McGuinness penalty pinches it for St. Gall’s

NORTHERN PROPERTY LGFA IFC

St. Gall’s 6-4  Glenavy 3-11

Photographs: Bert Trowlen

A goal from the penalty spot in injury time from Mairiosa McGuinness swung this keenly contested Intermediate Championship encounter the way of St. Gall’s and broke the hearts of an excellent Glenavy who thought they had clinched victory five minutes earlier.

Anna Mulholland had fisted a dropping ball to the St. Gall’s net in the 27th minute to give the visitors to Milltown the lead but St. Gall’s came back with one last attack and were awarded a penalty which McGuinness tucked away to earn her side victory.

Both side played some great expansive football but it was St. Gall’s ability to score goals that was to prove the difference in the end with Meabh McCurdy playing the poacher’s role to great affect for the Milltown side.

McCurdy struck for her first goal when she intercepted a slack kick-out in the 9th minute at a time when Ana Mulholland and Grainne McLaughlin had shot Glenavy into a two point lead. Mairiosa McGuinness extended the St. Gall’s lead with a point but two more points from McLaughlin and McCurdy for Glenavy had the side’s level after 24 minutes.

Three unanswered points from Meabh McCurdy, Ana Mulholland and Ellen Morgan saw the Chapel Hill side hit the front by the 29th minute with St. Gall’s kicking the final point of the half in time added on through Aveen Maginn to trail 1-2 to 0-7 at Half time.

St. Joseph’s had edged the first half exchanges but the second half was only 30 seconds old when Jenny McCavana got in for a St. Gall’s goal to edge her side a point in front.

Ellen Morgan replied with a point but when Meabh McCurdy fired home her second and her side’s third goal in the 5th minute the balance of play looked to have swung in favour of the Milltown Row girls.

Glenavy were having none of it and Ellen Morgan made a timely interception to rifle home a goal for the Chapel Hill girls and put them right back into contention and even at this early juncture it was obvious that this one was going right down to the wire.

Play was beginning to open up with the Glenavy defence continuing to look vulnerable every time the opposition got forward and Mairiosa McGuinness got on the end of a good move to score her side’s fourth goal in the 8th minute.

McGuinness added a point before Glenavy responded with a goal of their own with county player, Grainne McLaughlin showing her predatory instincts to finish a good move in the 12th minute and put her side right back into contention.

It was case of ‘blink and you might miss it’ as the St. Gall’s goal machine continued to role and Mairoisa McGuinness’ quick thinking led to her side’s fifth goal as she picked our Meabh McCurdy with a free and McCurdy applied the finish for her third major of the evening.

It was still anyone’s game but Glenavy looked to have grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat as Grainne McLaughlin fired over a couple of points and Ellen Morgan added another before Ana Mulholland climbed to fist the ball to the net with three minutes of normal time remaining.

A point from Hannah Cosgrove in reply left it finally balanced with the visitors looking to have done enough as the game edged into time added on but in a last attack the home side were awarded a penalty and McGuinness kept her cool to slot her shot to the net and give her side victory.

St. Gall’s: 1 Eimear Magorrian, 2 Clare Cosgrove, 3 Megan McGlinchey, 4 Nicole McKeown, 5 Niamh Bellew, 6 Eimear Bradley, 7 Beth Cosgrove, 8 Aveen Maginn, 9 Aoife Turley, 10 Cuisle Wilson, 11 Jenny McCavana, 12 Hannah Cosgrove, 13 Mairiosa McGuinness, 14 Meabh McCurdy, 15 Stephanie Cochrane.

Glenavy: 16 Orla McMullan, 2 Maire McStravick, 3 Cathy Scannell, Aideen McCambridge, 5 Lilly Curran, 6 Bronagh Forester, 7 Orla MacLeod, 8 Meabh Bradley, 9 Natasha O’Neill, 10 Ellen Morgan, 11 Megan McGarry, 12 Ana Mulholland, 13 Edele Christie, 14 Grainne McLaughlin, 15 Cara McGarry, 18 Grainne Fallon, 19 Geraldine McCann, 21 Ciara McCorry, 22 Ciara McLaughlin, 23 Michelle Gregory, 24 Eve McCartney

Referee: Stephen Higgins (Tir na nOg)

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