Report: Dominant St Macartan's regain Tyrone SFC title

Tyrone SFC Final

St Macartan’s 3-10

Sperrin Og 0-4

By Niall Gartland

THEY didn’t go away for very long, did they? St Macartan’s reasserted themselves as the dominant force in Tyrone Ladies football with a resounding victory over Sperrin Og in Sunday’s senior final showdown.

Claiming their sixth title in seven years, St Macartan’s made amends for last year’s surprise defeat to Carrickmore in quite some style. On the 30th anniversary of the foundation of Tyrone Ladies football, they put their experience to good use against Greencastle-based Sperrin Og, who were appearing in their first ever senior championship final.

It was, unfortunately, a bit of a non-event from a neutral perspective – St Macartan’s led from start to finish, never looked anything short of comfortable, and the game was over long before the final whistle.

Under lights at O’Neill’s Healy Park, they tore into the contest from the word go, racking up a 1-3 to no score lead by the tenth minute.

Chloe McCaffrey, a powerful, athletic player, scored two of the game’s opening points, the tidy and skillful Michaela Woods weighed in with another, and Woods scored a fortuitous early goal after an innocuous looking pass across goal somehow ended up in the back of the net.

Their attacking player was a joy to behold – powerful running interchanged with neat passing – and they opened up an eight-point lead when Paula Donnelly, who was hugely influential, and the game’s outstanding player, Slaine McCarroll, kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Sperrin Og finally got their account up and running when county star Niamh O’Neill scored a free, but it was very much against the run of play. Generally Sperrin Og were left adrift in the first-half with their packed defence struggling to contain St Macartan’s runners from deep, while Maura McMenamin sat back and helped ensure the county champions weren’t caught on the hop.

St Macartan’s struck for a second goal when Slaine McCarroll, who ran herself into the ground, punched the ball to the net, followed by a third point of the evening from Chloe McCaffrey. Niamh O’Neill got her second free, but the game was good as over at half-time with St Macartan’s holding an almost insurmountable 2-6 to 0-2 lead at the break.

Pride was at stake, more than anything else, for Sperrin Og in the second-half, appearing in their inagural senior final. To their credit, they came out and attacked the game in the third quarter. Meaghan Clarke scored two early points, while half-backs Ciara Fox and Carla McCann threw off the shackles and gave it a real go, even with the game effectively over as a contest. Other players to impress from the vanquished team included Aisling Fox and captain Eadaoin Fox, and hopefully they’ll learn from the experience.

St Macartan’s still had a healthy lead to work with and they responded with a fine point from McCarroll after neat build-up play from Colleen McQuaid and McCaffrey.

The introduction of Shauna McGirr also gave them a jolt of energy in the third quarter. McGirr, playing alongside her sister Niamh, scored a goal only moments after her introduction, blasting to the net after an impressive initial save from Kim McMcCullagh McGinn.

So St Macartan’s led by 3-7 to 0-4 heading into the last ten minutes, and they saw the game out strongly with points from the imperious Paula Donnelly and Shauna McGirr. Cue the celebrations as St Macartan’s claimed their 13th ever title – and this will have been one of the sweetest for Ryan mcMenamin and Aidan McElroy’s team after the disappointment of last year. St Macartan’s are back at the top of the tree in Tyrone.


St Macartan’s

Slaine McCarroll (1-2), Shauna McGirr and Michaela Woods (1-1 each), Paula Donnelly (0-3), Chloe McCaffrey (0-3, 0-2f)

Sperrin Og

Meaghan Clarke (0-2), Niamh O’Neill (0-2f)


St Macartan’s

Aoife McNeilis, Elisia Treanor, Tara O’Hagan, Maria McCann, Slaine McCarroll, Marie Treanor, Niamh McGirr, Tara-Meabh McCarroll, Colleen McQuade, Paula Donnelly, Chloie McCaffrey, Shannon McQuaid, Michaela Woods, Cathy Maguire, Maura McMenamin. Subs: Shauna McGirr for Woods (45), Grainne McKenna for N McGirr (50), Aine Arkinson for Maguire and Cadhla McCarroll for E Treanor (52).

Sperrin Og

Kim McCullagh McGinn, Rebecca Coyle, Aisling Fox, Emma McElarney, Ciara Fox, Carla McCann, Orla Coyle, Laura Lee O’Donnell, Shanley Clarke, Eadoin Fox, Michaela Fox, Aileen Tuohey, Niamh O’Neill, Shauneen Ferrity, Meaghan Clarke. Subs: Aimee McGuigan for McElarney (40), Leah McGuigan for Tuohey (48), Chloe Donnelly for M Fox (54), Michaela McDermott for C Fox and Caoimhe Warnock for Clarke (58).

Referee – Gary Gormley

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