Na Fianna had far too much fire power for a New York Ladies game but overmatched Fermanagh side on Saturday evening. With three new additions to the forward line, the side is on cruise control as they followed their win in the Annie Kearney Cup final with a comprehensive victory.
Na Fianna was behind just once in the game when Ashlinn O’Sullivan had the first score of the contest, a Fermanagh point after two minutes. Na Fianna immediately had a brace to cancel it out with Deirdre Doheny showing her skills with the first.
Fermanagh did tie it up with a Michaela Newell score, but that was to be the last time there was parity in the game. A flurry of Na Fianna wides kept the game close while Fermanagh were able to move the ball effectively to their half forwards, but the final inside pass was not succeeding, partly due to good defensive play by Imelda Mullarkey and Devon Nugent.
Orlagh Egan had a cracker of a goal after 12 minutes to open the floodgates for the winners, and the side followed a point by Kelly McCormack with a second net shaker. This time Selena Moylan started a move in the middle then followed forward to reach a long delivery from Doheney with the fist for a 2-4 to 0-2 lead.
Moylan and Molly O’Rourke followed with points before Fermanagh got a lifeline. The Na Fianna defense was clearing their lines but was robbed by a timely Newell interception. She flicked inside to Ann Marie Kelly, who dispatched the ball to the back of the net.
The closeout of the first half was all Na Fianna, however. They reacted to the goal with a 1-3 scoring salvo -- the goal was the second for Moylan and it put the side into a 3-9 to 1-2 halftime lead.
The opening 10 minutes of the second half completely killed off the Fermanagh challenge. Seven consecutive points for Na Fianna from five different scorers put paid to the challenge. They came from a variety of angles and distances, with little the defense could do to weather the storm.
Finally with 11 on the clock, Fermanagh were able to grab a point. This preceded their best period of the game when they added a further 1-2 to their total. Aislinn Gormley had the goal while Caroline Murphy fired over the brace of points.
They could have pulled further back into the game when Caitlin Harper was fouled for a penalty, but Loretta Cunningham blasted the resulting kick high and wide of the target.
Na Fianna will be very happy with the scoring explosion. They brought on a host of subs in the second half which made sense based on the scoreline but slowed down the total in front of goal. At that point there was no doubt on the winner.
Devon Nugent and Imelda Mullarkey were very confident in the full backline, Michelle Brennan and Aine Dwyer started very brightly. They were moved around thereafter but are the best pairing in town.
Moylan, Doheny and Egan are all excellent forwards -- Egan is explosive. Molly O’Rourke had a cameo role in this one while Jesse Garcia and Mary O’Rourke impressed off the bench.
Fermanagh battled hard throughout. Joanna Levine did nothing wrong and had a very good save in the first half, this after playing in the county under-14 final immediately before this contest. Tracey Ann McCullough was excellent against a barrage; Saoirse Finnigan did a lot of positive things going forward.
Michaela Newell, Caroline Murphy and Loretta Cunningham were others who stood out. Granted Cunningham was forced to roam far from goal to pick up the ball.
Na Fianna: 1 Alison Leydon, 2 Imelda Mullarkey, 3 Catriona Lynch, 4 Devon Nugent, 5 Stephanie Tierney, 6 Joanne Monaghan, 7 Shannon Spillane, 8 Michelle Brennan (0-1), 9 Aine Dwyer, 10 Selena Moylan (2-1), 11 Deirdre Doheny (0-5), 12 Aine Gormley, 13 Kelly McCormack (0-1), 14 Molly O’Rourke (0-5), 15 Orlagh Egan (1-4). Subs: Joanne McKenna, Jeanne Rynne, Beth Higgins, Mary O’Rourke (0-1), Bridget Jordon, Michelle Cullinane, Jesse Garcia.
Fermanagh: 1 Joanne Levine, 2 Molly Boyle, 3 Tracey Ann McCullough, 4 Caroline McArdle, 5 Saoirse Finnigan, 6 Rosie Toner, 7 Caitlin Slattery, 8 Michaela Newell (0-1), 9 Clare McElroy, 10 Aislinn Gormley (1-1), 11 Caroline Murphy (0-2), 12 Marie Dunleavy, 13 Ashley O’Sullivan (0-1), 14 Ann Marie Kelly (1-0), 15 Loretta Cunningham. Subs: Ann Dunleavy, Sharon Redican, Caitlin McGaughan, Eimer Tally.
Referee: John Fitzpatrick.
Player of the game: Orlagh Egan (Na Fianna).