Louth cruised into the semi-final of the Leinster Ladies Football Championship when they proved much too strong for Carlow in Dr Cullen Park on Sunday afternoon, the Reds winning on a 4-19 to 0-3 scoreline.
The Wee County travelled as hot favourites to advance and they justified that tag in a game where the result was never in doubt after the opening quarter.
Kate Flood helped herself to a first half hat-trick while Susan Byrne also found the net to see their side leading by 4-4 to 0-2 at the break.
Although Louth didn’t manage to add any further goals in the second half they scored almost at will as the home side offered no real resistance.
Despite the eventual result, it was Carlow who started the better and took the lead inside the second minute with the first point of the game.
However, Louth’s response was immediate as Kate Flood ran 40m before sending a superb low shot to the corner of the net.
In the sixth minute Susan Byrne added a second goal with another well taken effort to make it 2-0 to 0-1.
Carlow were enjoying a lot of possession during this spell and had four efforts for points go wide, and came very close as Edel Headon did well to get by two defenders only to see her attempt at goal go narrowly the wrong side of the post.
The Wee County began to get a grip and scored their first point from the fist of Susan Byrne on 17 minutes. There were also points from Kate Flood, Kim Lynch and Michelle McMahon to a solitary reply from Marion Headon.
A superb run by Ciara O’Connor which saw her glide past a number of challenges and her pass found Laura O’Neill who expertly set up Kate Flood who blasted her shot to the Carlow net in the 25th minute.
Just four minutes later it was the St Pat’s star who again who found the net to effectively kill off the game as a contest as her side led by 4-4 to 0-2 at the break.
Louth could afford to introduce a number of subs for the second half including Gillian McDonnell and the experienced Anne Marie Murphy who both contributed points in the opening minutes of the half.
In what was a very one-sided second half, the visitors added points through Ciara O’Connor, Rosanna Heeney, Susan Byrne, Kate Flood and Aine McGee as Louth ran out winners by 28 points.
While it took Louth ten minutes to shake off the cobwebs once they got into their stride there was no stopping them, and there was some very encouraging signs for tougher tests to come
The reward for the winners is a home tie against Wexford in Stabannon on Sunday next at 3pm.
In what was a good team performance from Louth, Kate Flood and Ciara O’Connor were very impressive, while Marie O’Connell stood out on her debut for the county.
It was a real boost for the Wee County to have Flood back after injury, while Gillian McDonnell made a welcome return as did Anne Marie Murphy who illustrated her class following a year out.
LOUTH: Una Pearson; Emer Brennan, Marie O’Connell, Aine McGee (0-1); Patricia Marmion, Anne Marie Lynch, Michelle McMahon (0-1); Grace Lynch, Rosanna Heeney (0-3); Kim Lynch (0-1), Ciara O’Connor (0-2), Jenny McGuinness; Susan Byrne (1-3), Kate Flood (3-3), Laura O’Neill. Subs: Anne Marie Murphy (0-3) for L O’Neill, Gillian McDonnell (0-1), Lisa Kelly for E Brennan, Katie Ann Holcroft for J McGuinness, Maura Lynch (0-1) for G Lynch.