Glencar/Manorhamilton's rising stock in Ladies football was emphasised when a young second string side claimed the Junior A title last Sunday against Annaduff in Leitrim Village.
With a young team boasting impressive talent in all sections of the field, the second string team proved just that bit stronger than an Annaduff side who put in a strong display but were never able to get to grips with Glencar/Manor's overall strength in depth.
Muireann Devaney took the plaudits with a tally of 2-6, most of which was plundered in the first half, while Mary Broughton looks like a player who would be comfortable at a higher level as she was the engine room of the victory.
Tara McLoughlin, Gemma Tiffoney, Katie McDermott and sub Ailbhe Clancy made big impacts for the winners who just had the overall strength in depth to take the title.
For a battling Annaduff, Vivienne Egan was their main player but they could have got the ball more often to Evie Guckian who always looked dangerous when she got the ball. Tara Curran, Shona Ward, Grainne Reynolds, Carmel Donlon and keeper Avril Cox also impressed.
Glencar/Manor were quick off the mark with a Muireann Devaney free and a fine Katie McDermott point from a tight angle. Annaduff should have goaled when great work from Grainne Reynolds released Evie Guckian but her shot rose over the bar on three minutes.
Reynolds should have pounced for a goal but fired wide two minutes later and Manor punished that miss when Devaney fielded a long delivery, turned sharply and fired to the net on six minutes.
McDermott put over a point but Annaduff got themselves right back in the game when Vivienne Egan’s long ball eluded the last line of Manor defence and Evie Guckian pounced for a clinical finish.
Glencar/Manor’s response was impressive as Devaney put over two points, one from a free, before she pounced for a goal, a quick free into McDermott who found Devaney who fired low to the far corner.
Annaduff fought back and a great run down the centre from Egan saw her blast the ball to the net on 19 minutes to cut the gap to four points. Devaney replied with a free but two Egan frees closed the gap before Avril Cox made a great save to deny Dearbhla Rooney a goal.
The importance of that save was magnified a minute later as Annaduff pounced for a third goal when a great run in along the end saw her shot prove too powerful for a defender as it rebounded into the net.
Incredibly, Annaduff completed their amazing turnaround from a seven point deficit to lead by one when Hannah Farrell finished a good run with a point.
But Manor finished the half strong and despite a few wasted chances, points from McDermott and Devaney had them back in front at the break on a 2-7 to 3-4 scoreline.
The second half was not as free-scoring with Glencar/ Manorhamilton particularly wasteful with three wides before Devaney put over a free on four minutes. Annaduff wasted a chance or two but were grateful to Avril cox for a remarkable one-handed save to deny Devaney a third goal.
Glencar/Manor brought on former county player Ailbhe Clancy as the teams swapped scores through Dearbhla Rooney and Vivienne Egan but Rooney’s next score was huge as the Irish boxing champion won a ball she shouldn’t have, soloed in 30 yards and blasted to the net on 15 minutes.
Two minutes later, the ball was in the Annaduff net again as Mary Broughton, Devaney and Chloe Rooney set up Ailbhe Clancy for a great finish to the net. And they sealed their win when a Clancy run set up sub Emma McLaughlin for a superbly taken goal with less than ten minutes to go.
Glencar/Manor suffered a little set-back when Roisin Flanagan was sin-binned and immediately, Vivienne Egan won possession from a long free, burst through a couple of tackles and fired low to the left hand corner of the net.
There was still eight minutes to go and another eight minutes of added time but despite being a player up, Annaduff could only manage one more score from an Egan free and it was Glencar/Manor who missed a host of chances to kill off the game, Ailbhe Clancy hitting four wides.
Annaduff did have one late goal chance but Evie Guckian saw her shot blocked on the line with Glencar/Manor holding out for the win.