National Ladies Football League Division 2
Waterford survived a late comeback from Laois at Fraher Field on Sunday last to all but secure their place in the League Semi-Finals for the second year in a row.
With just 34 seconds gone, Maria Delahunty had the ball in the Laois net after she collected her own Garryowen and finished past Fiona Kelly. Less than 90 seconds later Kelly Ann Hogan had the size four in the Laois net to extend Waterford’s lead. In between the hard working Mo Nearey split the Waterford uprights with a free.
Eimear Fennell extended Waterford’s lead when she split the posts from a quickly taken Maria Delahunty ’45, and on 12 minutes Aileen Wall got her name on the score sheet.
Two points in a row from Mo Nearey helped cut the Waterford lead for Laois. Maria Delahunty and Nearey swapped scores at either end of the field before Chloe Fennell extended Waterford’s lead on 28 minutes.
Liz Devine pointed in the first minute of stoppage time but there was time for Laois to give them hope going into the second half as Mo Nearey goaled after some good work by Erone Fitzpatrick and Shannon Costello followed up with a point but it was not enough to stop Waterford going in at the break leading 2-5 to 1-4. Waterford started the second half brightly with a brace of scores from Maria Delahunty but that start was wiped out six minutes into the half when Mo Nearey got her second goal from a tight angle.
Eimear Fennell split the posts with a free on 40 minutes, but we had to wait a further 10 minutes for the next score which came from a penalty after a foul on Chloe Fennell. Regular free taker Maria Delahunty took the ball in her hands to strike the resulting one on one which she slotted past Fiona Kelly to give Waterford a 3-9 to 2-5 lead, referee Jonathan Murphy had to step out the 12 metres from under the Laois crossbar as the 12 metre spot was not clearly marked. Delahunty put over two more frees before Aileen Wall pointed to give Waterford a 3-12 to 2-5 lead with 54 minutes played.
Katie Hannon within three minutes of coming on got her name on the score sheet with a point and seconds later she had the ball in the Laois net for the fourth time in this game to give Waterford what looked like an unassailable 4-13 to 2-6 lead. Laois however were not going to give up without a fight and on the hour mark Mo Nearey finished to the net for her third goal of the game and moments later Erone Fitzpatrick split the posts.
In the fourth minute of added time Erone Fitzpatrick finished to the net leaving six between the sides, and with no one to indicate how much time remained Waterford at this point were starting to sweat. Three minutes later Laura Nearey split the uprights to leave five between the sides, but soon afterwards a nervous end to this game for the Waterford defenders came to an end.