St Paul’s 0-11-1-07 St Ergnat’s Moneyglass
By Kevin Herron at Corrigan Park
St Paul’s ladies claimed their sixth successive Kennedy Centre Antrim Senior Championship in a row with a nail biting 0-11-1-07 victory over St Ergnat’s, Moneyglass in Saturday evenings decider at Corrigan Park.
It looked as though the sides would have to do it all again as darkness began to descend on the Whiterock Road with the sides level two minutes into injury-time; however Kirsty McGuinness converted a late free to seal glory for her side and make it back to back final defeats for the ladies from St Ergnat’s, whose two points in the forty-five minutes was surely a contributing factor in their demise.
St Ergnat’s began the game on the front foot and landed the opening score within the first two minutes, Deirdre O’Kane turned the ball over from the throw in and a patient passage of play ended with Eleanor Mallon popping the ball between the posts.
Defending champions St Paul’s replied three minutes as Kirsty McGuinness threaded a fine through ball into the path of Niamh Enright who levelled and after turning over the resulting kick-out Laura Dahunsi popped the ball over the bar to give her side a 0-02-0-01 lead.
Kirsty McGuinness missed the chance to increase her sides lead, unusually misfiring from a free in front of the posts and St Ergnat’s pulled level with just short of ten minutes on the clock thanks to Lara McCann’s point after some brilliant hold up play from Aine Devlin.
The opening goal arrived from the next passage of play as Lauren Gray’s short kick-out was intercepted by Eleanor Mallon and a neat passing move saw Megan McGlinchey feed Cathy Carey who blasted low to the net past Gray to give St Ergnat’s a 1-02-0-02 lead.
The Moneyglass ladies almost had a second within a minute, but Laura McCann’s shot bounced over the bar rather than under it with Megan McGlinchey and Lauren Gray unsure of the destination.
St Paul’s shot stopper Gray was then penalised by referee Anthony Carleton for a shoulder charge with Cathy Carey scoring from the resulting free and when Aine Devlin drove forward and slotted the ball between the posts St Ergnat’s had registered five unanswered scores and were 1-05-0-02 ahead approaching the midway point in the half.
Kirsty McGuinness landed her first score of the evening to start a revival for her side, but then missed an opportunity to reduce the deficit further from another free on 23 minutes.
Two minutes before the break Stacey McCann conjured up an excellent point for the Shaws Road girls, however St Ergnat’s replied instantly through Carey to restore their five-point advantage.
McGuinness would land the final score of the half after some neat interplay from St Paul’s to leave four-points between the sides at the interval, 1-06-0-05.
St Paul’s came flying out of the traps at the beginning of the second period and almost had a goal within the first sixty-seconds, though Kirsty McGuinness only found the gloves of a relieved Anna McCann after Aine Tubridy had played the full-forward through.
Niamh Enright would land the opening score of the half from a converted free and after Tubridy and McGuinness linked up again, the later would pop the ball over the bar to half St Ergnat’s lead.
Fionnghuala Rocks made it three scores on the spin with a simple point from in front of the posts and Niamh Enright, who started the comeback with a converted free; would finish it after a neat score on the turn to level the scores, 1-06-0-09 after 35 minutes.
The pendulum had firmly swung into St Paul’s favour and they took the lead for the first time since the 5th minute on 38 minutes thanks to Fionnghuala Rocks, who claimed her second point of the evening.
St Ergnat’s were without a score since the 29th minute having lead by six after the first quarter, midway through the second-half they pulled level thanks to substitute Orla Prenter who levelled after a fine score from the right to make it 1-07-0-10.
Kirsty McGuinness had the chance to restore her sides lead on 48 minutes after Aine Tubridy was upended, however luck deserted the full-forward again as her shot tailed to the right and wide.
With less than ten minutes remaining McGuinness was upended on route to goal and after letting play continue, Anthony Carleton pulled play back for a free. McGuinness’ resulting free dropped short after a scramble in the goal mouth the ball fell to the full-forward whose shot was bravely blocked off the goalline by Eleanor Mallon.
The woodwork was next to deny McGuinness as her free a minute later bounced back off the large post and Aine Tubridy failed to convert the rebound.
Fionnghuala Rocks and Prenter both squandered further frees for their respective sides a reply looked on the cards after sixty minutes at Corrigan Park, however two minutes into injury-time Aine Tubridy was taken down and Kirsty McGuinness called for the ball.
The full-forward who had a mixed evening composed herself and landed the pressure kick to give her side the lead.
A minute later McGuinness took responsibility for another free from a similar angle, the woodwork would deny her for the second time on this occasion but St Paul’s were able to negotiate the remainder of injury-time to ensure the Kennedy Centre Antrim Senior Ladies Championship would reside at the Shaws Road for the sixth year in a row.
St Paul’s: L Gray, C Stewart, E Kelly, C Dahunsi, N Kelly, S Tennyson, M Hanna, L Dahunsi (0-01), A Tubridy, S McCann (0-01), F Rocks (0-02), C McNeice, C McGuinness, K McGuinness (0-04,0-01f), N Enright (0-03,0-01f). Subs: L Wallace for C Stewart (37 mins), N Cooper for N Enright (49 mins).
St Ergnat’s: A McCann, C McCann, R Bradley, N McIntosh, D Duffin, B Scullion, E McAreavey, D O’Kane, L McCann (0-02), A Devlin (0-01), C Carey (1-02, 0-01f), E Mallon (0-01), M McGlinchey, T Scullion, A McCormack. Subs: O Prenter (0-01) for T Scullion (40 mins), M McCann for D O’Kane (43 mins), A McAtamney for M McGlinchy (49 mins), S McLaughlin for R Bradley (54 mins).
Referee: Anthony Carleton (St Brigid’s)