Louth Ladies have qualified for the semi-finals of the All-Ireland Junior Championship after a comprehensive victory over Derry in Stabannon on Saturday afternoon.
Louth were never troubled during this encounter and finished the match with a 48 point winning margin.
Scale of victory
The scale of the victory could have been even greater but Louth appeared to take pity on their opponents and put a number of second half goal opportunities over the bar.
Louth had their first effort of the match with just 20 seconds on the clock but the ball sailed wide of the post.
Louth hit two further wides and drew a great save from the Derry keeper before registering their first score of the match in the 3rd minute with Jenny McGuinness firing to the back of the net.
60 seconds later and the green flag was raised again by McGuinness as she finished off a good move involving Vikki McGinn, Ann Marie Murphy and Aine McGee. Louth added four points in the next four minutes with McGuinness, Grace Lynch, Kate Flood and Sandra Lynch all finding the target.
Flood scored Louth’s third goal from the penalty spot after McGinn had been fouled as she looked to add her own name to the scoresheet.
Two more points from Flood and one from S. Lynch were added before Derry got through the Louth backline for the first time in the match on the 14 minute mark but Katy Holly’s effort rebounded off the crossbar and away from danger.
Louth went straight back up the field and Laura O’Neill finished to the back of the net after more good work from McGinn, putting Louth 4-07 to 0-0 ahead at the end of the first quarter.
Flood added 1-01 and McGuinness scored her third goal before Flood was forced off after picking up a slight knock. S. Lynch and McGuinness added further points before Derry registered their first score of the match in the 26th minute from a free-kick 20 yards out straight in front of the posts.
Just before half time Ciara O’Connor crashed a shot off the crossbar but points from O’Neill and Murphy either side of a goal from S. Lynch meant Louth went in at half time with a 7-12 to 0-1 lead.
Louth took to the field under instruction from the management to score points only in the second half, but this instruction was ignored by O’Connor who had the ball in the back of the Derry net after just 20 seconds.
In the second minute of the half Derry doubled their tally with another point from a free kick.
Derry then hit their first wide of the match before O’Connor added another goal for Louth.
McGuinness (0-2) and O’Neill added to their personal tallies before Derry got their first score of the match from play ten minutes into the second half.
The last twenty minutes were played out with Louth carving open the Derry backs at will and adding 10 more points to their tally, McDonnell (0-3), McGuinness (0-2), O’Connor, Murphy, Katie Ann Holcroft, Michelle McMahon and Aine McGee all found the target.
Most of these chances were goal scoring opportunities with the Louth players choosing to tap the ball over the bar.
Derry replied with just one further score from a free with Louth running out easy winners on a score line of 9-25 to 0-4.
Louth can be pleased with the superb flowing team moves and the great off the ball movement that created so many scoring chances, however they may be concerned with the number of wides in the match with Louth hitting 18 wides off 55 shots.
A better team might punish them for missing the target with one out of every three chances created.
Louth’s semi-final opponents will be either Offaly or Wexford, two teams that Louth beat on their way to winning the Leinster Championship earlier this summer.
Louth: Una Pearson; Ann Marie Lynch, Andrea Carney, Aine McGee (0-1); Patricia Marmion, Marie O’Connell, Michelle McMahon (0-1); Grace Lynch (0-1), Vikki McGinn; Ciara O’Connor (2-1), Ann Marie Murphy (0-2), Sandra Lynch (1-3); Laura O’Neill (1-2), Kate Flood (2-4), Jenny McGuinness (3-6). Subs: Kim Lynch for K Flood, Maura Lynch for G Lynch, Gillian McDonnell (0-3) for V McGinn, Kelly Anne Holcroft (0-1) for L O’Neill, Emer Brennan for P Marmion
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