St. Brides' Karen Rafferty and Abbi O'Connor of Geraldines faced off in the Halpenny Travel Louth LGFA SFC this morning. (Pic: Ciarán Culligan)
Halpenny Travel Louth SFC
St. Bride’s 0-4 Geraldines 3-12
Geraldines justified their favouritism for a maiden Louth senior championship title with an impressive victory in Knockbridge on Sunday morning - a win which sees them advance to the knockout stages with a 100 percent record.
Last year’s beaten finalists were well on top against St. Bride’s and had the spoils pretty much sewn up by half-time, at which juncture they led 2-5 to three points.
Ciara O’Connor and Rebecca Carr were early goalscorers for the girls in green, although both finishes owed much to slick team play with Lisa McCabe - the scorer of 0-5 - and Tessa Fleming heavily involved in the lead up to the respective three-pointers.
Bride’s - who lost their opener to St. Mochta’s, the side who Gers subsequently defeated - had actually begun strongly, Bronagh McArdle giving them a merited advantage. And while Gers soon clicked into gear in the forward department, it wouldn’t be altogether fair to say Bride’s were outplayed in the first half. Rather, they just lacked the winners’ clinical edge.
On the other hand, some of the Blackrock/Haggardstown girls’ scores were spectacular, with their swift movement from line-to-line suggesting that they will take some beating in this year’s title race. Nobody was more impressive than county star Rebecca Carr in this sense, her rampant runs leading to several scores either side of the interval.
Trailing by eight at the turnaround, Fra Fagan’s crew would have recognised that a fast start to the second half was imperative if a heavy reverse was to be avoided, but it was Gers who raced out of the blocks, O’Connor and the ultra-effective McCabe sharing four points.
The gap grew larger as the fourth quarter came into clear sight, with Bonnie Fleming adding the point of the match with the outside of her right boot, putting the victors 2-12 to four ahead.
And Gers shot a third major, when Andrea Lennon put past Una Pearson neatly to close another rapid play.
On this evidence, Gers will take some stopping.
St. Bride’s: Una Pearson; Niamh Bailey, Karen Rafferty, Niamh Sweeney; Emma Fagan, Caoimhe Hoey, Niamh Belton; Kate Wynne, Ruth Hanna; Orla McGeeney, Sarah Fagan (0-2), Emma McArdle; Kodie McEneaney, Aimee McNally, Bronagh McArdle (0-2, one free)
Subs: Dairina White, Edel McKeown-Sloane, Phyllis Coyle, Aoife Reilly
Geraldines: Grainne Boyle; Irene Hoey, Eilis Hand, Megan Scully; Aine Lynch, Lauren McFaul, Tessa Fleming; Helen Ryan, Rebecca Carr (1-2, 0-1 free); Emma Gartlan, Ciara O’Connor (1-1), Lisa McCabe (0-5); Andrea Lennon (1-1), Bonnie Fleming (0-3), Abbi O’Connor
Referee: Des McDonald (St. Nicholas)