THE fifth round of the Division 4 League on Sunday found the Faithfull Ladies in fine form as they stormed to victory over Kilkenny maintaining their place in third in the table and remaining on course for a semi-final place.
In ideal conditions in Tubber, the Offaly ladies got off to a cracking start when Treasa McManus put the them on the scoreboard with just two minutes gone on the clock.
Two minutes later Kym Furey burst forward and blasted the ball to the back of the Kilkenny net.
Kilkenny opened their account after minutes with a well taken point from corner forward Alice Farrell.
There was a lot of play taken part in the middle of the field at this stage and Kilkenny were fighting hard. After 11 minutes their dominance paid off when full forward Yvonne McGrath gave them their second point leaving just two between the sides.
However that was as good as it got for the visitors as Offaly took full control and there was no way back for Kilkenny.
Points from Kym Furey, Orlaigh Heavey, Therese Hickey and Lorraine Kenna had the Offaly ladies well ahead. Before half-time Offaly went further ahead with a great passage of play resulting in a cracking goal from Lorraine Kenna after a great catch in midfield from Amy Kerrigan.
Kilkenny only managed one more point in the first half from Miriam O’Keeffe to leave the half time score 2-6 to 0-3 in favour of the Offaly Ladies.
A substitution made at half time whihc saw Maeve Colman replace full forward Sarah Maloney.
Offaly could have been forgiven for easing up after the break but the girls had no intention of throwing away this lead and the full-back line made sure that wouldn’t happen with fantastic defending from Aishling O’Connor, Patrice Stapleton and Michelle Guinan.
Jane Fitzpatrick made her entrance when Aishling O’Connor had to go off due to an injury.
Lorraine Kenna was unstoppable when she got within scoring distance of the Kilkenny goals and she drilled another two goals of the back of the Kilkenny net and she finished with a total of 3-2 on the day.
Kilkenny gave it their all and some lovely play seaw them put three more points on the board. They could have had a goal mid-way through the second half but a great save from goal keeper Miriam Malone made sure that didn’t happen. Unfortunately in the process Miriam got injured and had to be replaced by sub keeper Leanne Galvin. Niamh Daly was replaced by Kelly Cunningham with 10 minutes remaining.
The play was consistent from these very talented Offaly footballers and with time ticking down, substitute Kelly Cunningham put the finishing touches to this win with a lovely point.
Four minutes of injury time was played and Kilkenny could and should have had a conciliation goal but for a fantastic save by substitute keeper Leanne Galvin.
Offaly gave 100% in this game and can be very proud of their performance. With only one round remaining, Offaly are in third position in the league table which is headed by Westmeath and Roscommon. Offaly are well in contention for a semi-final spot.
They travel to Roscommon on Sunday, venue and time not known at time of printing. The team is wished the best of luck in this important game.
Offaly Ladies Football would like to extend sincere thanks to Tubber GAA and Joe Higgins for the use of their fine facilities.
Lorraine Kenna 3-2; Kym Furey 1-5; Therese Hickey 0-3; Treasa McManus 0-1; Orlaigh Heavey 0-1; Kelly Cunningham0-1
Offaly: Miriam Malone; Aishling O’Connor, Patrice Stapleton, Michelle Guinan; Christine McDonald, Elisha Henston, Riona Byrne Amy Kerrigan, Treasa McManus; Kym Furey, Lorraine Kenna, Niamh Daly; Orlaigh Heavey, Sarah Maloney, Therese Hickey. Subs; Maeve Colman for Sarah Maloney; Jane Fitzpatrick for Aishling O Connor (inj); Leanne Galvin for Miriam Malone (inj); Kelly Cunningham for Niamh Daly.