Pulsating Louth Junior 1 Final ends in Deadlock

St Brides and Kilkerley Emmets will have to meet again to decide the destination of the Louth Junior 1 Championship title after playing out a thrilling draw at a wind swept Haggardstown last night.(Thursday)

A superbly struck goal from Sinead Woods two minutes from the end of normal time secured a draw for Kilkerley to send the final to a replay on Sunday, September 23rd @7pm

It was a fittingly dramatic end to a wonderful  game of football played in front of a huge crowd which once again illustrated the popularity of Ladies Football in Louth.


It was the first time a Ladies Championship Final had been played under lights in the County, altough the 2009 Senior decider between Nh. Malachi and Stabannon was decided after a floodlight match in the Clans, following a draw in the first match.

St Brides went into the game as slight favourites but it was the Emmets who started brighter and saw Aoife McGeough hit the post while Eilish Mulholland had an effort from a free drop short. However, in the fifth minute the Brides got off the mark through a Sharon Callan free and the same player helped her side take control of the match when she cleverly flicked home a Marie Brennan centre for the first goal of the game on 10 minutes. Almost immediately, Edel McKeown, fired over to put her side 1-2 to no score ahead.

However, Kilkerley were nearly back in the game when Martina Quigley got on the end of a loose clearance and her fine effort was saved superbly by Niamh Mackin.

They did get off the mark soon after though a Lizzie McNulty free and after both sides wasted chances, Kilkerley got back into contention when a vicious Sinead Woods shot from 25 yards  crashed off the crossbar with Claire Lennon following up to find the net with a cool finish on 18 minutes.

Martina Quigley then equalised with a well taken point before the Emmets continued their momentum with their second goal. McNulty fired in an excellent pass which  Quigley fielded superbly and having shrugged off a defender the ex Inniskeen star  made no mistake in firing low  to the net, making it  2-02 to 1-02 after 20 minutes.
The Brides suffered another blow when Sarah Fagan got a yellow card but her side responded well as Sharon Callan pointed from a free on 22 minutes. The last action of the half saw Eileen Murphy land a point for Kilkerley to send her side in leading by 2-03 to 1-03.

The Knockbridge side made a great start to the second half and straight from the throw-in a foul on Edel McKeown allowed Callan to point, and soon after substitute, Aimee McNally, kicked another to reduce the gap to the minimum (2-03 to 1-05)

As the tension mounted, Nicole Sheerin had to be alert to prevent Sarah Fagan getting in for goal and then pulled off a fine save to deny Marie Brennan.

However, in the 44th minute the Brides did get back on terms when the influential McNally was fouled and Callan levelled from a free. It got even better for the Brides two minutes later when Edel McKeown set up McNally and she hit the net with a sublime finish from 21 yards to put her side 2-06 to 2-03 in front.

Kilkerley hit back in an attempt to save the game but were thwarted by some excellent defending. Just when it looked as if the Brides would hold out, Sinead Woods went for broke with a 21m free and sent the ball to the roof of the net to tie the game despite the best efforts of Niamh Mackin to keep it out.
The drama wasn’t finished at that stage as in injury time, Lizzie McNulty had claims for a free close to goal waved away, before Sheerin pulled off another excellent stop to deny Sheila Tobin. In the end few could argue with the result as both teams lived to fight another day.


St.Brides had fine performances from goalie Niamh Mackin who pulled off  a number of top class saves, Ciera Rafferty, Niamh Sweeney and Caoimhe Hoey in defence, Kate Wynne did well at mid-field while up front Edel McKeown, Sarah Fagan and Sharon Callan were always a threat. The introduction of Aimee McNally sparked their attack into life with her pace and direct running causing many anxious moments in the Emmets backline. Like her opposite number Nicole Sheerin was in outstanding form as the last of line of defence  for Kilkerley pulling off three wonderful stops to earn the player of the match award. She got good support from the superb Blaithnaid Callan and Fiona O’Neill in defence,Sinead Woods had a fine outing at centre field while Martina Quigley, Claire Lennon and Eileen Murphy were most prominent of their forward line.

Niamh Mackin; Caitriona Sweeney, Ciera Rafferty, Debbie Toner; Aisling McKean, Caoimhe Hoey, Niamh Sweeney; Kate Wynne, Aisling Ruddy; Edel McKeown 0-1, Sarah Fagan, Orla McGeeney; Sarah Kieran, Sharon Callan 1-4,(3f) Marie Brennan.

Subs: Aimee McNally 1-01, Niamh Reilly, Sheila Tobin.Niamh Reilly


Nicole Sheerin; Elaine Corbett, Blathnaid Callan, Pamela McConnell; Anee Marie Kane, Fiona O’Neill, Sheila Murphy; Eilish Mulholland, Sinead Woods 1-0; Aoife McGeough, Elizabeth McNulty 0-1(f) Claire Lennon 1-0; Eileen Murphy 0-1, Martina Quigley 1-1, Mary Amanda Kieran. Sub: Rachel McNamee for MA Kieran.

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