Monday 24 June 2019

Connacht final up next

TG4 Intermediate Championship Connacht Semi Final: Sligo 4-15 Roscommon 3-7

Emma Gallagher

Sligo ladies are through to the Connacht final after a commanding performance in their semi final encounter with Leitrim which sees John O'Hara and David Curran's charges awaiting the winners of the other semi final.

There was only a week in between their League final with Meath before the Connacht semi final in Tourlestrane on Sunday morning but there was certainly no fatigue from Sligo.

Leitrim who had a poor showing in the opening half, looked far more assertive in the second period and scored two late consolation goals to improve the scoreboard but they never looked like threatening the hosts' comprehensive lead.

With Noelle Gormley out injured after the League final it was Drumcliffe/Rosses Point's Rachel Quigley who was minding the net for Sligo and pulled off a number of impressive saves.

Leitrim were playing with the aid of a strong breeze in the opening half but it was Sligo who scored three points on the bounce, Emma Keavney getting the Yeats women off the mark after good work from Katie Walsh, followed by Lauren Boles from play and Walsh with her first point of the morning.

Leitrim got their first point when Carmel McGovern linked up with Michelle Heslin on 8 minutes as the visitors then hit 2 wides before Bronagh O'Rourke added their second point from a free on 11 minutes as a point separated them.

Two minutes later and the ball was in the back of the Leitrim net, Sinead Regan doing excellent work to pass to Keavney who scored.

The next 3 scores all belonged to Sligo, Walsh with her second free before Keavney saw her attempt graze the bar before sailing over, the St Patrick's woman looking for her second goal.

Walsh added her third free after a foul on Bernice Byrne as Sligo were ahead by 1-6 to 0-2.

O'Rouke got Leitrim's third point through a free on 22 minutes, her second, and moments later the visitors threatened on goal.

Heslin and Edel Kelly looked to be heading for goal only good work from Quigley and a Sligo defender thwarted the move.

Ruth Goodwin found the impressive Lisa Casey free and the Eastern Harps woman sent over a fantastic point from play and the corner forward got Sligo's second goal a minute later after brilliant work from Walsh.

Sligo were ahead by 2-7 to 0-3 as Casey added her second point for the hosts, again a sublime pass from Walsh setting her up.

Sligo went into the dressing rooms with a 11 point lead, 2-8 to 0-3, with Leitrim having a mountain to climb for the remaining thirty minutes but in fairness to them they were much more confident on the attack in the second half. Both would finish this half having scored 13 points each, Leitrim with 3-4 and Sligo managing 2-7.

In the first minute of the second half, Vivienne Egan pointed for Leitrim from play. Quigley was called into action as Egan then saw her shot looming close to the Sligo goal with another teammate incoming but the keeper did well.

Sligo added 3 quick points after Casey again was on target, with Boles, Regan and Goodwin all pointing from play as Sligo were now ahead by 14 points on 40 minutes.

Both sides started introducing their bench and Leitrim were given a boost when O'Rourke found the net on 42 minutes, her free lobbing past the keeper. Casey with a fantastic take on a brilliant Boles pass pointed as Sligo went on the attack again. Walsh with a free quickly followed with a goal which the Leitrim keeper tried to save. Although behind by a big margin, Leitrim didn't let their heads drop. Heslin added a point before substitute Shauna McGrath, who was only introduced, found the net with 8 minutes to go. Sligo were then reduced to 14 after Regan was sent to the sin bin, with Quigley saving a goal chance from Heslin as the game entered its final stages.

Substitute Sarah Reynolds passed to fellow substitute Una Higgins who got Sligo's fourth goal, Walsh following up with a fantastic point from play on 59 minutes as they led by 4-15 to 2-5. Leitrim found the net again through substitute Sarah McLoughlin with Aine Heslin adding two more points from play deep into injury time as Sligo ran out winners by 11 points.

SLIGO: R Quigley, A Morrisroe, M McNamara, J Mulligan (C), N Brennan, B Byrne, A M Coleman, R Goodwin, S Regan, L Boles, C Gorman, S Naughton, K Walsh, E Keavney, L Casey.

Subs used: C Dunne for Morrisroe (24), G O'Loughlin for Byrne (40), S Reynolds for Goodwin (44), U Higgins for Keavney (49), L Kelly for Gorman (57).

Scorers: K Walsh 1-5 (4f), L Casey 1-4, E Keavney 1-2, Una Higgins 1-0, L Boles (0-2), S Regan 0-1, R Goodwin 0-1.

LEITRIM: M Monaghan, C Owens, L Maguire, K Connolly, A Heslin, S O'Rourke, A Gilmartin, E O'Dowd, E Bruen, C LeGuen, M Heslin, E Kelly, C McGovern, V Egan, B O'Rourke.

Subs used: E Shanley for Owens (22), A Sweeney for Connolly (43), P Forde for B O'Rourke (51), S McGrath for S O'Rourke (51), S McLoughlin for McGovern (54).

Scorers: B O'Rourke 1-2 (2f), S McGrath 1-0, S McLoughlin 1-0, M Heslin (0-2), A Heslin 0-2, V Egan 0-1.

REFEREE: M Kenny (Mayo).

Sligo Champion