Kildare hold firm to claim four point win over Sligo

TG4 Intermediate Football Championship, Group 1, Round 2

Rose B O'Donoghue

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Rose B O'Donoghue

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Kildare hold firm to claim four point win over Sligo

Team mates Siobhán O'Sullivan (No 8) and Grace Clifford (No 9) both from Eadestown challenging for the ball. Photo: Austin Crowe

By Donal Fitzpatrick, Kildare LGFA PRO. 

Photos Austin Crowe

Kildare 3.09  Sligo  1.11

No 11 Neasa Dooley and sub Emily Birch, Leixlip 

A 1.04 tally from Neasa Dooley (No 11 above) helped Kildare secure a second win in Round 2 of this year's All-Ireland Intermediate Championship against Sligo played at Kilcoyne Park, Tubbercurry Sunday afternoon. 

The weather was more like a wintry November day than one would expect for July with wind and heavy rain with the latter having an effect on the playing surface for players leaving underfoot  conditions slippery and ball handling difficult. 

Sligo got off to the better start with points from Emma Kevany and Elaine O' Reilly grabbing Sligo's second, the first of a personal 9 point haul for the Yeats' county sharp-shooter.  Kildare had a few opportunities to get on the scoreboard early but just couldn't find the range with shots dropping short into the keepers hands against a stiff breeze. 

Kildare's opening score came via Neasa Dooley with a goal as she blasted home – thus lifting raindrops that had settled on the goal nets and wrapping both umpires in a watery mist! This was followed with Kildare's second goal, a fortunate one  in that Aoife Rattigan's shot was  fumbled from net minder Noelle Gormley's hands to roll over the line for the Lilywhites. 

Kildare weren't to score again for the remainder of the half.  Sligo pointed thrice with two frees from O'Reilly and a point from Laura Ann Laffey sandwiched in between. 

Orlaith Sullivan then missed an easy looking free in front of the posts from the 21, dropping the ball short for the keeper to gather easily. The next passage of play saw the home side finish the half with 14 players as Sinead Naughton was sin-binned for a high challenge on Claire Sullivan. Sligo brought the game level with another pointed free from O Reilly leaving the half time score Sligo 0.06, Kildare 2.00.

Kildare's inability to score points in the first half against the wind was righted at the start of the second period when Siobhan O'Sullivan split the posts for the first of 9 Kildare points. Sligo replied with frees from the ever efficient O' Reilly and sandwiched in between Neasa Dooley with the first of her points. Dooley got the game's best point with a wonderful solo effort running from deep on the left, being chased by Sligo players before cutting into the right (without stopping) and then swung her foot to land the point. Orlaith Sullivan, Dooley and Ellen Dowling added more points to push Kildare's lead to 6 points. 

Sligo rallied led by O'Reilly who pointed again and set up Ciara Gorman for a goal, her shot coming  through a mass of players leaving Kildare net-minder  Dervla McGinn unsighted and rooted to the spot. O'Reilly pointed again for the home side leaving a point between the sides heading into the final 10 minutes.  

Sligo were piling on the pressure in search of an equaliser but the Kildare girls stood firm, Daniel Moynihan's side having learnt from their performances in the NFL where they lost games late in play.

This time there was no panic. Kildare defended well and overturned Sligo on numerous occasions. Ellen Dowling pointed a free and the icing on the cake came when Neasa Dooley became provider for Lara Curran to find her self one on one with Gormley with the Milltown stalwart striking low for the goal to rapturous applause from the travelling support in the stand. Sligo did have the last say in the game but O'Reilly's point for the home side wasn't enough as Kildare ran out 4 point winners on a full time score Kildare 3-09, Sligo 1-11.

Sligo play Limerick next weekend and Kildare welcome the visit of Down. Down bounced back from last week's loss to Sligo with a home win over Limerick. A Kildare win will cement their place as group winners and a place in the quarter finals. Down won't be an easy opponent as we all remember the NFL game early in the year where Kildare scraped over the line with 2 points to spare. 

Full panel, Kildare ladies who defeated Sligo on Sunday, 21 July

“Details on time and venue will be known midweek for that game and we would hope to see a big home show of support on the day” concluded Donal.

Kildare Team: Dervla McGinn, Rachel Cribbin, Lara Gilbert, Shauna Kendrick, Claire Sullivan, Sarah Munnelly, Trina Duggan, Siobhan O Sullivan 0.01, Grace Clifford cpt, Lara Curran 1.00, Neasa Dooley 1.04,Aoife, Rattigan 1.00, Ellen Dowling 0.02 (1F), Orlaith Sullivan 0.02 and Emily Birch. 

Kildare subs: Cliodhna Malone, Molly Aspell, Mikaela McKenna, Emma Carroll, Mollie Dagg, Joanne Deay, Gemma Hartnett, Amy Horan, Haley McCormack, Hazel McLoughlin, Sally Murphy, Lauren Murtagh, Molly Price, Clara Wosser and Rachel Corrigan. 

Kildare subs introduced: Molly Price for Aoife Rattigan, Lauren Murtagh for Ellen Dowling. 

Sligo team: Noelle Gormley, Claire Dunne, Ann Marie Coleman, Jacquie Mulligan Cpt, Nicola Brennan, Bernice Byrne, Kelly Ann Henry, Ruth Goodwin, Laura Ann Laffey 0.01,Sinead Regan, Sinead McTiernan, Sinead Naughton, Elaine O Reilly 0.09(6Fs),Emma Kevany 0.01,Ciara Gorman 1.00 

Sligo subs: Rachel Quigley, Michelle McNamara, Rachel Monaghan, Jemma Brehany, Ciara Gilroy, Lauren Boles, Leah Kelly, Oda Carty, Siobhan Brennan, Louise, Merrick, Emma Hansbury, Una Higgins, Aoife Morrisroe, Lisa Casey, Sarah Reynolds. 

Sligo subs introduced: Michelle McNamara for Ann Marie Coleman, Rachel Monaghan for Sinead McTiernan, Emma Hansbury for Sinead Naughton, Leah Kelly for Emma Kevany, Ciara Gilroy for Michelle McNamara

Referee John Gallagher, Westmeath.