St Joseph's advance to semi-final after impressive victory

Gaelic Football Leitrim Ladies Senior Championship

St Joseph's advance to semi-final after impressive victory
Philip Rooney

St Joseph's booked their place in the semi-final of the Leitrim Ladies Senior Championship on Sunday afternoon last with an impressive win over a dogged and resilient Glencar/Manorhamilton.

Ultimately the experience of the St Joseph's players proved too much for Glencar/Manor but the Manor players certainly contributed to what was an enjoyable contest, played in perfect conditions.

Aoife Gilmartin, Eadaoin Clancy, Cammie McPartland and Siobhan Feely did their all to help lead Manor to an unlikely victory but the know how and talent contained within the St Joseph's ranks proved too much to overcome.

Glencar/Manor opened the scoring with a third minute free, converted by Siobhan Feely but although they were proving to be very competitive, St Joseph's proved to be much more clinical as they then dominated the remainder of the half, on the scoreboard at least. In fact, Glencar/Manor's second point of the game did not arrive until injury time at the end of the opening half.

St Joseph's opened their account in the sixth minute when Clare Owens and Carmel McGovern combined well before McGovern pointed to level matters. St Joseph's almost struck for the game's opening goal when McGovern was released by Carmel McCartin but her effort was saved by Glencar/ Manor keeper Natasha McEnroy.

However, that miss was soon forgotten as St Joseph's began to enjoy more dominance and that was soon reflected on the scoreline. A converted free scored by Deirdre Moran was soon followed by a fine point from Bronagh O'Rourke.

The lead was increased to three points midway through the first half when Michelle Heslin pointed before Manor came agonisingly close to breaching the St Joseph's defence which was well marshalled by Phillipa Maguire and Alannah Bohan.

A dangerous free was floated towards the St Joseph's goal-mouth and seemed destined for Eadaoin Clancy who was in space in front of goal. However, a well timed leap from Grainne O'Malley saw the danger cleared and St Joseph's launched a counter-attack which resulted in Carmel McGovern pointing at the other end, seconds later.

Further points from Deirdre Moran and Michelle Heslin (free) extended the lead to six points before St Joseph's struck for the game's opening goal with Carmel McGovern on target after some incisive passing between Carmel McCartin and Clare Owens.

Michelle Heslin added to her side's tally when she scored an excellent point moments later before Glencar/Manor completed the first half scoring with an injury time free converted by Siobhan Feely.

St Joseph's took the energetic form they displayed for much of the first half into the second half and extended their lead within a minute of the restart with Deirdre Moran on target although Glencar/ Manor were certainly showing no signs of simply accepting their fate and replied with a Marie Clerkin point.

St Joseph's re-established their 10 point lead when Bronagh O'Rourke converted a free but Glencar/Manor were in no hurry to throw in the towel and hit back with two converted frees from Siobhan Feely.

Glencar/Manor's cause was boosted when Alanna Bohan was issued with a yellow card and in the seventh minute of the second half Manor struck for a goal. Siobhan Feely's shot deceived everybody, including St Joseph's goalkeeper Kiera Masterson. The ball was initially stopped on the goal line but Cammie McPartland was on hand to force the ball over the line.

There was now just five points between the sides but St Joseph's looked determined to ensure there were no slip-ups on their part and they replied immediately with a goal scored by Deirdre Moran after Bronagh O'Rourke's quick free. Initially there was confusion regarding whether or not the ball crossed the line but referee Jimmy Stenson was in no doubt and the green flag was raised.

The St Joseph's lead was extended courtesy of a Louise Mollaghan point before Manor replied with two pointed frees from Siobhan Feely to leave seven between the side midway through the second half.

With 15 minutes to go St Joseph's pounced for their third goal with Carmel McGovern running through the heart of the defence before dispatching her shot past Natasha McEnroy and that was quickly followed by further points from McGovern and Aine Heslin.

Siobhan Feely replied with a Manor point but St Joseph's were showing the importance of a cutting edge up front and they struck for their fourth goal when Deirdre Moran beat two defenders before shooting past McEnroy.

To their credit Manor kept persevering and they were rewarded for their efforts in the closing stages when Siobhan Feely pointed, although only for an excellent save from Kiera Masterson it would have been a goal.

The scoring was completed by Eadaoin Clancy who scored a late consolation goal for Manor, which was the very least their efforts deserved but there could be no doubting that it was St Joseph's who deservedly emerged with the victory.