Na Fianna Dethrone Champs
Na Fianna 2-14 Cavan 1-14
NA Fianna is back in the Sean Faherty Cup final after defeating 2011 ladies champions Cavan by three points. They used a strong second half defensive display when they held Cavan to four points, and they got the necessary scores at the other end. They had a higher percentage of execution when they got within scoring distance, and that was telling in the final 30 minutes.
In the first three minutes Na Fianna had 1-1, with the goal coming from a penalty when Aoife Herbert was fouled. She dispatched the resulting kick to the net.
Cavan had a brace in reply from their center strike force of Lindsey Davey and Denise McKenna. After a Natasha Barnwell score for Na Fianna, Cavan dominated for the next 10 minutes as they added 1-4 to their total.
The goal came when Hazel Kingham won the ball in the half back line and fed Linda McKeon in the middle. The number 8 launched a long ball to McKenna, who then crashed the ball to the net with authority.
Na Fianna needed a response and it came from Herbert. She won a long ball from the left wing from Kelly McCormack and rattled the back of the net with a cracking shot.
After a Kelly Donohoe long range point on 21 minutes it was Cavan 1-7 Na Fianna 2-2. Na Fianna was making their chances stand up in front of goal, and they added four of the next five scores to edge in front.
McKenna did have two points shortly before the halftime whistle. However, just at the buzzer Na Fianna had a point from Barnwell to tie up the game again.
Aine Dwyer and Rosie O’Reilly swapped scores to open the second half. Na Fianna then added four of the next five scores.
The best of the bunch was an outstanding score by Emer Considine when she soloed close to 50 yards, getting by three challenges before slotting over with the left leg. An inspiring score. Donohoe also had a shot stopped by Alison Leydon.
The game took one of its final turns with 11 minutes left on the clock and Na Fianna holding a 2-12 to 1-12 lead. McKenna was fouled in the area for a penalty, but the Davey shot was easily blocked by Leydon and cleared.
Na Fianna did receive a sin bin for this, and also a following infraction with Barnwell and Mullarkey cautioned.
Cavan could not use the extra numbers to their advantage, however, and they also lost Ashley Callery to a yellow.
A McKenna point was cancelled out by Dwyer before Kathryn Sullivan had their final score. A Davey point from a free brought it back to a one score lead, but Cavan could not get any closer.
Cavan: 1 Nora Kilkenny, 2 Catherina Rafferty, 3 Nicola O’Reilly, 4 Caroline McBrien, 5 Ashley Callery, 6 Hazel Kingham (0-1), 7 Katie McEvoy, 8 Linda McKeon, 9 Mairead Ruane, 10 Alisa Jordan, 11 Lindsay Davey (0-6), 12 Rosie O’Reilly(0-1), 13 Nicola King, 14 Denise McKenna (1-4), 15 Kelly Donohoe (0-1). Subs: Mary Hanley .
Na Fianna: 1 Alison Leydon, 2 Bridget Judd, 3 Cathriona Lynch, 4 Imelda Mullarkey, 5 Stephanie Tierney, 6 Kathryn Sullivan, 7 Shannon Spillane, 8 Aine Dwyer, 9 Fiona Dwyer, 10 Kelly McCormack, 11 Brianna Tierney, 12 Emer Considine, 13 Aoife Herbert, 14 Mary O’Rourke, 15 Natasha Barnwell.
Player of the game: Kathryn Sullivan (Na Fianna).
Second Half Charm for K/D
Kerry/Donegal 2-15 Fermanagh 3-8
THE second semifinal in the ladies division was a game of two contrasting halves. Fermanagh held a six point lead at the interval, but they only added two points to their total in the second half as Kerry/Donegal caught them and then overtook on the way to victory.
K/D came out flying and they had three of the first four points of the game. Denise Dunnion had two and was showing her undoubted talents.
Fermanagh responded, and they had three points in succession before the 11th minute, with Maeve Redmond causing problems with her running with ball in hand.
After a reply from K/D of two points from Mairead Tenneson and Dunnion, Fermanagh broke the game open. In a four minute span they put the ball in the back of the net three times.
The first came when Aishlinn Gormley took a long low ball into her, and turned to drive to the net. The kickout was returned to the scoring sector and Maeve Redmond pounced on it and fired their second goal. A defensive mistake gave Gormley an opportunity for goal number three and she gladly took it.
Both sides had points in the aftermath to leave Fermanagh ahead 3-6 to 0-7 with six minutes left in the half. K/D finished strongest with three wides and two points to narrow the gap to six at the short whistle.
The second opened with a Dunnion point within seconds. Tennyson followed with a point before Loretta Cunningham had a score at the other end.
When Kelly Roche and Megan McNeilus swapped points it was still anyone’s game at 3-8 to 0-12.
Amazingly that was to be the final score for Fermanagh. K/D chipped away with two points before Marie Dargan fired in a goal to level the tie.
Fermanagh had three chances at the other end but wides were their only result. Tenneson added a free before Dargan put the icing on the win and her player of the game performance with a cracking goal.