Castlewellan win out in Down Final

Castlewellan Down Senior Ladies County Champions 2005



This was a titanic battle and it required referee Peter Brannigan
to play two periods of extra time before Castlewellan took the
trophy by a single point. Bredagh started brightly but couldn’t
take their chances and it was Castlewellan who surged ahead when
Lisa McCrickard converted a penalty after Kelly O’Higgins was
fouled. However. Arlene McCloskey was playing brilliantly at midfield
for Bredagh and her partner Denise Maguire scored a cracking goal
after cutting in along the end line.

Almost immediately, the Town struck back with their second goal
when Kelly O’Higgins laid the ball off to Deirdre Quinn. Castlewellan
started the second half leading 2-4 to 1-4 and introduced Cara
Laverty. The Kilcoo girl added an extra zip to the forward line
before she was fouled for a penalty, which Cathy Gallagher saved
from Lisa McCrickard. Bredagh gained a slight advantage and in
the dying minutes of normal time it seemed they would win. Joanne
Lavery was deadly accurate from frees and it seemed that Geraldine
Grimley had scored the winning point on two occasions. However
Catherine and Debbie Keown scored the points that enabled Castlewellan
to survive.

On the resumption Cara Laverty shot Castlewellan into the lead,
then Joanne Lavery floated in a free at the other end where a
misunderstanding between Lisa Owens and Eleanor Nixon saw the
ball drop over the goal line. Bredagh clung on to a narrow lead
going into the second half of extra time. As both teams gradually
wilted in the heat, Kelly O’Higgins had the stamina to strike
over the two points that won the final for Castlewellan.. Eleanor
Nixon was resilient at full back for the winners, Mairead Hardy
was magnificent at centre half, Clare Drummy was always first
to the ball and wasn’t hesitant to push forward to set up attacks,
and Aine Keary and Noleen O’Higgins both had good spells at mid-field.
However, it was Bredagh’s Arlene McCluskey, and Denise Maguire
who were exceptional in this sector.

Row (L-R) Lisa Morgan, Aislinn Savage, Leanne Owens, Ciara
Hardy, Kelly O’Higgins, Catherine Keown, Clare Drummy, Bronagh
Quinn, Paula Clelland, Nuala Taylor. Middle Row (L-R) John
McCartan (Chairman), Kevan Owens (Manager), Aislinn Crilly,
Lisa McCrickard, Natasha McCartan, Noleen O’Higgins, Lisa
Owens, Elenor Nixon, Colleen Wynn, Deirdre Quinn, Brian
Dougherty (Manager) Front Row (L-R) Patricia McMullan (Player
Welfare), Cara Laverty, Fiona Keown, Maread Hardy, Aine
Keown (Captain), Deborah Keown, Alana Mooney, Kathleen McCartan

Cleland was invaluable to Castlewellan as she swept back time
and again to win possession when Bredagh threatened to go forward.
Catherine Keown was another great forager and up front Kelly O’Higgins
was a super ball winner.

In the second half Cara Laverty created problems for the Bredagh
backs.Cathy Gallagher’s goalkeeping skills kept Bredagh in the
game on numerous occasions. Cera and Maura McArdle and Jacqui
Clarke were strong and resourceful at halfback. At midfield Arlene
McCloskey was the most accomplished player on view. Kerrie O’Neill
and Geraldine Grimley foraged tirelessly and skillfully for Bredagh.

Castlewellan: Lisa Owens, Bronagh Quinn, Eleanor Nixon,
Aisling Crilly, Clare Drummy, Mairead Hardy, Colleen Wynne, Noleen
O’Higgins 0-1, Aine Kearney 0-1, Cathy Keown 0-1, Lisa McCrickard
1-1, Debbie Keown 0-1, Paula Cleland 0-1, Kelly O’Higgins 0-3,
Deirdre Quinn 1-1.
Sub: Cara Laverty 0-1, Leane Owens.
Player of the match: Mairead Hardy.

O’Higgins strike seals win for Castlewellan

“Kelly O’Higgins was the toast of Castlewellan at the weekend
as her point deep in injury time of extra time against Bredagh
sealed the Mourne county title for her side. After 60 minutes
the sides finished level, Bedagh 1 – 9 Castlewellan 2 – 6. Denise
Maquire had hit Bredagh’s major while Lisa McCrickard and Deirdre
Quinn found the net for Castlewellan. With the first attack of
extra-time Joanne Lavery scored Bredagh’s second goal but Castlewellan
plugged away and eventually won 2 -12 to 2 11.”

Captain’s Speech (Aine Keary) It was a great honour for
me to be Captain of a Castlewellan Team in a Senior Championship
Final. This year it is even more special as 2005 sees CLG Naomh
Maolmhoig Caisleán a’ Mhuilinn celebrate it’s Club’s Centenary
year. I would like to thank all the players for their hard work
and dedication over this past year which has been demanding in
every aspect. On behalf of my fellow team-mates I would like to
take this opportunity to thank our team management, Kevan Owens
& Brian Dougherty for all their hard work and commitment to us
all year, we really apprieciate it. Thanks also to our Sponsors
, club members and supporters. My first wish was that today would
be another absorbing game against our opponents and friends Bredagh
– My wish came true. My other wish was that today final would
be a memorable occasion filled with everything that is good in
gaelic games and that Castlewellan would do their loyal and faithful
supporters proud – I think we did.

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