Complied by Declan Rooney
Cavan ladies football manager James Daly welcomed the ‘massive win’ for his side as they beat Kerry in Killarney to secure their place in next weekend’s Lidl Ladies National Football League semi-finals.
Victory means Cavan will take on Waterford in the last four, while Kerry have still progressed and will play Division 2’s top ranked team, Armagh, next weekend.
Daly had a hat-trick of goals from Aishling Sheridan to thanks for the win, and he praised his side’s fighting spirit and predicted a tight semi-final against the Munster outfit.
“From about three games ago we were in championship mode because if we were beaten in any of those games we were out,” said Daly.
“We came into this game and needed a win and the girls really stepped up. It’s a massive, massive win for Cavan football.
“We’re glad to get into the semi-finals. We have had a big turnover in the squad this season and we struggled early on.
“We know going into the semis that Waterford are a good team. Last year they beat us in the league but we knocked them out in the semi-final. They beat us by a point earlier this year in the league so both teams will be looking to push on to a final. It should be a really tight game.”
Cavan were four points behind with 20 minutes remaining at Fitzgerald Stadium, but they turned things around and claimed an outstanding 4-16 to 4-9 win.
Cavan scored three unanswered points early on but Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh’s first goal in the fourth minute drew the sides level for the first time, before she then put Kerry in front.
Hannah O’Donoghue added a second Kerry goal and they took a 3-3 to 0-5 lead coming up to half-time after Ní Mhuircheartaigh’s second strike.
Crucially, Aishling Sheridan grabbed Cavan’s first goal before half-time and they only trailed by three points at the break.
Cavan scored an unanswered 1-2 on the resumption, with Aishling Maguire on target for their goal after just two minutes, but Kerry hit back with three points before Aishling Sheridan tied it up, and then O’Donoghue added another Kerry goal in the 40th minute.
But Cavan took complete control and goals from Sheridan in the 48th and 54th minutes were enough to seal the 4-16 to 4-9 win.
Meanwhile in the final Division 4 group game, Louth proved too strong for Fermanagh at Glen Emmets and ran out 2-19 to 2-9 winners.
The win for Darren Bishop’s side means they finish in top spot in the division and will now meet Antrim in the semi-finals, while Fermanagh will face Limerick in the other last-four clash.
An early goal from Ciara Woods put Louth on a solid footing and they continued to dominate for the majority of the opening half, although Sarah Britton hit the net for Fermanagh before the break, which reduced Louth’s half-time lead to 1-6 to 1-5.
Fermanagh were impressive after the restart and Joanne Doonan’s goal kept them in touch, but once Eimear Byrne fired Louth’s second goal, the Leinster side pulled away and secured a convincing ten-point win.
The Division 1 semi-finals will also be played next weekend with Galway facing Donegal on Saturday in Longford’s Pearse Park (2.15pm), while Cork and Dublin will meet on Sunday at Nowlan Park (2pm) in a repeat of last year’s TG4 All-Ireland senior final.
The Division 3 semi-finals will both be played on Saturday next with the Sligo-Roscommon game forming part of a double header in Longford (12.30pm), while Meath and Longford meet in Kinnegad.
Lidl NFL Division 2
Kerry 4-9 Cavan 4-16
Lidl NFL Division 4
Louth 2-19 Fermanagh 2-9
Lidl NFL Division 1 semi-finals
Galway v Donegal
Dublin v Cork
Lidl NFL Division 2 semi-finals
Armagh v Kerry
Waterford v Cavan
Lidl NFL Division 3 semi-finals
Meath v Longford
Sligo v Roscommon
Lidl NFL Division 4 semi-finals
Louth v Antrim
Fermanagh v LimerickTweet