Offaly were crowned Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League Division 4 champions in Limerick on Saturday evening after a dramatic win over a resilient Roscommon side who never threw in the towel.
A goal from Linda Sullivan midway through the second-half proved the decisive score while captain and player of the match Siobhan Flannery rounded off the scoring with a point that gave Offaly the relative comfort of a two point lead.
Having overcome All Ireland Champions Antrim in the semi-final, Offaly were full of confidence going into the game however they knew they would have to be on their game against a Roscommon side playing in their third consecutive final.
Roscommon made the stronger start to the game and opened up an early 0-5 to 0-3 lead. They could have been further ahead had it not been for a great save from Laura Devery in the Offaly goal.
Offaly were quickly back on terms thanks to two points from Mairead Daly and Offaly then enjoyed a great spell as they built a 0-11 to 0-7 lead. Lorraine Keena scored five of Offaly’s points in the first-half with Mairead Daly totaling three with captain Siobhan Flannery also getting in on the scoring act.
Natalie McHugh was carrying the main scoring threat for Roscommon with four in the first-half and Roscommon again came close to finding the net in the second-half but Christine McDonnell made a timely block to keep Offaly in front.
They did reduce the gap to three with a point from Aine O’Brien but Offaly responded with two more points to extend their lead to five.
Roscommon hit back with Aine O’Brien leading the charge and Offaly advantage was reduced to two at 0-13 to 0-11 before the Faithful County put together the move of the game to score their all important goal.
Treasa McManus won the ball in midfield and the ball was worked to Linda Sullivan who cut through the Roscommon defence. She had the support from her captain and St Rynagh’s clubmate Siobhain Flannery but she opted to go herself and it proved to be a good choice as she finished brilliantly to the Roscommon net with her right boot.
However the game was far from over and Roscommon were relentless in their pursuit of Offaly e and points from Natalie McHugh (3) and Rachel Ryan left only one between the sides again.
With the game on the line Offaly captain Siobhan Flannery kicked over the insurance point as the Faithful County held on for a two point win.
Scorers: Offaly: L Keena 0-6 (3f), L Sullivan 1-1, M Daly 0-4 (3f), S Flannery 0-3; Roscommon: N McHugh 0-6 (4f), A O’Brien 0-4, R Ryan & J Higgins 0-2 each, M Freyne 0-1.
Offaly: Laura Devery, Michelle Guinan, Emma Dalton, Hannah McMahon, Emma Corcoran, Triona McDonald, Christine McDonnell (vice capt), Treasa McManus, Siobhain Flannery (c), Orlaigh Heavey, Lorraine Keena, Elaine Sullivan, Mairead Daly, Linda Sullivan, Amy Kerrigan. Kelley Cunningham, Claire O’Brien, Kym Furey, Niamh Malone, Orla Daly, Shauna Farrelly, Sinead Daly, Aoife Byrne, Ciara McCormack, Maeve Colman, Ciara Brady, Katie Killeen, Sharon Mannion, Donna Murray, Rececca Gorman.
Offaly Ladies Football would like to thank everyone who has helped Offaly Ladies achieve Division 3 status for 2014. To everyone who gave generously to our Jersey sponsorship a huge thank you. To our Sponsors Flagline and the Tullamore Court Hotel, a massive thank you