Lidl National Football League Final Replay Match Report
May 14, 2017
Magnificent Tipperary girls win Division 3 league title, gain promotion and extend unbeaten run to ten games.
By Paudie Everard, Moyle Rovers
Tipperary are Division 3 champions following a two point win over Wexford in the replayed league final played in Birr on Sunday May 14th. Tipperary faced into the strong breeze for the first half but it was Wexford who settled best with early points. With a quarter of an hour gone Wexford led by four points to one, Tipperary’s only score a pointed free from Aishling Moloney. Scores were hard to come by as the Wexford defence were playing very well. Tipperary then hit a good patch and had the next three points from play. Two from Orla O’Dwyer and one from Jennifer Grant to draw level on four points each.
Wexford stepped up a gear as the Slaneysiders scored a point followed by a goal and three points. Their goal was helped by the strong wind which carried the high ball to the net. Tipperary had an Aishling Moloney point and an Aisling McCarthy free to leave them trailing by five points at half time 1-8 to 0-6. Wexford had looked the more composed team and their defence was playing very well, restricting the Tipperary forwards from numerous scoring chances.
Tipperary would need a good start to second half to prevent the game getting away from them. Aisling McCarthy scored two very good frees with the aid of the breeze as Wexford had Bernie Breen sin binned for persistent fouling. Aishling Moloney then scored the next three points from play to draw level. Tipperary then went two points ahead with a Gillian O’Brien point and another Aishling Moloney point putting her player of the match award beyond doubt. Everything was going Tipperary’s way having scored the last seven points but the game had a few twist in the sand turns yet before the issue would be decided.
Gillian O’Brien was sin binned on forty five minutes and Roisin Howard was introduced as Tipperary tried to restructure. Wexford found new impetus and scored their first point of the second half. On twenty minutes Maria Curley was sin binned and a minute later Aishling Moloney also faced the long walk to the side-line having being adjudged to have fouled a Wexford player. Wexford drew level on the resultant free and a twelve player Tipperary team now faced a full fifteen Wexford team.
It was backs to wall stuff as the Tipperary forwards helped out defensively and everyone gave a supreme effort to do the impossible. The game was now at frantic pace as both sides knew victory could be theirs. A Wexford player was then sin binned as Gillian O’Brien came back on the field of play. Wexford still had the numerical advantage but Tipperary threw everything they had at the game. They were rewarded with two frees and they were expertly put over the bar by Aisling McCarthy to close out a magnificent result as Wexford tried in vain for the last minute goal that might snatch it for them. Holding Wexford scoreless when they had three extra players was decisive for Tipperary and they can look back on this match with great pride. It was a testament to their character and courage when the odds looked heavily stacked against them.
Tipperary Captain Samantha Lambert accepted the cup on behalf of the team and Tipperary now look forward to division two football next year where the challenges will be more suited to a team of this calibre. Congratulations to all involved in the win. It was the perfect end to a great league campaign that had many highlights. It all began with a magnificent comeback against Wexford in the opening game when nine points down well into the second half they went on to win by two goals. Aisling McCarthy scored ten points against Roscommon which earned her player of the month for February and culminated in the replayed final with a player of match display from Aishling Moloney who scored five points from play. Unbeaten all through the league Shane Royanne was a worthy recipient of the Lidl/Irish Daily Star Manager of the Month during the week. His selection team of Alan O’Connor, Elaine Harte, Tony Smith and Physio, Maria Aherne deserve great praise for their commitment to this team and to Ladies Football in Tipperary. The championship beckons and Limerick await in the first round in June. We wish the team and Management team the very best of luck in Championship ahead but in the meantime we heartily congratulate all involved with this hearting win.
Tipperary Team - Lauren Fitzpatrick; Brid Condon, Siobhan Condon, Emma Buckley; Niamh Lonergan, Samantha Lambert (C), Maria Curley; Elaine Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Grant (0-1); Orla O’Dwyer (0-2), Aisling McCarthy (0-5, 5f), Gillian O’Brien (0-1); Caoimhe Condon, Aishling Moloney (0-6, 1f), Mairead Morrissey.
Subs used - Roisin Howard for Niamh Lonergan (46th), Elaine Kelly for Mairead Morrissey (52nd)
Panel - Patricia Hickey, Catriona Walsh, Eimear Myles, Roisin McGrath, Rachael O’Donnell, Laura Dillon, Maire Condon, Alison Lonergan, Nicola Loughnane, Aoibhe O’Shea, Aoife Corcoran, Sarah Everard.
Manager - Shane Ronayne. Mentors: Alan O’Connor, Elaine Harte, Tony Smith. Physio Maria Aherne.
By Brian McDonnell, Tipperary Star
Playing with all of the guts, guile and raw pride that supporters of the blue and gold love to see associated with their inter-county teams the Tipperary ladies footballers fought back from six points down to win the replayed Lidl National Ladies Football Division Three League final at St Brendan’s Park in Birr on Sunday afternoon.
Lidl National Ladies Football
Division Three League Final Replay
Tipperary 0-15 Wexford 1-10
In first half injury time Tipperary trailed 0-5 to 1-8, but proceeded to score eight points without reply either side of the interval to streak into a two-point advantage (0-13 to 1-8). And, Tipperary’s resilience was tested to a significant degree in the final quarter when a series of sin-binnings reduced Shane Ronayne’s team to just twelve players. To their credit, however, Tipperary dug deep and even though Wexford drew level with three minutes to play the Premier ladies earned two late frees to seal this famous win.
Aishling Moloney collected the player of the match award and while no one could deny the impact made by the Cahir star on this final please spare a thought too for the performances of Emma Buckley, Jennifer Grant, Gillian O’Brien and key playmaker Aisling McCarthy. Indeed, the collective performance of the entire team was something to cherish.
Playing against the wind and with Wexford employing a sweeper to significant effect Tipperary found the going hard during the opening quarter. Indeed, Wexford led 0-4 to 0-1 after thirteen minutes with strikes from Ellen O’Brien, Kellie Kearney, Fiona Rochford and Aisling Murphy forcing their side three clear. Only Aishling Moloney (placed ball) managed a response for a Tipperary team who could have easily conceded a goal in the 13th minute, but Lauren Fitzpatrick deflected Aisling Murphy’s effort over. And, Tipperary appeared to be on the brink of conceding the opening goal of the game in the 15th minute, but Siobhán Condon dispossessed the raiding Fiona Rochford with a sensational tackle.
Jennifer Grant set Orla O’Dwyer up for a point seconds later which appeared to settle a Tipperary team who soon added efforts from Grant and O’Dwyer to tie the game (0-4 apiece) by the 19th minute. The final point in this sequence was especially encouraging since Elaine Fitzpatrick had created a goal-scoring opportunity for O’Dwyer, but Wexford ‘keeper Mary Rose Kelly did especially well to deflect Orla’s effort over.
A Fiona Rochford free edged Wexford back into the lead in the 23rd minute before Anthony Masterson’s team struck for a fortuitous three-pointer in the 25th when an odd spin on a Rochford shot deceived Tipp ‘keeper Lauren Fitzpatrick and snuck in under the crossbar (0-4 to 1-5).
Aishling Moloney landed a sensational individual effort in response, but Wexford hit three consecutive points to surge six clear thanks to scores from Bernie Breen, Aisling Murphy and Fiona Rochford. Link player Clara Donnelly was doing significant damage and had a hand to play in all three scores.
Tipp struck for the final point of the opening half when Maria Curley created an opportunity for Aishling Moloney (0-6 to 1-8) and although that effort was rousing in nature the outfit managed by Shane Ronayne had their work carved out for them. Tipperary were struggling to think their way around the Wexford sweeper, were regularly gobbled up by the opposition defence and had already dropped six efforts into the grateful arms of ‘keeper Mary Rose Kelly.
Tipperary emerged a team transformed for the second half and fired seven points without reply during the opening sixteen minutes. Two Aisling McCarthy frees and a sin-binning for Wexford’s Bernie Breen helped Tipperary on their way.
Aishling Moloney then cut loose and booted three points from play in a devastating four-minute period to tie the game (0-11 to 1-8). Moloney intercepted a Wexford kick-out for one and was assisted for the other two by Gillian O’Brien and Aisling McCarthy respectively. Finally, Tipperary took the lead for the first time when Gillian O’Brien fired over a cracking point in the 43rd minute. Then, in the 46th minute, Caoimhe Condon’s burst carved the Wexford defence open and created the room for Aishling Moloney to help Tipperary into a two-point advantage (0-13 to 1-8).
Tipperary now looked a solid bet to see this one out; that is until Gillian O’Brien was sin-binned in the 46th minute. Four minutes later Wexford notched their first score of the second half when Ellen O’Brien reduced the Premier lead to one before Tipperary’s Maria Curley and Aishling Moloney were also sin-binned. A series of infractions had now reduced Shane Ronayne’s team to twelve and Tipperary were forced to dig deep.
Wexford struck for an equalising free (Catriona Murphy) in the 57th minute, but Tipperary refused to give in and actually came close to scoring a goal in the 58th minute - Aisling McCarthy’s free dropped short and although Roisín Howard made a telling connection Wexford ‘keeper Mary Rose Kelly saved brilliantly.
Sarah Harding-Kenny was sin-binned for Wexford in the 60th minute before this gritty Tipperary team charged forward, Elaine Kelly was fouled and Aisling McCarthy booted her side back into the lead. And, Tipperary sealed the win in the 64th minute when Aisling McCarthy converted another placed ball.
Tipperary will face Limerick in the opening round of the Munster championship on the June Bank Holiday weekend (fixture details to be confirmed) - Clare will also compete in the provincial intermediate championship this year while the Munster final is scheduled to take place on July 8th.
Qualifying for the Munster final represents Tipperary’s gateway to the All-Ireland series - the Munster champions progress to the All-Ireland quarter-finals on August 12th while the provincial finalists feature in a qualifier on August 5th.
Tipperary ladies football manager Shane Ronayne is joined on the management team by strength and conditioning coach-selector Alan O’Connor (Cahir), selector Tony Smith (Moyle Rovers), selector Elaine Harte (Cork) and goalkeeping coach Tomás Mac a tSaoir (Kerry).
Tipperary: Lauren Fitzpatrick (Ballymacarbry), Emma Buckley (Cahir), Siobhán Condon (Aherlow), Caoimhe Condon (Brian Ború’s), Bríd Condon (Aherlow), Samantha Lambert (Ardfinnan, captain), Maria Curley (Templemore), Jennifer Grant (Brian Ború’s, 0-1), Aishling Moloney (Cahir, 0-6, 0-1 frees), Elaine Fitzpatrick (Templemore), Aisling McCarthy (Cahir, 0-5, 0-4 frees), Niamh Lonergan (Moyle Rovers), Gillian O'Brien (Moyle Rovers, 0-1), Orla O'Dwyer (Boherlahan, 0-2), Mairéad Morrissey (Brian Ború’s). Subs: (48th) Roisín Howard (Cahir) for Niamh Lonergan, (57th) Elaine Kelly (Cappawhite) for Mairéad Morrissey. Panel: Patricia Hickey (Brian Ború’s), Catherina Walsh (Moycarkey-Borris), Eimear Myles (Brian Ború’s), Roisín McGrath (Moyle Rovers), Rachel O'Donnell (Cahir), Laura Dillon (Ardfinnan), Máire Condon (Aherlow), Alison Lonergan (Galtee Rovers), Nicola Loughnane (Thurles Sarsfields), Aoibhe O'Shea (Mullinahone), Aoife Corcoran (Cahir), Sarah Everard (Moyle Rovers) & Shauna Quirke (Cappawhite).
Wexford: Mary Rose Kelly, Marguerite Doyle, Marica Cullen, Sarah Harding-Kenny, Niamh Mernagh, Roisín Murphy, Georgina Hearne, Bernie Breen (0-1), Kellie Kearney (0-1), Clara Donnelly, Catriona Murray (0-1, 0-1 frees), Niamh Butler, Aisling Murphy (0-2), Fiona Rochford (1-3, 0-1 frees), Ellen O’Brien (0-2). Subs: (49th) Siobhán Cloake for Georgina Hearne, (65th) Fiona Rowe for Niamh Butler.
Referee: Stephen McNulty (Wicklow).
Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 3 final replay
Tipperary 0-15 Wexford 1-10
By Jackie Cahill at St Brendan’s Park, Birr
AISHLING Moloney and Aisling McCarthy contributed 0-11 between them as Tipperary were crowned Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 3 champions on Sunday.
Despite losing three players to second half sin-binnings, and finishing the game with 13 players, Tipp held out in an enthralling replay against Wexford at St Brendan’s Park, Birr.
Beaten finalists after a replay with Waterford last year, Tipp got over the line this time to secure promotion to Division 2.
And they had to do it the hard way, coming from six points down in the first half to hold on with two to spare.
Ultimately, it was a strong second half display from Tipp that ensured silverware for the Premier County.
Behind by 0-5 to 1-8 approaching the break, McCarthy’s point kept Tipp in touch at the interval, trailing by five.
They’d played against the wind in the opening half but opened the second half with seven unanswered points, as Wexford lost former Kerry star Bernie Breen to the sin-bin.
Tipp went from six points down to two points up with eight points in a row either side of the break, and they won the second half by 0-9 to 0-2.
After half-time, McCarthy knocked over two frees before Moloney hit three on the trot from play.
Gillian O’Brien put over a 41st minute point and when Moloney was on target again, Tipp moved 0-13 to 1-8 in front.
O’Brien was sent to the sin-bin in the 44th minute and when Maria Curley and Moloney followed, Tipp were down to 12 players.
Wexford’s long run without a score had finally ended in the 47th minute when Ellen O’Brien pointed and Catriona Murray’s levelled the game at 1-10 to 0-13.
Wexford were lucky not to concede a goal seven minutes from the end when McCarthy’s free dropped short before Roisin Howard forced a brilliant save from Mary Rose Kelly, who tipped the ball onto the post.
Wexford were reduced to 14 players late on when Sarah Harding-Kenny was sin-binned before O’Brien’s return brought Tipp back to 13.
And Tipp managed to find the crucial late scores to secure victory, McCarthy taking her tally to 0-5 with a brace of frees.
In the first half, it had looked positive for Wexford, playing with that strong breeze and frustrating Tipp with a packed defence, while breaking at pace.
Clara Donnelly was particularly dangerous for the Slaneysiders, with probing runs from deep, and captain Fiona Rochford showed up well again, after her last-gasp free ensured a replay.
With less than 19 minutes on the watch, a tight game was level at 0-4 each, after Wexford had led by three.
Orla O’Dwyer’s leveller for Tipp had forced a brilliant tip-over save from goalkeeper Kelly and Rochford’s goal in the 25th minute was another major fillip.
Rochford’s speculative effort from distance deceived Tipp goalkeeper Lauren Fitzpatrick and dipped into the net, putting Wexford 1-5 to 0-4 clear.
That goal helped Wexford to lead at the break but Tipp began the second half firing on all cylinders, and would eventually prevail following an incident-packed game.
Scorers – Tipperary: A Moloney 0-6 (1f), A McCarthy 0-5 (4f), O O’Dwyer 0-2, J Grant & G O’Brien 0-1 each.
Wexford – F Rochford 1-3 (0-1f), E O’Brien & A Murphy 0-2 each, B Breen, K Kearney & C Murray (f) 0-1 each.
Wexford – M.R. Kelly; M Doyle, M Cullen, S Harding-Kenny; N Mernagh, R Murphy, G Hearne; B Breen, K Kearney; C Donnelly, C Murray, N Butler; A Murphy, F Rochford, E O’Brien.
Subs: S Cloake for Hearne (46), F Rowe for Butler (57).
Tipperary – L Fitzpatrick; E Buckley, S Condon, C Condon; B Condon, S Lambert, M Curley; J Grant, A Moloney; E Fitzpatrick, A McCarthy, N Lonergan; G O’Brien, O O’Dwyer, M Morrissey.
Subs: R Howard for Lonergan (46), E Kelly for Morrissey (52).
Referee: S McNulty (Wicklow)