Roche Emmets young gun Seona Halligan burrows forward against St. Mochtas' Kayleigh Hoey during Sunday morning's Halpenny Travel Louth SFC quarter-final. (Pic: Arthur Kinahan)
Halpenny Travel Louth SFC quarter-final
Roche Emmets 3-15 St. Mochta’s 1-5
He’s at it again, the old maestro, Mickey Heeney. His Roche Emmets side, the only Division Two team in the Halpenny Travel SFC, are semi-finalists and on the basis of Sunday morning’s effort, they will require stopping.
Albeit St. Mochta’s, who entered as raging-hot favourites, were off the pace having wasted opportunities during their dominant opening, Emmets were ruthless and a 16-point victory certainly wasn’t flattering.
The game was ultimately won in the second quarter, Roche coming from a point behind to lead 1-10 to three at the interval, having converted 1-8 unanswered. Two-goal hero Tracey Rogers, Jennie McCourt and lethal Louise Byrne were to the fore, while Dearbhla Begley and Aoife Halligan took a stronghold of midfield.
Roche simply gave an exhibition, their slick offloads and willing runners blowing pores in Mochtas’ rear-guard. On another outing, they could have had three further goals by half-time.
In contrast, while it took Roche roughly 10 minutes to get to grips with them, in which time the Louth Villagers hit several wides, Mochta’s became increasingly lethargic. Lauren Meehan, sitting as the winners’ spare player in defence, wickedly acted as a one-woman wall in front of her full-back line.
Mochta’s had the aid of a stiff breeze during the second period, and began fairly well, without capitalising. Louth U16 star Seona Halligan’s third point extended the Roche lead before Emma Quinn - the visitors’ best performer - struck 1-1, her goal from a penalty, to reduce the gap to seven points, 1-11 to 1-4.
But, as opposed to triggering a Mochta’s revival, that set Roche in motion, Rogers especially. Caroline O’Neill, who was an effective focal point in the Emmets forward division, helped set-up Halligan’s well-taken goal before Rogers almost ripped a hole in the top-corner, taking a lick of paint off the ’bar in the process.
In front of crews from Geraldines, Stabannon and Cooley, Roche were putting on a show, leading 3-11 to 1-4. Eimear Byrne offered Mochtas’ only response - a point - though Roche hit 0-4 over the closing period, including three-on-the-trot in advance of the finish.
That’s the scalp of holders Cooley and Mochta’s Emmets have now taken. They face the winners of Stabannon and Kickhams in the last four.
Roche Emmets: Claire McCann; Katie Halligan, Fiona Levins, Lauren Meehan; Caoimhe Treanor, Niamh Callan, Aisling Sloane; Aoife Halligan, Louise Byrne (0-2); Seona Halligan (1-4), Tracey Rogers (2-2), Sarah McArdle; Jennie McCourt (0-5, three frees), Caroline O’Neill, Dearbhla Begley (0-2)
Sub: Aisling Begley
St. Mochta’s: Niamh Kirk; Kayleigh Hoey, Dearbhla O’Connor, Laura McDonnell; Lauren Kieran, Orla O’Neill, Shauna Lennon; Aoife Byrne, Eimear Byrne (0-1); Katie Rafferty, Emma Quinn (1-3, 1-0 penalty), Roisin Curley; Christine Carolan (0-1), Laura Kieran, Caitlin Curley
Subs: Nadine Muckian, Ciara Callan, Kayla Byrne, Jill Byrne, Grace O’Reilly
Referee: Paul Burke (Glen Emmets)