An outstanding second half display by Na Fianna clinched the win and a fixture against Cavan in the Annie Kearney Cup final. They outscored their opponents 1-9 to 1-2 in this period with a clinical display in front of goal.
The game had a thunderous opening with goals galore in the first four minutes. It started with a Caitlin Slattery point which was immediately followed by a Stacy McCann goal at the other end.
The lead was short lived for Na Fianna as Fermanagh moved the ball down the field for their second score, a Marie Dunleavy goal.
Waves were going up and down the field and Fermanagh had the next one. Molly Boyle linked with Caroline Murphy to crash the ball to the net for a 2-1 to 1-0 lead.
Na Fianna, with four minutes on the clock, cancelled out that major. McCann combined with Molly O’Rourke to set up Kelly McCormack. She hit the post, then grabbed the rebound to grab the second Fianna major.
The game from a scoring standpoint calmed down but the intensity stayed high. Na Fianna lost Katrina Lynch to a yellow card on 17 minutes and Murphy fired the free over, but it was the last score of the half for the Northern side.
Na Fianna had four wides as they attacked relentlessly. They added five points to their total, with Aine Dwyer chipping over three of the total. It gave them a 2-5 to 2-2 interval lead, with Dwyer showing that she can dominate a game when given the ball.
It was all Na Fianna in the first 15 minutes of the second half. They added 1-6 to their total, with Mary O’Rourke getting the goal when she was set free by Molly O’Rourke in an excellent move.
Molly was the leader behind all of their attacks as she showed constantly as the point person. Jessie Garcia was covering across the half back line and negating any attacking chances for
Fermanagh with impressive play, while Stephanie Tierney was also cleaning up at the defensive end. This gave the forward line ample chances to show for the outlet pass.
The scores came easily up front, with Selena Moylan coming off the bench to score two points which cancelled out a brace from frees for Fermanagh that Murphy had shot from frees.
Na Fianna’s defense was the star despite the scoring avalanche up front. Garcia was outstanding, while Stephanie Tierney, Imelda Mullarkey and Katrina Lynch really closed down the hatches after the slow opening.
Aine Dwyer, Molly O’Rourke and Mary O’Rourke did the damage upfront. Dwyer is a real force when carrying the ball, and her long range shooting is superb. Molly is a phenom while Mary, when used in a central position, really comes to the fore. Fermanagh gave it a good battle, with Donna Traynor doing no wrong. Roisin Toner, Molly Boyle, and Caroline Murphy also battled hard.
Na Fianna: 1 Alison Leydon, 2 Shannon Spillane, 3 Katrina Lynch, 4 Imelda Mullarkey, 5 Stephanie Tierney, 6 Joanne Monaghan, 7 Jessie Garcia, 8 Michelle Brennan, 9 Fiona Dwyer, 10 Brianna Tierney (0-1), 11 Aine Dwyer (0-4), 12 Stacey McCann (1-0), 13 Kelly McCormack (1-0), 14 Mary O’Rourke (1-2), 15 Molly O’Rourke (0-5). Subs: Christiana Denison, Aisling Toolin, Selena Moylan (0-2).
Fermanagh: 1 Donna Traynor, 2 Noeleen Fitzpatrick, 3 Tracey Ann McCullough, 4 Christina Brown, 5 Ann Marie Kelly, 6 Roisin Toner, 7 Caroline McArdle, 8 Caitlin Slattery (0-1), 9 Aisling Gormley, 10 Molly Boyle (1-0), 11 Joanna Levine, 12 Marie Walsh, 13 Marie Dunleavy (1-1), 14 Caroline Murphy (1-3), 15 Loretta Cunningham.
Player of the game: Jesse Garcia (Na Fianna).
Referee: Frank Brady.