A 62nd minute goal from Sheila Brady was enough to give Roscommon victory over Kildare in Division 3 of the Lidl National Football League in St.Conleths Park.
Kildare played some marvellous attacking football at times and led 2-9 to 0-7 with twenty minutes to go on the back of a pair of Ellen Dowling goals but the introduction of Sheila Brady at half-time really turned the game in Roscommon's favour.
It was all going swimmingly for Kildare until the 51st minute when they gave away a penalty and Rebecca McGuirk in goal was sin binned and after Brady stuck away the kick and with a gale force wind at their backs they kept coming at Kildare.
Brady scored 2-2 in total with the penalty and the stoppage time effort proving enough to get her side over the line and maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign.
Its a game Kildare can definitley feel hard done by in though as referee Stephen McNulty quite strangely penalised them on at least two occasions for apparently intimidating opponents when they were shouting words such as block, block, block to their teammates and vital scores resulted in the frees for Roscommon.
Kildare made a couple of late changes to the named team with Amy Horan and Ellen Dowling coming in for Louise Scully and Mikaela McKenna respectively.
Neasa Dooley was player of the match in Kildare’s league opener and she continued that type of form at the beginning of the game with a well taken point in the first minute after she was found in space by Ellen Dowling.
Roscommon responded with a Laura Fleming free but after Molly Price squandered a decent opportunity for goal, Daniel Moynihan’s side soon found the net.
A long ball into the square caused condensation in the Roscommon rearguard and the ball eventually got into the hands of Ellen Dowling after a mistake and the Suncroft star made no mistake in placing a shot into the empty net.
Immediately after the goal Molly Price rattled a shot off the post but she was fouled in the process of shooting and Lara Curran converted the free as a result to give Kildare a 1-2 to 0-1 lead.
Rebecca Finan hit back with a free for Roscommon but five points in a row from Dowling, Dooley, Price, Curran and Orlaith Sullivan gave Kildare an eight point advantage entering the final few minutes of the half with Price and Curran’s efforts from play particularly striking.
Roscommon got two points before the interval with Fleming and Finan getting their second points of the half but Kildare were playing with the aid of a significant breeze and they brought a 1-8 to 0-4 lead into the break after Lara Curran got her first point from play when she stormed upfield before taking a nice score.
Rebecca Finan scored two frees in the opening half for Roscommon and she was on target again from a placed ball at the beginning of the second half but the Rossies were soon rocked by a second Kildare goal.
Wing back Trina Duggan made great ground out on the wing before picking out a pin point pass to Dowling and she made no mistake in powering a shot past Helena Cummins in the Roscommon goal.
Roscommon responded with a brace of frees from Finan before a Lara Curran score crept Kildare into a 2-9 to 0-7 lead but they would then go scoreless for a critical ten minute period where Roscommon took control.
The overall turning point in the game arrived in the 51st minute when Siobhan Tully was fouled by Kildare goalkeeper Rebecca McGuirk and a penalty was awarded.
Influential sub Sheila Brady slotted home the spot kick while McGuirk was given a yellow card and sin binned for her actions.
The penalty was Amy Heffernan’s first involvement in the game as she took her place in goal when Ellen Dowling was taken off and the result of being down to 14 really affected the hosts with Roscommon having all the momentum.
Kildare’s discipline was also letting them down with frees from Finan and Brady getting the visitors within two points after a Lara Curran free stemmed the flow.
Kildare were holding on for dear life near the end though and Roscommon were within a solitary score after efforts from Brady and Finan found the target.
Sub Jenny Higgins had a glorious chance to level the game for Roscommon but instead of taking a point she went for goal and could only find the side-netting.
The vital goal did eventually come though as Brady added her second goal in the 62nd minute when she cooly slotted home on the back of a flowing team move.
Eight minutes of added time were played but Kildare were unable to find the crucial goal as Roscommon held on for the two point victory.
Kildare will play Wicklow away in two weeks time in their next game.
Roscommon: Helena Cummins; Honor Ennis, Sinead Kenny, Niamh Feeney, Shauna Bannon, Joanne Cregg, Roisin Wynne, Aine Ryan, Laura Fleming 0-2 (0-1f), Katie Daly, Lisa Flynn, Sorcha Bruen, Siobhan Tully, Rebecca Finan 0-8 (0-8fs), Louise Brady.
Subs used: Sheila Brady 2-2 (0-1f) for L.Brady h-t, Rachel Brady for Ryan 40 mins, Jenny Higgins for Flynn 45 mins, Grainne Lohan for Bannon 59 mins.
Kildare: Rebecca McGuirk; Rachel Cribbin, Rose Mernagh, Shauna Kendrick, Amy Horan, Lara Gibert, Trina Duggan, Sarah Munnelly, Grace Clifford, Lara Curran 0-5 (0-4fs), Aoife Rattigan, Molly Price 0-1, Orlaith Sullivan 0-1(0-1f), Neasa Dooley 0-2, Ellen Dowling 2-1.
Subs used: Lauren Kelly for Sullivan 40 mins, Louise Scully for Horan 43 mins, Amy Heffernan for Dowling 50 mins, Claire Sullivan for Mernagh 53 mins, Mikaela McKenna for Rattigan 58 mins, Eadaoin Connolly for Kendrick 65 mins.
Ref: Stephen McNulty (Wicklow)
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