London breeze past Carlow to reach semi finals of All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Championship
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London breeze past Carlow to reach semi finals of All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Championship

FIONA MORRISEY scored two goals as London produced an almost perfect display in a game dominated by the weather.

The winds around McGovern Park were intense for the majority of the game, which played into London’s hands in the first half as they were 17 points up by the interval.

However, with the teams switching sides, London were not so dominant and may have seen a comeback from Carlow if they had used the elements more to their advantage.

This now means London progress to the semi finals of the Junior Football Championship for the fourth consecutive year in a row.

Both sides came into this match knowing a win was a must, if they were to avoid elimination, after Louth claimed top spot. These two sides had met back in 2017 at McGovern Park, with Carlow the winners that day.

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But it was London who would take the lead in this game, with two points within the space of the first two minutes coming from Caroline McCarthy and Claire O’Sullivan.

Carlow nearly had the perfect response when Clíodhna Ní Shé ran through and had an effort on goal, with her shot being spectacularly saved by Caoimhe O’Reilly.

From here London started to dominate the play and were getting scores on the board to emphasis this dominance. Points from O’Sullivan, Hannah Noonan and Claire O’Brien gave the Exiles a four-point lead, before Carlow were able to get their first score through Edel Hayden.

Noonan and Morrissey on song

Noonan put the home side even further in front to really exert their hold on the game, when she snatched a goal. Morrissey was playing a good game at full-forward and was rewarded for her efforts with a goal and a point in quick succession.

The wind was playing its part as the game got further adrift for the away side to keep a hold on to.

London made sure to take a healthy lead into the break, before they would have to face the wind, when O’Sullivan scored her sides third goal of the game.

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The one bright spark for the Barrowsiders was Rachel Sawyer. Her movement with the ball was making it hard for any one to get near her and she was even able to snatch a point for her side before the referee blew for half time.  A change in half meant a switch to sides and so to followed a change in tempo of the game, as London couldn’t quite recreate their first half qualities with the direction of the wind playing its part once again.

The away side were having more joy in the second half and were enjoying a greater percentage of possession, but were not as clinical as London had been in the first half. Ní Shé was the main points scorer for Carlow with the majority of them coming from frees.

A goal from Sawyer gave London a scare, as the idea of a Carlow comeback was starting to become a potential reality. But for all of this the Exiles still believed they would get the vital win, as they started to attack the Barrowsiders goal, although weren’t having much luck adding to their tally, with the elements preventing them from getting scores.

But as the game was coming to a close, Morrissey scored her second goal of the game to clinch her side a dominant 4-12 vs 1-11 win and send London into the latter stages of the competition.