Ladies Junior Championship Winners 2020

Shamrock Gaels Finally get Reward

By Cathal Mullaney, Sligo Champion, Tuesday September 15th, 2020

After a number of close calls in recent years, Shamrock Gaels finally got their reward on Saturday last when they deservedly captured the Connacht Gold Sligo LGFA Junior title defeating Calry/St Josephs in the final at Fr Kevin Breheny Park in Keash.

In control throughout the winners always held the ascendency though a good spurt in the second half from a gallant Calry/St Josephs closed the gap to four points. However, the Gaels powered home in the final 15 minutes with Simone Kelly’s goal the key score to send them on the way to success.

On a blustery afternoon at the home of Eastern Harps GAA Club, Shamrock Gaels made the brighter start with Erin Mullaney on target twice to open their account. Laura Oates, who was to the fore for Calry/St Josephs throughout, got the town side of the mark but further scores from Céilí Faughnan (2) and Aine O’Connell pushed Shamrock Gaels 0-5 to 0-1 ahead. Although the winners were on top at this stage with both Aoife Morrisroe and jade Lyons excelling in the middle third, Calry/St Josephs, stuck to their task and another Oates free brought them to within three midway through the first half.

The second quarter saw the arrival of the game’s first goal with Áine O’Connell finding the net to put Shamrock Gaels into a 1-6 to 0-2 lead: this score coming after a Jade Lyons point. Two further white flags before the break left Shamrock Gaels 1-8 to 0-3 up at half time, but Calry/St Josephs emerged from the interval with a renewed vigour. Team Captain, Aoife Nicholson led her side in this period and kicked a fine point from play, while Oates and Lauren Finnegan also found the range. Under pressure at this point, led by six at the final water break, 1-9 to 0-6 and the lead was further trimmed after that with two quick Calry/St Josephs points cutting the gap to four and setting the game up for what looked like a grandstand finish. 

However, to their credit, Shamrock Gaels showed their real character to put the result beyond doubt in the closing stages. The introduction of Simone Kelly proved crucial – the substitute netted a key goal soon after her introduction to push her side 2-9 to 0-8 in front – and a succession of points in the closing stages with Jane Benson, Rachel Boyd and Aoife O’Connor among those on target ensured the title and a place in next year’s Intermediate Championship would go the way of Shamrock Gaels.

Sligo LGFA Player of the Match: Aoife Morrisroe

Shamrock Gaels: Meave McDermott, Amy Healy, Ellie McDermott, Naomh Quinn, Louise Merrick, Aoife Morrisroe, Isobel Clarke, Siobhan Brennan, Jade Lyons (0-1), Rachel Boyd (0-3), Áine O’Connell (1-2), Jane Benson (0-3), Céilí Faughnan (0-4, 1f), Erin Mullaney (0-2), Louise Smyth. Subs used: Simone Kelly (1-1), Aoife O’Connor (0-1), Aisling Boyd, Ebá McCann, Lisa Conlon, Catherine Tuohy.

Calry/St Josephs: Ingrid Shiels, Áine Costigan, Cliona Devaney, Emma Norman, Katie Costigan, Aileen Stenson, Sophie Philips, Laura Oates (0-3f) Aoife Nicholson (0-1), Lauren Murray (0-1), Emma Griffin, Robyn Kennedy (0-1), Kate Gonley, Lauren Finnegan (0-2), Chloe Norman. Subs: Claudia Gonley (0-1), Carron Griffin, Emer Costigan, Jamie Costigan, Emma Devaney, Kayleigh Moran, Lucy Foley, Graine O’Reilly

Referee: Maggie Foy

Path to the Final

26th July - 1st Round V St Patricks

The Senior Ladies got their championship campaign off to an impressive start with a 2-21 to 0-4 win over St Pats. Despite playing against a strong breeze in the first half, the Gaels dominated and were in control at half time on a scoreline of 0-3 to 1-11. They continued their good form in the second half with all of the substitutions performing well. The team was: Meabh McDermott, Ellie McDermott, Aisling Boyd, Naomh Quinn, Louise Merrick, Aoife Morrisroe, Isobel Clark, Jade Lyons, Siobhan Brennan, Rachel Boyd (0-5), Aoife O'Connor (0-3), Áine O'Connell (0-1), Céilí Faughnan (1-6), Louise Smyth (1-0), Jane Benson (0-4), Subs used: Amy Healy, Mairéad Tuohy, Erin Mullaney (0-1), Eba McCann (0-1), Lisa Galvin, Grace O'Carroll, Lisa Callaghan, Meg Craig, Eilis O'Connor.

2nd August - 2nd Round V Calry/St Josephs

The Senior Ladies recorded another good win against Calry/St Josephs in the Junior championship on a scoreline of 1-12 to 0-8. The team was: Meabh McDermott, Amy Healy, Ellie McDermott (0-1), Naomh Quinn, Louise Merrick, Aoife Morrisroe (0-1), Isobel Clark, Siobhan Brennan, Jade Lyons (0-1), Rachel Boyd (0-3), Aoife O'Connor, Áine O'Connel (1-2), Céilí Faughnan (0-1), Louise Smyth (0-1), Jane Benson (0-2). subs used Eilis O'Connor and Erin Mullaney.

9th August - 3rd Round V St Molaise Gaels

The Senior ladies continued their good run with a 3-15 to 1-4 win over St Molaise Gaels.The team was: Mairéad Tuohy, Aisling Boyd, Ellie McDermott, Naomh Quinn, Louise Merrick, Aoife Morrisroe, Isobel Clark, Siobhan Brennan, Jade Lyons (0-1), Erin Mullaney, Jane Benson (0-2), Aine O'Connell (0-1), Rachel Boyd (0-1), Aoife O'Connor (0-1), Ceili Faughnan (2-4). subs used: Eba McCann (0-2), Nadine Hargadon (0-1), Simone Kelly (1-1), Lisa Callaghan, Lisa Galvin, Meg Mullen, Louise Smyth (0-1), Catherine Tuohy, Sheona Leydon.

23rd August - 4th Round V Curry

The Junior ladies made it four wins out of four with a 3-11 to 1-4 win over Curry. In difficult conditions the game was a tight encounter until the final ten minutes which saw the Gaels seal the win with two late goals. The team was: Meabh McDermott, Amy Healy, Ellie McDermott, Naomh Quinn, Louise Merrick, Aoife Morrisroe, Isobel Clark, Siobhan Brennan (2-1), Jade Lyons (0-1), Rachel Boyd (0-1), Aine O'Connell (0-2), Jane Benson (0-2), Ceili Faughan (0-3), Aoife O'Connor, Louise Smyth (0-1) Subs used: Erin Mullaney and Simone Kelly (1-0). This win means that the Gales go straight through to the final on 12th September.