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Mayo win the New York Ladies Final

New York Ladies Cup Final
Annie Kearney Cup Final 2004
Mayo…1-8 Na Fianna…2-3

An exciting and tense Annie Kearney final saw Mayo emerge victorious
following a spirited battle from a hungry Na Fianna side. While
Mayo dominated the early exchanges, it was Na Fianna who were
in control in the second half but unable to convert their possession
to scores.

Na Fianna made a number of positional and tactical changes early
in the game, playing Sue Hannon as an extra defender in front
of the ever-dangerous Mayo full-forward line, including top scoring
forwards Denise Dunnion and Cathy McKenna. This move left Mayo
half-back, Imelda Mularkey free to hit her inside forwards and
her excellent distribution created numerous scoring chances for
the side. Dunnion opened the scoring with a close range free after
five minutes; this followed three early wides from the Mayo forwards.
McKenna then registered her first score with a good effort from
20 yards. This was closely followed with her second point, as
she displayed her potent ability in front of the posts. Na Fianna,
with their defence under serious pressure but coping well, were
finding it difficult to find their half forwards and as soon as
one Mayo attack was broken down, another ensued.

Mayo were failing to take advantage of their possession in the
Na Fianna half of the field and kicked 6 wides, including a goal
chance as Dunnion sent her shot to the left of the post and wide.
Nancy Donohue, who just returned from injury, finally got Na Fianna
on the scoreboard after 14 minutes; this score courtesy of a free,
with Paula Barrett adding a fine score moments later. Mayo’s Dunnion
found the back of the Na Fianna net just before half time, after
a scrappy piece of play in front of goal, to put six points between
the sides at half time.

The second half saw a rejuvenated Na Fianna take complete control
of possession and the inspirational Paula Barrett pointed a fine
long range effort after 4 mins. Within minutes, Barrett added
a goal from a quickly taken free and put just three between the
sides. Na Fianna were fighting hard with Lorriane Lacey, Brenda
Furlong and Michelle Fahy to the fore in attack, while Mags Ryan,
Katriona Lynch, Finola McConnell and Grace Kelly were doing their
best to contain the Mayo forwards. While Mayo were guilty of kicking
eight wides in the first half, Na Fianna contributed five in the
second half. This was to prove their major downfall as Mayo failed
to score until the final minutes of the game. Lynda Donnelly had
a goal disallowed mid-way through the half as referee Mick Murphy
deemed it to be a square ball.

The Mayo defence were under immense pressure in the second half,
but Eleanor Fox and Fiona Ward held the centre- and full-back
positions well. Na Fianna, however, leveled the game in dramatic
form with 11 minutes to play; Monica Slevin found the in-form
Barrett who drilled a shot past the Mayo ‘keeper. Na Fianna showed
great heart but Mayo came alive again to the dying minutes and
scored two consecutive points, from McKenna and Donnelly, to see
them retain the Annie Kearney Cup in exciting fashion.

Patti McGrail, Elaine O’Donovan, Eleanor Fox, Tina Foy,
Joanne Monaghan, Fiona Ward, Imelda Mularkey, Ellen McGrail, Louise
McMahon, Karen Henry, Lynda Donnelly, Louise Fox, Denise Dunnion,
Cathy McKenna, Nora McGrail.
Subs used: Caroline Doherty for Nora McGrail (53mins)

Na Fianna: Rose Dunican, Monica Slevin, Katrina Lynch,
Mags Ryan, Finola McConnell, Lorraine, Grace McClafferty, Michelle
Fahy, Mary Melly, Sue Hannon, Paula Barrett, Marie Melly, Patricia
Reddington, Nancy Donohoe, Brenda Furlong.
Subs used: Jeannine Heinsohn for Reddington (49mins), Megan
Parcells for Marie Melly (59mins)
Referee: Michael Murphy (Donegal)


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