Rosie Lennon leads the way to Roscommon’s Lidl NFL Division 3 title win

Rosie Lennon struck the winner three minutes from time and Roscommon lifted the Lidl National Football League Division 3 title by beating Wexford at St Brendan’s Park, Birr.

The teams were tied 4-0 to 4-0 at the first water break, and in a low-scoring encounter, every point counted.

Catríona Murray scored the only goal of the game just before the second-half water break to give Wexford a two-point lead. A resurgent Roscommon fought back in the final quarter, leveling the game with a Lennon Free before her second Free was enough to take the title.

Wexford dominated possession in the early stages and two frees from Murray gave them a two-point lead after six minutes. Laura Fleming reduced the gap from a free to one, but that was nullified when Sherene Hamilton finished a team move after good work from Aisling Murphy.

Goals were high in the first quarter, but two Fleming frees and a point from Jenny Higgins after a great run put the teams 0-4, 0-4 in the first-half water break.

Both missed chances in the second quarter but it was Róisín Wynne who was closest when her shot was saved by Helena Cummins. At the other end, Jenny Higgins was unlucky when she shot wide. Murray gave Wexford a point advantage in the 22nd minute when she converted her third free-kick.

Roscommon was dealt a blow when Lisa O’Rourke was shown yellow a minute later. Both sides had chances but at half-time Wexford led 5-0 to 4-0.

Lauren Shanagher and Fiona Tully both took points to put Roscommon ahead after 43 minutes and they could have been further up but O’Rourke’s shot was saved by Sarah Merrigan.

Wexford continued to harass their opponents and were rewarded when Murray found himself in space and hit high on the net just before the second-half water break.

Fleming reduced the deficit to one minute in 50 before substitute Lennon leveled the game with a free-kick two minutes later and added a second free-kick three minutes from time.

Wexford had a chance to equalize in the final moments but Murray sent them clear of the post as Roscommon celebrated their first Lidl NFL Division 3 title since 2009 and promotion to the second division.

Goalscorers – Roscommon: L Fleming 0-4 (3f), R Lennon 0-2 (2f), J Higgins 0-1, L Shanagher 0-1, F Tully 0-1. Wexford: C Murray 1-3 (3f), S Hamilton 0-1, A Wilson 0-1.

Roscommon: H Cummins; S Kenny, R Fitzmaurice, L O’Rourke; R Wynne, R Brady, A McAuliffe; K Nolan, L Fleming; M McHugh, J Higgins, C Conway; A Hanly, F Tully, N Feeney. Subtitle: R Lennon for Hanly (30), L Shanagher for McHugh (39), S McVeigh for Brady (48), N McHugh for Conway (51).

Wexford: S Merrigan; Neville C, Halligan A, Cloke Rochford N; O Kehoe, R Murphy, C Donnelly; K. Kearney, C. Banville; S Hamilton, C Murray, E O’Brien; A Wilson, A Murphy, B Breen. Subtitle: S Harding Kenny for Cloke Rochford (45), A Cullen for Wilson (46), T Doyle for Breen (50), E Tomkins for O’Brien (59).

Referee: Gavin Finnegan (below). Rosie Lennon leads the way to Roscommon’s Lidl NFL Division 3 title win

Fry Electronics Team

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