Glencar/Manorhamilton defenders combine to halt a Kiltubrid attacker during last Friday's McCormack Ladies Senior Championship Semi-Final in Cloone Picture: Willie Donnellan
For a second year in a row, Glencar/Manorhamilton made it through to the Leitrim Ladies senior football final after they overcame a stiff Kiltubrid challenge by just a single point on Friday in Cloone at the end of what was a very entertaining and hard fought semi-final clash.
An Ailbhe Clancy 52nd minute point put her side three points in front with Kiltubrid whittling away Glencar Manor’s lead to the minimum. But that was as close as they got as Michelle Guckian missed a 20 metre free in injury time.
Glencar/Manor now face a repeat of last year's final where they lost to St Joseph's, the final provisionally scheduled for Sunday September 22, and an eagerly awaited rematch.
Glencar/Manor had an early let off when Áine Tighe drove a clear cut goal chance inches wide seconds after the throw-in. Two further Kiltubrid attacking moves were halted by fouls, which Michelle Guckian punished with two clinical conversions.
A 5th minute goal chance that fell to Muireann Devaney was denied at the expense of a ‘45’ after and excellent save by Miranda Foley. Cammie McPartland opened Manor’s account when she fired over from play two minutes later.
Ailbhe Clancy levelled the proceedings when she hit over a 9th minute point. Glencar/Manor took the lead for the first time in the game a minute later when Aoife Gilmartin shot her side’s third point in succession.
Muireann Devaney doubled Manor's advantage when she fired over another point shortly afterwards. An 11th minute Caroline Doherty point reduced Manor’s lead to the minimum.
But the north Leitrim women got back on top after Ailbhe Clancy fired home the game’s first goal. Muireann Devaney shot a second Manor goal on the 15 minute mark to give her side a seven point advantage.
Over the next three minutes Kiltubrid responded decisively to again reduce the deficit to the minimum. A Michelle Guckian free dropped under the crossbar when it seemed destined to go over and Áine Tighe hammered another shot to the Glencar/Manor net.
In the space of a few more seconds Ailbhe Clancy fired over a point to register the north Leitrim side’s response. From then until the halftime whistle it became a tit for tat battle on the score board, as points were traded at opposite ends.
Michelle Guckian from a free and Ailbhe Clancy from play swapped points which left Glencar/Manor leading by 2-6 to 2-4.
Kiltubrid points from play by Áine Tighe and from a Michelle Guckian free, which was awarded for a foul on Tighe, then put the sides on level terms. A second Guckian free put Kiltubrid one point to the good.
But Ailbhe Clancy answered with a point from play on the stroke of halftime that sent the sides into the interval dressing rooms level on a 2 – 7 all score line.
In the opening four minutes after the resumption Glencar/Manor attacked relentlessly and edged into to a four point lead with Devaney firing over from play and then shooting to the Kiltubrid net, after receiving a final pass from Leah Fox.
Guckian replied with a 35th minute free to open Kiltubrid’s second half account. An Áine Tighe goal chance was denied in the following minute when keeper, Natasha McEnroy pulled off a good save.
Glencar/Manor was reduced to 15 players for ten minutes when Eimear Feely was yellow carded in the 37th minute and sent to the ‘sin bin.’ Michelle Guckian reduced the deficit to two when she put over a 39th minute free.
However Muireann Devaney hit back in the space of another minute with a Manor point from play. An exchange of points at opposite ends took place by the 43rd minute after Michelle Guckian tapped over a free and Manor sub Siobhan Feely fired over from play.
Glencar/Manor was again reduced to 14 players for a second time in the half when Cammie McPartland received a 39th minute yellow card and a ten minute suspension in the ‘sin bin.’
Shortly afterwards Michelle Guckian reduced Kiltubrid’s deficit with Glencar/Manor to two when she hit her ninth free of the game. But Clancy hit back with a 52nd minute point from play.
Some two minutes later Guckian again reduced Manor's lead from a free while Kiltubrid’s Sinead Tighe received a 56th minute yellow card and spent the rest of the semi-final in the ‘sin bin.’
Emma Guckian, who shot over from play for Kiltubrid, cut Glencar Manor’s lead to the minimum in the second minute of injury time. Two minutes later Kiltubrid won a free on the right wing around 20 metres out from the Glencar/Manor posts, which created the possibility for the south Leitrim women to get an equaliser.
But Michelle Guckian’s effort from the Kiltubrid placed ball tailed off wide and the north Leitrim side held out for a one point win after that.
GAME AT A GLANCE
MAIN WOMAN - Over the course of the 60 plus minutes there were two clear contenders for the accolade, namely Kiltubrid’s Áine Tighe and Glencar/Manor’s Muireann Devaney. At the end Devaney just edged out the Fremantle Australian Rules Football team bound Tighe to claim the accolade.
TURNING POINT - It was level pegging at half-time. The game changing scores were shot by Muireann Devaney in the first four minutes after the break when she hit over a point and then hammered home a goal.
TALKING POINT - Kiltubrid probably deserved a share of the spoils. But Glencar/Manor just managed to outgun Kiltubrid when the chips were down.
WHAT NOW? Glencar/Manorhamilton meet three in a row chasing St Joseph's in the final on Sunday week.
TEAMS AND SCORERS
Scorers: Muireann Devaney 2-3; Ailbhe Clancy 1-5; Cammie McPartland, Aoife Gilmartin & Siobhan Feely 0-1 each
Team: Natasha McEnroy; Eimear Feely, Cammie McPartland, Rebecca Rooney; Mairead Clancy, Hannah Johnston, Karen Connolly; Aoife Gilmartin, Dearbhla Rooney; Leah Fox, Muireann Devaney, Ailbhe Clancy; Siobhan Feely, Michelle McNulty; Amanda Sweeney Emma McLoughlin. Subs: Saoirse Maguire for McLoughlin & Siobhan Feely for Sweeney (HT)
Scorers: Michelle Guckian 1-10, 10f; Áine Tighe 1-1; Caroline Doherty & Emma Guckian 0-1 each
Team: Miranda Foley; Laura Redican, Ciara McWeeney, Clare Kelly; Caroline Doherty, Sinead Tighe, Aisling McGourty; Áine Redican, Aoife McWeeney; Áine Tighe, Michelle Guckian, Caroline Doherty; Isabella McKeon, Clodagh McGrail, Emma Guckian. Subs: Orla McWeeney for McGourty (38); Jenny McKiernan for McGrail (51)
Referee: Cyril McKeon