2024 TG4 All-Ireland Finals tickets

Derry reach Semi-finals

Derry reach Semi-finals

The fifth and final round of the Division 3B National League brought the girls from London over to a heavy rain-soaked Ballinascreen pitch to play Derry in what turned out to be a league decider with winners qualifying for the semi-finals and the losers exiting the competition. Sunday dawned bright and sunny after last week’s constant rain but it was very chilly with a bitter breeze making it feel even colder.
The game was fast moving throughout with London first to score after only two minutes…a fine long distance point from Hannah Noonan. In the fourth minute Kathy Conway made a great solo run through the heart of the London defence and pointed from close in. London’s Hannah Noonan was again on target from far out to put her side ahead again only to be pegged back by a point from Ursula Mullan. The score remained 0.02 to 0.02 for some 10 minutes with both defences stubbornly holding out. Breigeen Cassidy in the Derry goal was called on to make two excellent saves to keep the score level. At this stage London began to dominate and scored three unanswered points, all from play. With only minutes left in the half Derry had to dig deep and a second point from Ursula Mullan and a great goal from Clodagh Gormley brought the halftime score to Derry 1.03 London 0.05.
The second half began with a sustained period of Derry dominance both in possession and territory but the only score to be made was a point from Kathy Conway. After 11 minutes Louise Glass, who had replaced Aine McCusker in the first half, finished a lovely passing move with a well taken goal to put Derry 5 points up. London rallied and for the next 10 minutes dominated possession but fine defending by the Derry defence kept the scoring down to two solitary points. In the final seven minutes play went from end to end and substitute Julie McLaughlin, who replaced Ursula Mullan, scored a goal from the penalty spot and a point from play to leave the final score Derry 3.05, London 0.07.
Both teams played well under trying conditions but it will be Derry who go forward to the semi-finals where they will most probably meet Cavan who have yet to play Carlow to complete Division 3A. There were many excellent individual displays all over the park but this was very much a team victory for the Derry girls. Their defence, led by Nuala O’Hagan at full back and Una Harkin at centre back were resolute and Breigeen Cassidy made some wonderful saves to keep a clean sheet in the Derry goals. The midfield pairing of Michelle McAteer and Mary Angela Conway worked tirelessly for the full 60 minutes against London’s strongest players Grace Lynch and Nuala O’Connor. In the forward line Clodagh Gormley showed great strength and determination and Kathy Conway again put in an excellent performance. Three forward substitutes were used and all three Louise Glass, Julie McLaughlin and Aisling Kealey, added greatly to the Derry attack. This team has strength in depth and can go the whole way in the competition so we look forward to their upcoming games in the knock-out phase.

Derry: Breigeen Cassidy, Nuala Doherty, Nuala O’Hagan, Naomi McMullan, Aisling Moore, Una Harkin, Clare Lagan, Michelle McAteer, Mary Angela Conway, Clodagh Gormley (1.00), Ursula Mullan (0.02), Shauna McCallion, Kathy Conway (0.02) Aine McCusker, Shauna Vallelly. Subs: Louise Glass (1.00), Breige Convery, Aisling Kealey and Julie McLaughlin.

London: Linda Lodge, Anne Murphy, Sinead Daly, Roisin McEvoy, Jennifer Hannon, Ann Marie McLaughlin, Laureena Murphy, Grace Lynch, Nuala O’Connor, Anna McGillicuddy, Susan Byrne, Hannah Noonan, Laura McDonagh, Shauna Moagh, and Sharon Lynch.

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