Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ladies Senior Football Final: Connacht Ladies v Tir na nOg

Connacht Ladies 2-15 Tir na nOg 1-6

Connacht Ladies reclaimed the senior football championship in a surprisingly one sided game against champions Tir na nOg.  The Brighton side were without a defensive leader with Lisa Brick out injured, as well as dangerous forward Shauna Jackson.  The high point for Tir na nOg was an early Maggie Sayers goal, however from that point on it was all Connacht Ladies.  Dominant in the middle of the field and with all forwards firing on all cylinders it was pretty much all over early in the second half. 

Connacht Ladies Captain, Jane Ward, presented with the
Mickey Coyne Cup.
The game started with a bang, two in fact.  First came a goal from Maggie Sayers who finished low to the near corner, and it was answered almost immediately with a Catriona Foley goal.  Connacht Ladies held the advantage thereafter.  Midfielders Tori McLaughlin and Clara Fitzpatrick caused no end of problems for their opponents, while up front the forwards feasted on a healthy supply of ball.  Jane Ward, Aimee McGuckin, Ruth Cox, and Nicola Donnelly each accounted for scores.  Niamh Hynes was called upon to make two fantastic saves to prevent the distance between the teams from growing.

Tir na nOg ran into issues when trying to move the ball into the opposition danger zone and promising looking developments tended to come to naught.  Fiona Morrissey accounted for a point, and Niamh Daly, Sayers, and Caroline Nee tried hard to turn the tables and change momentum, but it was all with Connacht Ladies.  At the break there was a 10 point gap, 1-11 to 1-1 for the Connacht Ladies.

Celebration Time!
Tir na nOg made a better first of it in the second half, though the 10 point difference was a big ask to make up.  Chloe Ryan and Shelly Walsh pointed, however, the Brighton side labored while Connacht Ladies looked comfortable in seeing out the game.  A second goal with less than 10 minutes to go put the cap on the win, and it is Connacht Ladies reclaiming the senior football championship and going for a crack at a first North American.

Connacht:  J. McDonagh, J. Conroy, C. McNabbb, K. Lynch, C. McMahon, H. Poff, E. Hannon, T. McLoughlin, C. Fitzpatrick, A. McGuckin, N. Donnelly, R. Cox, J. Ward, C. Foley, M. Mullan.  Tir na nOg:  N. Hynes, J. Davoran, R. Stapleton, C. Kelly, N. Daly, A. Taylor, F. Ni Bhriain, F. Morissey, R. Stapleton, M. Sayers, C. Nee, S. Bannon, C. Ryan, L. Bergin, S. Walsh.

By Rory O'Donnell

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