Waterford Ladies Gaelic Football Association

NFL Division 2 – Waterford Withstand Cavan Siege To Secure Narrow Victory

LIDL National Football League Division 2 Round 4

Cavan 0.15 – Waterford 3.07

by Aideen Coyle

March 3rd 2019

Cavan ladies played host to Waterford on the back of a thrilling victory over Clare last Saturday in Killinkere. Cavan were hoping to build on their strong second half performance against Clare and continue to register points on the table. Standing in their way were a tough Waterford team who were looking to bounce back from their defeat to Armagh in round 3. Both teams came into this game with 4 points on the table, so it was all to play for. Conditions were tough with rain pelting down for the duration of the game resulting in many ball handling errors from both teams.

Cavan got off to the best possible start with midfield duo of Donna English and Andrea O’Reilly winning the throw-in. Donna English drove at the Waterford defense, laid the ball to Ashling Sheridan who made no mistake in sticking the ball over the bar for the first score of the game. Waterford responded with a point of their own through corner forward Shauna Dunphy.

Waterford took control and dominated the game from the 3rd to the 11th minute scoring 2-03 without reply. Waterford full forward Michelle Ryan hit the back of Elaine Walsh’s net in the 5th minute. Chloe Fennell and Michelle Ryan added points for Waterford in the 7th and 8th minute. In the 9th minute Aileen Wall set up the in form Eimear Fennell who made no mistake and raised the green flag for Waterfords 2nd goal.

Cavan reacted and began to pile the pressure on the Waterford defence pressing them high up the field. They reaped their reward registering 5 points in quick succession. A free from O’Reilly was followed up by a point from arguably the best player on the field Ashling Sheridan. Shanise Fitzsimons who worked tirelessly in the first half turned over the ball to set up Aishling’s score. Cavan made the Waterford goalkeepers kick out difficult as they continued to apply pressure. Ciara Finnegan added another point before Sheridan saw her possible goal opportunity go over the bar. At this stage in the game Cavan were linking up well in the forward line and producing some fantastic moments of play but were just missing the final finish on a few occasions. Donna English as ever was a constant outlet for the Cavan forward line using her experience to great effect. Cavan held the majority of the possession in the Waterford back line from the 11th to the 20th minute but could not find a way through the Waterford defence to get a goal of their own.

Aisling Gilsenan added her first point of the game from a free in the 20th minute. Eimear Fennell replied with a point of her own before Waterford delivered a sucker blow against the run of play in the 22nd minute adding their 3rd goal of the half through midfielder Kelly Ann Hogan.

Luck continued to go against Cavan as they saw captain Sinead Greene sent to the sin bin for what seemed a harsh decision in the 26th minute. Andrea O’Reilly and Aisling Mullane traded points to finish out the half. At halftime it was Cavan 0-08 Waterford 3-05.

As the teams took to the field for the second half a shower of sleet started to come down making playing conditions more difficult for the teams. Both managers introduced subs at half time. For Cavan Sinead O’Sullivan returned to action for Cavan replacing Andrea O’Reilly and Kate McIntyre went into corner back for Dearbhla McGovern. Cavan were still without captain Greene with 4 minutes remaining on her sin bin time.

In a repeat of the 1st half Cavan forward Aishling Sheridan kicked the first score. Donna English continued to provide an engine for Cavan attacks and did well to earn a free for Aisling Gilsenan to kick over the bar. Cavan remained on top forcing Waterford to drop 13 players behind the ball making it difficult for Cavan to break them down. A further 2 frees from Aisling Gilsenan left it a 2-point game. Waterford were dealt a big blow as Caragh McCarthy was issued a red card when she appeared to strike out at Cavan player Aisling Gilsenan. Aishling Sheridan closed the gap to one with 10 minutes remaining on the clock.

Waterford were reduced to 13 players shortly after as Maria Delahunty was shown a yellow for a high tackle. Some excellent defending by Shauna Lynch prevented Waterford from scoring their first of the half before captain Sinead Greene stepped up to leave the teams level for the first time. It took Waterford 25 minutes in the second half to score their first point through the excellent Eimear Fennell. And it was Fennell who stretched the lead to 2 points as the game drew to a close. Cavan never gave up and responded with a score of their own from Aishling Sheridan her 6th of the game. However, this was to be Cavan’s last score of the half. Cavan had chances to draw the game in the dying minutes but with Waterford defending valiantly luck was not on their side. Aisling Gilsenan seen her effort at the death go wide and the final whistle blew for a 1-point victory in favor of the brave Deise girls.

Cavan scorers: Ashling Sheridan (0-06), Aisling Gilsenan (0-04 f), Andrea O’Reilly (0-03 f), Ciara Finnegan (0-01) Sinead Greene (0-01)

Waterford Scorers: Eimear Fennell (1-03), Michelle Ryan (1-01), Kelly Ann Hogan (1-00), Chloe Fennell (0-01), Shauna Dunphy (0-01), Aisling Mullaney (0-01)

Cavan: Elaine Walsh, Dearbhla Mcgovern, Laura Fitzpatrick, Sheila Reilly, Neasa Byrd, Shauna Lynch, Sinead Greene, Donna English, Andrea O’Reilly, Aisling Gilsenan, Aishling Sheridan, Joanne Moore, Shanise Fitzsimons, Geraldine Sheridan, Ciara Finnegan

Subs: Sinead O’Sullivan For Andrea O’Reilly, Kate McIntyre for Dearbhla McGovern

Waterford: Kelly Moroney, Megan Dunford, Caoimhe McGrath, Rebecca Casey, Kate McGrath, Karen McGrath, Aisling Mullaney, Emma Murray, Kelly Ann Hogan, Aileen Wall, Maria Delahunty, Chloe Fennell, Eimear Fennell, Michelle Ryan, Shauna Dunphy

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Waterford Ladies Gaelic Football Association