All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship
Waterford 7-19 Monaghan 1-10
Ciaran Curran’s Waterford Senior Ladies Football team bounced back from an 18-point loss to All-Ireland Champions Dublin in the opening round of the All-Ireland Championship with a comprehensive 27 points win over Monaghan at Cremartin on Saturday afternoon last.This excellent win should secure Waterford’s place in the quarter final stages of this year’s championship in a few weeks’ time.The Waterford full forward line of Michelle Ryan with Maria Delahunty and Eimear Fennell have been brilliant all year and they were in fine form again as they accounted for an incredible 4-13 of Waterford’s fine tally on the score board at the end of the hour.
Right throughout the field Waterford were on top and finished the game with nine different players getting their name on the score sheet, an impressive feat in any game and at any level.Monaghan started without the services of team captain Cora Courtney because of injury and were also without the players from their minor panel who were involved in last Sunday’s Minor All-Ireland semi-final against Meath.Early in the game it looked as if the home side could cause a shock as they raced into an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead with scores from Louise Kerley, Ciara McAnespie and Abbie McCarey with Waterford’s first score coming from Chloe Fennell.Waterford however came bouncing back with Eimear Fennell hitting a five-minute hat-trick by the end of the first quarter.
Waterford had spurned two early chances to hit goals but perseverance eventually paid off as the talented Abbeyside player netted three goals in quick succession to put Waterford into a deserved 3-1 to 0-3 lead from which they never looked back.Monaghan closed the gap with points from Ciara McAnespie and Louise Kerley but Michelle Ryan and Chloe McBride swapped scores before Maria Delahunty put Waterford 3-3 to 0-6 up with her first score of the afternoon.Chloe Fennell edged Waterford further in front before Monaghan struck for their only goal of the game when Casey Treanor netted before the break.
Waterford however hit the final score of the half with a point from Michelle Ryan to give her side a 3-5 to 1-6 lead at the break.
Waterford produced a brilliant third quarter, one where the real spade work was done to secure this win.
Maria Delahunty, straight from the restart, netted Waterford’s fourth goal with less than 30 seconds played. Katie Murray, Maria Delahunty with a hat-trick of points, Michelle Ryan and Eimear Fennell, from a free gave Waterford a comprehensive 4-11 to 1-6 lead and if there was any doubting how this game would end, all bets were off on 38 minutes when Aileen Wall stuck Waterford’s five major score of the game.Michelle Ryan, Kelly Ann Hogan and Maria Delahunty, from a free followed up with points for Waterford before Louise Kerley hit the home side’s first score of the second half.
Despite being so far behind Monaghan continued to produce score chances, but they opted for goals to reduce Waterford’s lead and could find no way past Rosie Landers, who is having a fine debut season in the Waterford goal.
Kate McGrath and Eimear McAnespie swapped scores before Shauna Coyle and Lauren McGregor did likewise. Another Ciara McAnespie point followed for the home side before Eimear Fennell slotted over two points in a row, the first from a placed ball.Kelly Anne Hogan, another player in her debut season at this level, stuck her first championship goal to give Waterford a 6-18 to 1-10 lead with time running down.Waterford finished the game with a Maria Delahunty effort from a free before Chloe Fennell rounded off a faultless afternoon’s work with her side’s seventh goal right at the end.