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Cavan and Mayo again after close Semi-Finals
Cavan 3-14 Na Fianna 4-6

Cavan will contest there fourteenth straight Sean Faherty Championship
final after a narrow escape in a hot and humid Rockland on Sunday.
Going into the game most neutrals felt it was too close to call
with Na Fianna pushing all the top teams in the play-offs. Despite
the heat the game started at a lightening pace with Cavan registering
the first score from Ciara McDermott. Mary O’Rourke cancelled out
this point. Sinead Keenan put Cavan ahead again with a well taken
point from play. Cliona O’Keefe then opened up Cavan’s defense with
a blasting goal. Rosie O’Reilly steadied Cavan again with a point
put Na Fianna had the upper hand at this point and netted their
second goal by Brenda Furlong. Katie Pennell scored a goal for Cavan
after a high lob in from Rosie O’Reilly. Rosie O’Reilly scored another
point and then Sinead Keenan added another goal for Cavan. It was
all Cavan at this stage with Cavan tagging on another 1-2, with
a point for Rosie O’Reilly and 1-1 for Linda McKeon.

Na Fianna began to settle again and came straight back into the
game with a blistering goal from Paula Barrett who added another
point. Brenda Furlong scored another point Mary O’Rourke and Ciara
McDermott exchanged points and the final score of the half fell
to Mary O’Rourke to leave Na Fianna trailing by 0-2 at the break
3-7 to 3-5. The second half started out at a much slower pace taking
close to eight minutes before Ciara McDermott put the ball over
the bar for a Cavan point. Mary O’Rourke then received the ball
around the halfway mark and weaved her way through the Cavan defense
to bury the ball in the back of the net , leaving the sides level.
Na Fianna missed several scoring chances with the ball hitting the
crossbar and the post and sent several balls wide. Paula Barrett
put Na Fianna in front and Cavan threw it all forward looking for
that equalizing score. Caroline Connaughton leveled the sides with
Linda McKeon adding on another point. Na Fianna were running out
of steam and the ball was not getting into the Cavan half as Cavan
closed down completely. Mary O’Rourke did pierce the defense however
was penalized for over carrying much to the consternation of the
large Na Fianna support who adjudged that she was being fouled.
This was a turning point for Cavan who scored 0-4 unanswered to
win by 0-5 however Cavan had to pull out everything to win this
won and will need a huge effort to be successful in the final.

S. Levins, P. Reid, M. Maguire, E. Doherty, A. Gomez,
C. Russell, A. Traynor, C. McDermott(0-3), L. McKeon(1-3), S. Keenan(1-1),
J. Clifford, L. McVeigh, K. Pennell (1-1), R. O’Reilly (0-5), C.
Subs: C. Connaughton (0-1), D. Zahra
Na Fianna: J. Heinsohn, L. McConnell, K. Lynch, S. Hannon,
M. Slevin, F. McConnell, M. Ryan, A. Leyden, L. Wall, P. Barrett
(1-2), J. Rynne, B. Furlong (1-1), C. O’Keefe (1-0), A. Ryan, M.
Subs: A. McConnell, D. Bucar
Players of the Game: Cavan: Justine Clifford, Na Fianna:
Alison Leyden

Mayo 2-17 Kerry/Donegal 2-8

Mayo once again qualified for the Sean Faherty championship Final
after accounting for Kerry/Donegal in this Semi-final. It was Kerry/Donegal
who opened up the scoring when Sue Bennett slotted over a free.
Mayo quickly replied when Lynda Donnelly ran through the Kerry/Donegal
backs to bury the ball into the back of the net. Kelly Roche and
Lynda Donnelly added two more for Mayo. Kerry/Donegal squandered
many scoring chances partially due to tight defending by the Mayo
backs. Noelle Earley was dangerous on the ball but Eleanor Fox worked
hard to quell the threat. She did score 0-1 and Sue Bennett added
another from a free.

Mayo scored four unanswered points with Kelly Roche having her best
game to date in a Mayo jersey tagging on 0-2 and a point a piece
for Donnelly and Cathy McKenna. Stacy Cannon took one back for Kerry/Donegal
but Cathy McKenna quickly replied. Then Bobbi Stacks rattled the
Mayo net with a goal leaving 0-3 between the sides but that was
the last score for Kerry/Donegal in the half, whilst Mayo added
another two from Roche and Donnelly. Mayo led 1-9 to 1-4 at the
halfway point. Kerry/Donegal needed a good start to the second half
but it was Mayo who scored first with Briege Daly scoring a goal
and Kelly Roche adding 0-2.

Denise Dunnion who had been effectively marshaled by Louise McMahon
broke free to score her first point of the game. Mayo were reduced
to fourteen players when Colette McGoldrick was sin-binned for a
high tackle but Kerry/Donegal were unable to capitalize and Mayo
who scored three points in this period from Lynda Donnelly, Imelda
Mullarkey and Kelly Roche. With less than 30 seconds of the sin-bin
left Kerry/Donegal powered through with Noelle Earley scoring a
great goal. Stacy Cannon added another point and Denise Dunnion
added 0-2. Time was running out and Mayo were able to weather the
storm and managed to add another 0-3

Written by Nollaig Cleary

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