There was a feast of ladies football over the weekend with The Murphy’s Gloves sponsored championship really hotting up. The senior semi finals saw wins for Carrickmore over Sperrin Og and Macartans over Aodh Ruadh while in the Intermediate grade Trillick defeated Moy and Cappagh saw off the challenge of Castlederg. Kildress also enjoyed their 2-13 to 2-9 win over Clonoe to make it through to the Junior final.
A couple of weeks ago the O’Rahillys had put in a tireless display to overturn a sizeable Kildress lead in their League clash, and at times during the last quarter it looked like that history might be repeating itself as they again ate into a sizeable Tones lead. But this time Kildress were able to weather the storm and deservedly went through to the Final.
When Clonoe goaled after ten minutes to take a narrow 1-2 to 1-1 lead, things didn’t look too healthy for Kildress. But instead of wilting they just took an increasingly firm grip on the game, scoring 1-9 before Clonoe next scored, some minutes into the second half.
The Tones half-time lead of 2-9 to 1-3 (Stacy Boone and Eimear McGarrity their goal-scorers) had become 2-13 to 1-5 by the time of the second water-break but from there to the finish it was Clonoe who had the better of things, adding a further 1-4 whilst Kildress, despite plenty of good play, failed to score again.
This was a game that was won by Kildress’ good play all over the field and their ability to move the ball speedily and accurately. It was also a game where both goalkeepers shone, making several startling point blank saves.
There was little between Carrickmore and Sperrin Og in the opening half with Niamh O’Neill causing all sorts of problems for the Carrickmore defence for whom Aimee Fox was outstanding. The sides were tied at the break with O’neill hitting 2-2 of her team’s first half tally.
Carrickmore improved after the break and after their second goal from Sorcha Gormley they dominated to run out convincing 3-17 to 3-5 winners. The highly experienced pair of Gemma Begley (1-9) and Clare Mc Gurk led the way in scoring terms for Carrickmore.
The Aodh Ruadh and Macartans game was expected to be close and for long periods there was little between the sides. Emma Jane Gervin, Rebecca Barker, Orla Mallon and Niamh Hughes in particular carried the fight to Macartans throughout. Goalkeeper Marcie Martens was absolutely brilliant at times but the Clogher Valley girls used all their experience and nous to keep their opponents at arm’s length. Joline Donaghy and Cora Mc Nulty exchanged early points before Macartans added three minors to move 0-4 to 0-1 clear. Donaghy, Mary Louise Mallon and Michaela Mc Carroll with the scores. Aodh Ruadh replied with a point apiece from Gervin and Aine Mc Nulty but Macartans got the final point of the half from the boot of Chloe Mc Caffrey to go off at the short whistle leading 0-5 to 0-3.
Aodh Ruadh began the second half on top and drew level following scores from Aine and Cora Mc Nulty. The sides swapped points again with Chloe Mc Caffrey converting a Macs free and Emma Jane Gervin replying for the Dungannon girls. Macartans appeared to be under pressure and things went from bad to worse when they lost midfielder Tara Meabh Mc Carroll to a yellow card. However it was during that ten minute period that we saw Macartans at their best with Grainne Mc Kenn, Niamh Mc Girr and Colleen Mc Quaid outstanding. They held their opponents scoreless and added points from Mc Caffrey, Niamh Mc Girr and Colleen Mc Quaid before Mc Caffrey rounded off a superb individual display to score a simply brilliant goal for Macartans and secure their place in the senior final.
Final score: Macartans 1-10, Aodh Ruadh 0-6.
Trillick showed all their craft and experience on Sunday afternoon to get the better of a developing Moy side in their intermediate semi final. Fiona Owens, Dearbhaile Gallagher, Edel Gray and Emma Brennan caused havoc at times in the Moy defence while Shauna Mc Gurren and May Williamson were a constant threat close to goal. Orla Mc Sorley, Nuala Kelly and Megan Kerr kept a watchful eye on the Moy attack and dealt confidently with most of what Moy threw at them.
The game was fast and furious at times with some superb individual showings but with a place in the county final at stake opportunities were missed and passes went astray. Trillick were well on top in the first half and led 0-6 to 0-3 at the break with points from Mc Gurren, Williamson, Owens and Brennan. Moy replied through Catherine Donnelly and Emer Currie but could have been closer had efforts from Lucy and Emma Conway, Aine Swail and Lucy Mc Alary been on target.
The second half saw Trillick at their resilient best as they imposed themselves on Moy and forced numerous turnovers especially in the Moy attack. Goals from May Williamson and Fiona Owens put Trillick well clear and although Moy replied late on with a goal of their own, it was a case of too little too late and Trillick made it through to the final.
Final score: Trillick 2-8, Moy 1-6
Cappagh made the short run to Drumquin where they took on Castlederg with a place in the Intermediate final at stake. Teri Mc Cusker was in superb scoring form bagging eight of her team’s ten goals while Caitlin Kelly hit the other two. Final score : Cappagh 10-11, Castlederg 2-7.