Na Fianna Are League Champs
Na Fianna 5-15 Kerry/Donegal 0-7
In a surprisingly one-sided affair, Na Fianna won the New York Ladies League Championship and a tie with Fermanagh in the semifinal of the Sean Faherty championship. Kerry/Donegal now goes on to meet Cavan in the other semifinal.
With Molly O’Rourke and Yvonne McMonigle a two pronged monster up front, the winners had a 3-10 to 0-2 lead at the break and easily cantered to the finish in an impressive display. They will now be the strong favorite for the Sean Faherty Championship in the weeks ahead.
Na Fianna had the game clinched from the start when they had the first six points before K/D had their first point. A goal from O’Rourke immediately following that score definitely put beyond doubt who was going to be the victor.
They were scoring at will, and at the half it was 3-10 to 0-2 in favor of Na Fianna with O’Rourke getting 2-5 of that total. The O’Dwyer girls in the middle of the park were dominating, with McMonigle on the 40 running at will and supplying very good ball to the inside forwards.
The only attacks that K/D had resulted in Kelly Roche and Aoife O’Sullivan scores, but a sin bin for Sharon Mulligan with 20 minutes gone gave Na Fianna a glorious chance, which they took with open hands to put the result out of reach.
A Mary O’Rourke soccer-style goal within four minutes of the restart put further padding on the scoreboard. Sue Bennett and Aoife Gibson with an excellent running score helped the K/D cause, but 1-1 from McMonigle 10 minutes in extended the already substantial lead.
The side took the foot off the pedal and even had a penalty go wide as the second half casually headed to the finish line.
Outstanding for the winners were Katrina Lynch, Grainne Johnston and Mairead Brennan at the back. Aine Dwyer had a brilliant outing in the center, while up front Yvonne McMonigle, Molly O’Rourke, who was outstanding and Karina Richards were unmarkable on this occasion.
Coaches Fergal O’Neill and Mark Comerford have the side poised for a title run, and on this performance they will be very hard to stop.
K/D will want to forget this outing and quickly. Aoife Gibson, Kelly Roche and Allie Kelly were few of the lone stars. They have what could be a dangerous outing in the semi against a Cavan outfit that would love to play spoiler.
Na Fianna: 1 Allison Leydon, 2 Stephanie Tierney, 3 Marie Marron, 4 Katrina Lynch, 5 Karen Henry, 6 Grainne Johnston, 7 Michelle Brennan, 8 Aine Dwyer (1-2), 9 Fiona Dwyer, 10 Joanne McKenna, 11 Yvonne McGonigle (1-3), 12 Mary O’Rourke (1-1), 13 Karena Richards (0-2), 14 Molly O’Rourke (2-7), 15 Imelda Mullarkey. Subs: Stephanie Bush, Tina Foy, Karen Shelly.
Kerry/Donegal: 1 Leith Mulherne, 2 Caitlin Enright, 3 Una Burke, 4 Niamh Britton, 5 Anita McKenna, 6 Michelle McVann, 7 Aoife Gibson (0-1), 8 Aoife O’Sullivan (0-1), 9 Kelly Roche (0-1), 10 Stephanie Anakettel, 11 Loretta Cunningham, 12 Sharon Mulligan, 13 Denise Dunnion (0-2), 14 Sue Bennett (0-1), 15 Allie Kelly (0-1). Subs: Catherina Sullivan, Siobhan Neville.
Player of the game: Molly O’Rourke (Na Fianna).
Referee: Dean O’Connor.
Ross Leads Kerry Onslaught
Kerry 3-11 Donegal 1-6
KERRY used a dominant second half when they held their opponents to a point and they crashed over 2-8 to get the win in this senior football outing.
Ross Donovan was the scoring leader as he had a terrific game from full forward to pace the side. Two goals from Kieran Bergin in his second game of the afternoon all added up to a very nice win for the Kingdom.
In a slow-paced first half Donegal had the better opening -- granted it did not arrive until the first 10 minutes were over. That period was stale to say the least.
When the game did get going the sides swapped points before Donegal had a John McNicolas point from play. It was followed by a long ball into the square from Shane Carr after he had made an inviting solo run down the left sideline. The ball was fumbled between the keeper and corner back, with Bill Gasperino grabbing the loose ball and taking the easy task of putting it in the net.
Kerry did recover, with Donovan pulling two points back. The second was an excellent score when Colin Mahoney made a good run out of the back to start the move.
Again, however, Donegal responded. They were winning all the ball in the half back line with Aiden Downes and Shane Carr very productive, and points from McNicholas and a brace from Bobby McDonald. It left them 1-5 to 0-3 ahead with the half approaching.
Kerry had one more trick in their bag before the break. The ball was worked down the field, with Bergin latching on to the final pass and finding the net with less than a minute on the clock. The perfect tonic heading to the break.
Kerry continued in the scoring vain to open the second half. They had 1-6 in the first 15 minutes while keeping Donegal scoreless.