Mayo 2-9, Na Fianna 2-3
The spectators in Paddy’s Field on Sunday were treated to a royal battle between Mayo and Na Fianna. These two very strong teams were battling for playoff positions. Both began this game with equal aggression and the referee, Dessie O’Reilly, was kept busy for the whole 60 minutes.
Mayo dominated much of the first half, with Na Fianna struggling to find form. There was a lot of unnecessary fouling by both teams, including off-the-ball pushing. Mayo was the first to take scores, with twins Cathy and Joanne McKenna showing their dominance. Cathy put 1-1 on the scoreboard in the first half, while Joanne had 0-2. Other scores came from Donna Mulligan and Ellen McGrail to put Mayo up eight points at the half. Ann Ryan scored a point for Na Fianna and Edel Martin was unlucky not to have gotten a goal that was saved by the Mayo defense.
In the second half, Na Fianna came more into the game and managed to pull back within two points of Na Fianna as a result of a penalty that was scored by Mary McEvoy and a beautiful goal from play from newcomer Monica O’Shea. However, it was Mayo’s day and they were not to give up easily. They continued to pressure the backs and Camie O’Shea scored a goal to finally seal the game.
Best for Mayo, Fiona Ward, Ellen McGrail, Joanne McKenna, Cathy McKenna and Donna Mulligan. Best for Na Fianna, Mary McEvoy, Edel Martin, Monica O’Shea, Mary Kearney.
Mayo scorers: Joanne McKenna 0-3, Cathy McKenna 1-1, Donna Mulligan 0-2, Ellen McGrail 0-3, Camie O’Shea 1-0.
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Na Fianna: Ann Ryan 0-1, Edel Martin 0-2, Mary McEvoy 1-0, Monica O’Shea 1-0.
Cavan 7-11, Ciarrai 1-5
Thanks to the efforts of New York Men’s GAA president, Monty Maloney, the last game of the Ladies Championship was played in Gaelic Park.
What looked like being a whole wet evening and a poor game because of the conditions turned out to be a very exciting first half, with Ciarrai looking the more impressive and putting on all the pressure. Even though Cavan were the first to score, with a goal from Rosie O’Reilly, they were very slow to start and looked sluggish from the word go. Ciarrai responded with a point by Sara McCarthy and a beautiful goal from Player of the Match Jeannie Rynne.
The difference in the size of Gaelic Park and Paddy’s Field took its toll with Cavan having the more difficult time in getting the ball into their forwards. Finally, Ger Mahon got the ball despite being marked heavily by Mary Kearney Cooney and scored a point. Ciarrai continued to dominate and were unlucky not to have a second goal when some confusion arose between goalkeeper Sharon Levins and Olive Wilson. Mary Tuohy, who had an excellent first half, gave Ciarrai two more points before the ever dangerous Karen Shalvey put two goals in the back of the net, leaving the half-time score Cavan 3-1, Ciarrai 1-3.
The second half was all Cavan. They played beautiful passing football and managed to give Karen Shalvey the hat trick, scoring three goals. Further goals followed from Rosie O’Reilly, Aishling Creighton and Deirdre Feeney. Ciarrai were only able to add two more points, from Jeannie Rynne and Varina Carey. A penalty taken by Rynne was well saved by Sharon Levins.
Best for Kerry were Brenda Walsh, Patricia O’Brien, Louise Mahon, Jeannie Rynne and Mary Tuohy. Best for Cavan were Pauline Colemen, Maggie Byrne, Rosie O’Reilly, Deirdre Feeney, Karen Shalvey and Aishling Creighton.
Cavan scorers: Rosie O’Reilly 2-1, Ger Mahon 0-2, Karen Shalvey 3-3, Deirdre Feeney 1-2, Aishling Creighton 1-2, Catherine Russell 0-1. Player of the Match: Rosie O’Reilly.
Ciarrai: Sara McCarthy 0-1, Jeannie Rynne 1-1, Mary Tuohy 0-2, Varina Carey 0-1. Player of the Match: Jeannie Rynne.
Na Fianna 3-11, Ciarrai 1-1
From the outset, Na Fianna dominated this Thursday night game, opening the scoring with an Ann Ryan point that came from a high ball sent into the forward line by Edel Martin. Alison Lineen followed with another point, coming off a free.
Ciarrai held their own to this point, but disaster struck when star full-back Marlese Fath went off with a knee injury. Ciarrai were forced to make changes early, with Orla Doyle coming in as full forward and Varina Carey moving back to full-back. The changes unsettled Ciarrai and Na Fianna were able to capitalize with Edel Martin and Ann Ryan adding more scores.
Then came more changes. Mary Kearney-Cooney was moved to full-back and Sheila Frayne and Chrisie McSweeney were introduced into the forward line. Sheila Frayne quickly made her presence known by scoring a goal to put Ciarrai on the scoreboard in the last 10 minutes of the first half. But Alison Lineen continued to run through the Ciarrai defense and took two superbly taken scores from frees, one which ended up in the back of the net, making the halftime score Na Fianna 2-6, Ciarrai 1-0.
Na Fianna opened the second half with scores from Rose Dunican, Ann Ryan and Edel Martin. Orla Doyle added a point for Ciarrai and when Na Fianna were called for a penalty it looked like Ciarrai might have a chance in this game. The ever-versatile Alison Lineen stood in as goalkeeper, but Jeanine Rynne’s scoring was not on target and the ball went wide. Shortly after this Alison Lineen and Rose Dunican closed the scoring for Na Fianna.
Even though their names don’t appear on the score sheet, both Ger McCluskey and Emer Hallissey were outstanding in the forward line for Na Fianna. However, it was Alison Lineen who was the star of the evening, scoring most of her scores from frees. Maree Maloney put in a great second half, and in the back line, Mary McEvoy was all over the pitch, Mary Kearney and Mags Dineen gave it their all.
Ciarrai will be disappointed with their loss despite the heroic efforts of Mary Kearney-Cooney, who played every position. Up front the two Sheilas, Neville and Frayne, did most damage. Neville was a constant threat with her speed and will be a player to watch in the future.
Na Fianna scorers: Alison Lineen 2-3, Edel Martin 1-2, Amy Ryan 0-4, Rose Dunican 0-2. Player of the Match: Ger McCluskey.
Ciarrai: Sheila Frayne 1-0, Orla Doyle 0-l. Player of the Match: Mary Kearney-Cooney.
Leitrim 5-12, Monaghan 0-
From the opening whistle, it was evident that Leitrim had something to prove last Thursday. All six forwards played well as a unit. Some great runs were put together by Eibhlish Dineen, who worked the ball into the full forward line for them to take a score. Monaghan’s defense were just unable to stop this kind of football. They worked hard to cover the players but Leitrim kept on creating the overlap. When Monaghan broke with the ball they moved it very fast down the wings, but the forwards were unable to capitalize.
Leitrim, meanwhile, were relentless. They kept pressuring and when the opportunity arose took their score. Monaghan were unable to produce a score on the first half, Leitrim’s tally at the halftime was 2-6.
Monaghan returned to the second half with a new vigor. They attacked the ball more, moving it up the center well and passing it off to their forwards. Leitrim’s defense were stunned by the speed and skill of Norma McCarthy’s solo runs and allowed her to take an easy point. Monaghan got into a momentum but were finally stopped by a more aware Leitrim defense, which cleared the ball down to their forwards who enjoyed a scoring spree. Monaghan came back to score two more points before the final whistle.
Best for Leitrim were Pat Meade and Una Burke and Paula Brophy. Best for Monaghan were Kate McEntee, Mary Nash and Norma McCarthy.
Leitrim scorers: Colette O’Sullivan 0-2, Eibhlish Dineen 0-3, Pat Meade 3-3, Tracey McLoughlin 0-1, Sadie Bolger 2-2, Simeone Ahloowana 0-1. Player of the Match: Eibhlish Dineen.
Monaghan: Norma McCarthy 0-1, Kate McEntee 0-1, Roisin Rooney 0-1.
Leitrim 3-6, Rockland 0-2
On Sunday at Paddy’s Field, Rockland, having played some great football this year and having lost by only three points to Cavan in an earlier round of the league, were a worry to Leitrim.
But Leitrim dominated the ball from the beginning. Ann Marie McMunn, who looked comfortable back in her midfield position, did a good job of moving the ball up to the forward lines. Leitrim’s forwards battled hard with Rockland’s defense, Fiona O Flynn and Jen Miani, but again, by creating the overlap in play, were able to take scoring chances.
Earlier in the first half Skippy Mahoney showed great sharpness in slapping a high ball that was bouncing around the Rockland goalmouth into the back of the net. Rockland’s goalkeeper, Kelly Gorman, had a very good game under intense pressure. She made some great catches on her line and swift clearances out the wings. The half time score was Leitrim 3-4, Rockland 0-0.
Rockland returned in the second half with great fight and kept the Leitrim forwards in check. Leitrim’s forwards found it harder to find the crossbar in the second half and had a lot of unforced errors. Rockland, with the help of Joanna Hoenniger on the right wing, got their name on the score boards. However, a couple of minutes later, the ball came down the middle of Leitrim’s defense, where it bounced in front of the goalmouth. Leitrim’s Ann Marie McCrumlish got her hand to it and cleared it out to the wing.
Leitrim scorers: Skippy Mahoney 1-2, Sadie Bolger 1-2, Eibhlish Dineen 1-0, Jacinta Boyle 0-1, Ann Marie Snee 0-1. Players of the Match: Paula Brophy and Pat Meade.
Rockland: Joanna Hoenniger 0-1, Colleen McElroy 0-1. Player of the Match: Colleen McElroy.