Leitrim Ladies secured their second win in as many games in Division 3 of the Bord Gáis National Football League with a nine point win over Sligo at Connolly Park in Collooney on Sunday afternoon. Full forward Aine Tighe continued her good form, helping Niall Kilcrann’s side keep up with the early pace-setters with a goal and nine points. The win now sees Leitrim sit third in their division, level on points with the top two, Westmeath and Armagh by virtue of points difference.
By David Goulden
Leitrim will count their more accurate kicking in front of the posts and a fine performance from goalkeeper Michelle Guckian as the two main reasons behind this victory. Sligo’s tendency to foul in dangerous positions in front of goal mixed with Aine Tighe’s potency from these areas, meant the ladies from the Yeats County never really gave themselves a chance.
Leitrim flew into a five point lead in as many minutes. Sinead Fowley, who impressed in last week’s 16 point win over Down in Ballinamore was impeded in front of Emma Cullen’s goal and Aine Tighe had no problem converting the free in the first minute. Tighe had her second point from another free two minutes later and this time is was Tighe herself who was fouled by Sligo full back Tracey O’Hara. She continued to terrorise the Sligo defence and was fouled by a Sligo defender in the square. Tighe placed the ball to Cullen’s left, beyond the reach of the ‘keeper and into the net for a 1-2 to no score lead.
Sligo got their first score on seven minutes when Geevagh’s Stephaine O’Reilly was fouled by Kiltubrid’s Sinead Tighe as she made her way toward the home goal. Noelle Gormley had no problem with the resulting free from 25 yards.
Sligo hit their first of many wides soon after, when captain Sinead McTiernan failed to correctly judge the angle on nine minutes, her shot drifting right of the Leitrim post. Aine Tighe had no such problems a minute later when she beat an opponent, gave herself time to open up her body and fired over to score her side’s third point of the game. Sligo hit another wide soon after when Stephaine O’Reilly played the ball around two Leitrim defenders. Her fist pass found Noelle Gormley who in turn found McTiernan, but the Sligo full forward couldn’t take advantage with the posts beckoning only 15 yards away. Leitrim were guilty of two wides of their own soon after when Catherine Dolan and Erin Farrell both miss-fired within 30 seconds of each other in the 11th minute.
Aine Tighe stretched the lead to six on twelve minutes and seven two minutes later, when she converted a free which was won by Mohill’s Deirde Ward after she was fouled 30 yards out. Sligo scored only their second point of the game courtesy of Karen Maloney, O’Reilly and Fowley exchanging passes in front of the Sligo defence before the later’s quick pass found Maloney who finished from distance. Sligo scored their second without reply on 19 minutes. Noelle Gormley keeping cool to score her second point of the game from a free. Indeed Gormley had a golden opportunity to narrow the gap on 22 minutes when Bernice Byrne’s pass found the St Nathy’s forward one on one with Guckian but the Leitrim netminder did well to get her body in front of Gormley’s low shot.
Leitrim went eight points ahead with five minutes left in the first half as Erin Farrell’s shot looped over Cullen and into the Sligo net before Farrell kicked over a point to extend the lead to nine. Noelle Gormley scored twice before the half time whistle to leave Leitrim seven clear at 0-5 to 2-6.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.