set up by Olga Parkinson. Laois led 1-7 to 1-4 at the break.

Dublin's goal came from Roisin Collins on 29 minutes as she raced clear and drilled the sliotar low to the left-hand corner at the clubhouse end.

It was Emma Flanagan who opened the window for Gallery's first goal a minute into the restart, and the Dublin skipper then shortened her grip to crack in the second - 3-4 to 1-7 for the Dubs.

Two minutes later, though, Laois replied with their second goal when Fitzgerald's free rebounded off the post into the path of Niamh Dollard.

Laois were to get the next six scores without reply. Fitzgerald converted four frees in succession.

Dollard struck a gem from play before Dawn Mortimer turned on a euro, sprinted clear to get their third goal.


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