A great crowd of over 1000 patrons attended the Derry Ladies Football Championship Finals day at Owen Beg on Sunday and witnessed two absorbing contests as Faughan Vale and Ballinascreen emerged victorious in the Junior and Intermediate Championships
Ballinascreen justify their favourites tag
Ballinascreen 4.10 Ballymaguigan 1.07
In the Intermediate final Ballinascreen lived up to their favourites tag as they ran out convincing winners in a contest where they stuttered at the start of the second half before getting a second wind to see out the game.
Ballinascreen started well and were a goal to the good after their first attack when Kirsty McCullagh finished to the net after a great run through the middle from Dania Donnelly. This helped settle Ballinascreen and it showed as Leona Groogan tagged on a point before Ballymaguigan registered a couple of wides, nerves of the finals day maybe having an impact on the St. Trea’s team. A couple more points from Kirsty McCullagh and Catriona McBride kept the scoreboard ticking over for Ballinascreen and when Noleen McBride notched a second goal and Leona Groogan registered another point for Ballinascreen things were looking ominous for the St. Trea’s outfit. They did assert control for a while but were wasteful in front of goal, missing a couple of scoreable frees. A period of pressure on the Ballinascreen defence yielded nothing before three long passes out of the Ballinascreen defence found Leona Groogan in space to knock over another point for the winners. A Kirsty McCullagh goal following some neat interpassing appeared to put the game out of reach of their South Derry neighbours, but to be fair to the St. Trea’s team they didn’t give up. With Alicia Wilkinson introduced to the forward line they began to spark and finished the half with a pointed free from Seona Walls to leave the half time score Ballinascreen 3.05 Ballymaguigan 0.01.
Ballinascreen opened their second half account with two quick points from Kirsty McCullagh, but when Rachel Walls dispossessed the Ballinascreen goalkeeper to fire to the net this inspired the Ballymaguigan team to up their performances. They registered a couple of wides before Seona Walls pointed a free after being fouled and then tagged on another point after Rachel Walls won a free close to goal. Mairin Crozier and Aisling O’Neill also got on the scoreboard to leave the scoreline 3.07 to 1.05 midway through the second half. Cora Spiers then replaced Mairin Crozier for Ballymaguigan and Ballinascreen introduced Sara McAllister and Louise Murphy for Niamh McGuigan and Noleen McBride. Clare McGroggan pointed and Kirsty McCullagh goaled from twenty metres for Ballinascreen putting the gap out to twelve points again and the game was effectively over. Seona Walls and Sara McAllister traded points before Ballymaguigan goalkeeper Shauna Cassidy made a good save, denying Louise Murphy. Leona Groogan and Annie Crozier traded points at the end as Ballinascreen ran out comfortable winners on a scoreline of Ballinascreen 4.10 Ballymaguigan 1.07.
Ballinascreen: Kathryn McNamee, Roisin Conway, Teresa Bradley, Carla McCloskey, Ann Marie Kitchener, Ashelene Groogan, Catriona McBride (0.01), Dania Donnelly, Aine McAllister, Noleen McBride (1.00), Patricia McBride, Leona Groogan (0.04), Niamh McGuigan, Clare McGroggan (0.01), Kirsty McCullagh (3.03)
Subs: Kelly Marie Hegarty for Patricia McBride, Sara McAllister (0.01) for Niamh McGuigan, Louise Murphy for Noleen McBride.
Ballymaguigan: Shauna Cassidy, Sinead Brady, Caoimhe O’Kane, Joanne Corr, Anna Bradley, Edel Quinn, Shauna Maguire, Clare Bateson, Nadine Young, Seona Walls (0.04), Rachel Walls (1.00), Aisling O’Neill (0.01), Mairin Crozier (0.01), Annie Crozier (0.01), Aimee Crozier.
Subs: Alicia Wilkinson for Shauna Maguire, Cora Spiers for Mairin Crozier, Alice Brady for Joanne Corr
Faughan Vale 4.04 Steelstown 0.09 (after extra time)
In the first of the Derry Ladies Football Finals played at Owen Beg on Sunday Faughan Vale came from behind twice to eventually win the Junior A Championship title by a seven point margin.
Steelstown started the stronger and when Claire McWilliams pointed in the fifteenth minute to add to two Ciara McGurk points the city side were leading by three and looking comfortable. Faughan Vale were finding it difficult against the breeze and Steelstown appeared to have all options covered when their opponents got forward. A solitary Eilish McCracken hand passed point was all Faughan Vale could muster in the first half as Steelstown continued to press with further scores from Aoife McKeever and a great long range point from Emma Doherty leaving Steelstown ahead 0.05 to 0.01 at half time.
Faughan Vale started the second half well though and another point for Eilish McCracken reduced the deficit to three. Steelstown had chances then to widen the gap considerably as first Aoife McKeever was wide when through on goal followed by a great one on one save by Cheree Markey in the Faughan Vale goal, denying Ciara McGurk. Steelstown continued to press but will rue the chances spurned at this stage as they failed to find their range. Another Steelstown wide from Aoife McKeever was to be punished as Faughan Vale gradually began to assert control. An Eilish McCracken point was followed by a great run from Kayleigh Fleming and when she was fouled she stood up herself to send the ball over, reducing the deficit to one and Faughan Vale were beginning to fire. A great crossfield pass from Charlene O’Hara found Kayleigh Fleming again and when she was fouled she stood up to fire the ball to the net to put Faughan Vale in front for the first time.
Steelstown rallied well and a two point reply from Emma Doherty from frees brought the tie all square just on the full time whistle, Faughan Vale 1.04 Steelstown 0.07.
In the first period of extra time the ball was won by the Steelstown side at the throw in and Emma Doherty soloed forward to put the Steelstown side in front again. The lead was to be short lived however as Kayleigh Fleming raced through the Steesltown defence to fire to the net, putting Faughan Vale two ahead before another Emma Doherty point from play reduced the deficit to one again. As the half was drawing to a close a great run through from Charlene O’Hara was illegally stopped in the square and from the resultant penalty Charlene O’Hara struck the ball unerringly to the Faughan Vale net to leave the half time score Faughan Vale 3.04, Steelstown 0.09.
In the second half as players began to tire the play became a bit stuttered as substitutions were made. When Bronagh Lowry was fouled in the midfield area her quick thinking and accurate delivery to player of the match Kayleigh Fleming left her in on goal and she completed her hat-trick in style, finishing powerfully to the net.
Steelstown rallied but there was to be no denying the Faughan Vale side who closed out the Steelstown attacks to see out the win and claim the Junior A title on a final scoreline of Faughan Vale 4.04 Steelstown 0.09.
Faughan Vale: Cheree Mackey, Claire Fahey, Lisa King, Claire Gunns, Chloe Boyle, Ciara McColgan, Ciara Creelman Sinead McKinney, Stacey King, Eilish McCracken (0.03), Kayleigh Fleming (3.01), Annie Murray, Rhianna Curran, Bronagh Lowry, Erin Murray.
Subs: Charlene O’Hara for Erin Murray, Megan Gormley for Rhianna Curran, Aoife McDaid for Annie Murray.
Steelstown: Niamh Ni Mhaoinin, Zoe Green, Maria Cutliffe, Una Casey, Suzie McGilloway, Ruagin Doherty, Ailish McGurk, Ciara McGurk (0.03), Orla Flanagan, Megan Devine, Sarah Doherty, Aoife McKeever (0.01), Claire McWilliams (0.01), Emma Doherty (0.04), Eimear O’Doherty
Subs: Rosie Cunningham for Aoife McKeever, Leah McCready for Sarah Doherty