Portlaoise Ladies AFC won the KDFL So Fresh Entertainment Division 1 on the first attempt last Monday in Rossleighan Park with a whopping 6-0 victory over Naas AFC in what can only be described as a sensational year for the team.
The ladies team were formed in 2014, entering the KDFL Countrywide Forklift Training Division 2 league where the ladies went unbeaten in the season. They have hit both the 2nd and 1st division by storm, winning both divisions in just two years together as a group.
On the night anything bar a loss would claim the title for the Portlaoise outfit with three games still to be played. The heavy rainfall did not diminish the celebrations and Portlaoise from the outset were playing for the victory. Portlaoise played some fantastic soccer from the opening half hour with an opening goal from Colleen Rickard who finished home from close range following some great work from midfielder Nicole Kelly making it 1-0 to the home side. This swung momentum in Portlaoise way and shortly after Rickard scored her second of the night when Jenny O’ Neill went on a fine run down the left, crossing the ball to Rickard who finished first time.
The third goal came just short of half time when a corner ball was rebounded out to the ever reliant player/manager Bernie Bowe who then struck from distance curling the ball past the Naas keeper giving her no chance and making it 3-0 for the home side.
The second half started with a fast pace, Naas determined to get on the score sheet but Aisling Kehoe went out of defence on a run up the middle passing a sublime ball to Rickard who again finished from close range on the 65th minute making it 4-0. Following some great hassling work from Jenny Conroy in the middle of the park she found Mo Nerney up front who struck from distance making it 5-0 on the 80th minute. The wind and rain pouring down on the night didn’t affect the skill shown by both sides and it was on the 90th minute that Portlaoise scored their 6th with Ellen Healy powering out of defence she passed out to Nicole Kelly who again struck from the edge of the box making it 6-0 and bringing to an end a powerful performance by the Portlaoise ladies.
It has been an unbelievable year for the team, claiming the title with three games in hand and currently into the final of the shield (date and time to be decided). Things could not have gone better throughout the season having fought tooth and nail and nobody could deny them their success all lead by player/manager Bernie Bowe who has lead the ladies to 2nd and 1st division titles in just two seasons.
The Portlaoise Ladies would like to thank their sponsor HEART ER Ambulance Service for their continued support and everyone who has come out to support them throughout the season.