Roche Emmets captured the Louth Ladies Minor Championship title with an impressive win over the Dowdallshill/Cooley combination on Sunday afternoon to make it four titles in succession.
The game in St Brigid’s Park was effectively decided after a blistering opening half display by the Faughart girls who led by 14 points at one stage.
Although the Hill/Cooley side fought back with two late goals to trail by just eight at the break, they never really looked capable of completing the comeback as Roche were always in control in the second half.
The opening exchanges gave little indication of what was to come as Shauna Finn opened the scoring for Roche only for Eibhlin Rice to level matters inside the first five minutes.
However, after Aoife Halligan restored the Roche lead with a point on seven minutes, her side took total control of the game.
In the ninth minute Halligan went on a great 40 yard run and after the referee played a good advantage, she sent a fine shot into the roof of the net to put her side 1-2 to 0-1 in front. By the 14th minute, Jenny McCourt and Shauna Finn (2) had added points to stretch the gap to seven points.
Just at the end of the first quarter, it got even better for the winners as Jenny McCourt fired in a great goal to make it 2-5 to 0-1.
The Hill/Cooley girls got a point back through Eibhlin Rice on 17 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to inspire a comeback as Fionnuala Begley pointed for Roche before the third goal came from Maria Dawe on 29 minutes. When Shauna Finn added another point in the 30th minute her side had built up a 3-7 to 0-2 advantage.
However, the combination side did give themselves some chance with two goals in injury time, both expertly taken by full-forward Eibhlin Rice to make it 3-7 to 2-2 at the break.
After Jenny McCourt landed the first point of the second half, Hill/Cooley almost had another goal but this time Rice saw her effort go inches wide.
Jennifer McCourt pointed three frees before the 47th minute with Rice replying for her side to leave the gap at 3-11 to 2-3.
The result was never in any danger in the final quarter and although Hill/Cooley lost Rice to a yellow card, her side finished on top and had points from Kathy O’Reilly either side of a fine goal from 12-year-old rising star Abbie O’Connor.
After the game, Aoife Halligan was named Player of the Match, while Roche Captain Jenny McCourt accepted the trophy from County Board Development Officer, Frankie Sheerin.
ROCHE EMMETS: Tara McGivern; Kaylagh Cunningham, Fiona Levins, Dearbhla Begley; Fionnuala Begley (0-1), Lauren Meehan, Katie Halligan; Jennifer McCourt (1-4), Aoife Halligan (0-1), Aisling Begley, Shannon Murphy, Caoimhe Treanor; Megan Kelly, Shauna Finn (0-5), Maria Dawe (1-0). Subs: Megan Magill, Dara Savage, Susan McBride, Niamh Murphy, Claire McDonald.
DOWDALLSHILL/COOLEY: Niamh O’Connor; Aoife Traynor, Aideen McGahon, Eimear White; Megan Ferguson, Kerri McGuirk, Ruth Burlingham; Kathy O’Reilly (0-2), Emily Norton; Andrea Ladley, Aine Lynch, Kerrie Ferguson; Kate McAleer, Eibhlin Rice (2-3), Shannon Begley. Subs: Chloe Lynch, Abbie O’Connor (1-0), Sarah McAleer.
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