Tesco Ladies Senior Club Championship Final:
Donaghmoyne (Monaghan) 2-07 Donoughmore (Cork) 1-08
Ulster and Monaghan champions Donaghmoyne produced a stunning performance to land their second All Ireland senior club title in four years on Sunday at St Rynagh’s Banagher. This was a game that produced just about everything with defending of the highest quality along with scores from the top drawer. In the end Donaghmoyne deservedly lifted the title but they were made fight to the final whistle.
A strong wind made conditions difficult but two teams hungry for success produced a cracker. The Cork girls had the aid of the wind in the opening half but it was Donaghmoyne going in the happier at the break with a two point lead. Entering the contest Catriona McConnell had a whopping score of 9-40 to her name, so it was little surprise she was to the fore for the eventual winners. Along with McConnell, the Courtney sisters of Sharon and Fiona worked hard throughout along with team captain Niamh Lynch. Also catching the eye was Amanda Casey who won the battle of the midfield but this was an all round team performance and in the end they got their just reward.
Catriona McConnell struck over the game’s opening point with just over a minute elapsed with a free following a foul on Amanda Casey. However, when McConnell again found the target on nine minutes, the girls from the Rebel County had 1-2 to their name. Juliet Murphy levelled matters with a free before the All Star midfielder edged them in front with a fine effort from play. On six minutes Donoughmore struck for the games opening goal. It was to be the only goal of the championship that the eventual winners conceded and in truth the only moment in the game that the Donaghmoyne defence were caught out and Patrice Kearney punished them with a delightful finish low into the net. Following McConnell’s second converted free, Murphy re-established the Cork sides four point lead with a free at the start of the second quarter. That was to be their final score of the half as Donaghmoyne turned the game around. On 20 minutes Cora Courtney was sent to ground as she burst though on goal and referee Des McEnery had no hesitation in awarding a penalty. Linda Barrett was sent to the sin bin and Catriona McConnell stepped up to beat ‘keeper Caitriona O’Connell. Donoughmore wasted two scorable chances before McConnell struck for her second major on 29 minutes. The excellent Sharon Courtney went on a blistering run that cut open the Cork defence before laying off to McConnell who fired home and leave it at the halfway stage Donaghmoyne 2-2 Donoughmore 1-3.
While the first half was played an electrifying pace so too was the second thirty and Sharon Courtney took just 15 second to extend the lead. Hazel Kingham almost strengthened it further but her speculative effort from distance had the ‘keeper beaten but the post denied the Donaghmoyne star. Murphy (free) and Aisling O’Connor narrowed the deficit before Hazel Kingham struck over a beauty. Kingham then saw yellow before Majella Woods pointed and there was three between them again as the clock ticked into the final quarter. Gina McGowan made it four with eight remaining but Donoughmore came roaring back with points from Regina Curtin and Murphy (2) to leave it a one point game into added time. The Cork side pushed the equaliser but Donaghmoyne defended gallantly despite now down to fourteen following the sin binning of Joanne Geoghegan and McConnell had the final say at the other end with a free to leave two between them at the finish of a titanic and thrilling decider.
Donaghmoyne: L Martin, J Geoghegan, M Grimes, N Lynch, H Kingham (0-1), F Courtney J Courtney (0-1), S Courtney (0-1), A Casey, E McElroy, M Woods (0-1), L Kingham, G McGowan (0-1), C McConnell (2-2, 1-0p, 0-3f), C Courtney. Subs: A Lennon for L Kingham, L Daly for A. Lennon
Donoughmore: C. McConnell, E. Walsh, L. Barrett, R. OMahony, A. Barrett, V. Sheehan, A.M. OShea, R. Buckley, J. Murphy (0-6, 5f), O. Healy, R. Curtin (0-1), P. Kearney (1-0), Y. Twomey L. Murphy, A. OConnor (0-1).Subs: R. Barrett for O. Healy