LGFA Division 1
St. James’ Aldergrove 2-11 Gort na Mona 1-7
The wife and sister of Darren O’Neill R.I.P., former manager of St. James’ Aldergrove promotion winning team were joined by their club chairman as they led the Aldergrove team onto the field in Crumlin last night for their first game in division 1
The Aldergrove Senior football team joined with the visiting team from Gort na Mona and spectators to observe an impeccable minutes silence before the game for the man who did so much to promote ladies football in Crumlin.
The former manager would surely have smiled down from his heavenly home as his former charges produced a sterling second half performance to overcome a strong challenge from a Gort na Mona side who looked to be well in contention at the halfway stage with the scores tied at 0-8 to 1-5.
Orla Rooney and Caitlin Taggart pointed Aldergrove into an early lead but the visitors hit back through a Ciara Maguire goal before their keeper Orlaith Lennon pulled off one of several good saves she was to make over the hour.
Aldergrove returned to the offensive and Rooney added two more to her total and Aoife Taggart got her first of the night to move the Crumlin girls two ahead before Ciara Maguire replied with a point at the other end to keep her side in touch.
An Aoife Taggart point for St. James’ brought a quick reply from the visitors through Gabrielle Monaghan and Jordan McCullough before Colleen McGuinness produced a lung bursting run for the point of the half for the home side.
The visitors had the better of the closing stages of the half however as Duailtin Ni Cathaill hit two fine points in reply to one from an Aoife Taggart free to leave it all square as the half time whistle sounded.
HT 0-8 TO 1-5
We looked set for a cliff hanger as the second half got underway as Aoife Taggart for the home side and Stacey Meighan for Gort na Mona exchanged further points but it was the Crumlin side who stepped up their intensity to take control.
Substitute Katie McArt fired to the Gort na Mona net with virtually her first touch of the ball and when Paula Masterson fired past Orlaith Lennon from the penalty spot there would be no way back for the visitors from Turf Lodge.
Aoife Taggart converted a free and added another from play as St. James dominated the closing stages with Ciara Maguire replying with a consolation point for a Gort na Mona team who battled well but were forced to concede to the better team on the night.
Aldergrove: 1 Lucy Simpson, 2 Caoimhe Bell, 3 Anna Crossan, 4 Bronach Mallon, 5 Aine Kelly, 6 Paula Masterson, 7 Rebecca Marquess, 8 Colleen McGuinness, 9 Katierose Bell, 10 Orla Rooney, 11 Caitlin Taggart, 12 Clare Hanna, 13 Aoife Taggart, 14 Anna McBride, 15 Emma McArt. Subs: 16 Katie McArt, 17 Nicole Jones, 18 Eimear Jones, 19 Niamh Hanna, 20 Mia Dunlop, 21 Roisin Crossan, 22 Alanah McMaster, 25 Niamh Agus, 27 Riona Muldoon, 29 Erin Kane, 30 Grace O’Neill
Gort na Mona: Orlaith Lennon, 2 Emily Kearns, 3 Carla Scannell, 4 Katie Irvine, 5 Tiernagh Elley, 6 Eimear Ni Lonnrachtaig, 7 Mia Gregory, 8 Jeyda Rooney, 9 Aoibhin Enright, 10 Gabrielle Monaghan, 11 Anna McCann, 12 Duailtin Ni Cathail, 13 Jordan McCullough, 14 Ciara Maguire, 15 Chloe Lennon. Subs: 16 Casey Meighan, 17 Niamh NicLonnrachtaigh