Stabannon Collect League title

 Stabannon collected their sixth Div 1 League title in eight years  after this convincing  victory over the Geraldines on Sunday afternoon in Tallanstown.

The winners did most of the damage in the opening half as they went in at the  break leading by 2-10 to 1-02

They got off to a good start start when Grace Rogers fired over after just 35 seconds of play

Geraldines reply was instant as Sandra Lynch won possession and played a fine pass into Annmarie Lynch who found the net with a tidy finish.  This was as good as it got for the Gers as Stabannon showed the hallmark of champions with six unanswered points.

They got a further boost when ex Nh.Martin and Louth star finished off a fine move with low shot into the net, giving Parnells a 1-07 to 1-01 lead on nineteen minutes

An Emma Gartlan point gave the Gers a much needed point and they were very unlucky to see Fionnuala Cafferty’s effort come off the crossbar and from the resultant play  Grace Rogers won pssession and powered her way past a couple of challenges to slot past Gers keeper Alannah Finn. Further points from Amy Malone and Danielle Sharkey made it 2-9 to 1-1 after twenty two minutes. Sandra Lynch and Danielle Sharkey then swapped points to leave it 2-10 to 1-2 at the break


 The Haggardstown team who had to make do without Abbi O’Connor and  county stars Rebecca Carr and Ciara O’Connor, needed a good start to the second half and almost had a second goal when Sandra Lynch latched onto a Gartlan pass and raced towards the Stabannon goal but she couldn’t find a way past the advancing Kim Lynch.

The Gers did get the second goal their gutsy play deserved in the 37th  minute when Emma Gartlan’s ball was punched to the net by Lynch.  Stabannon felt their keeper was fouled in the lead up to the score but following  consultation with his umpires, referee Fintan Levins allowed the goal to stand.

Gartlan then had her second point of the day, which was matched by a Lafferty free to leave seven between the sides with still some seventeen minutes left on the clock but the vast experience and know-how of Stabannon shone through as they stemmed the tide before hitting two killer blows in as many minutes.

Good play by Rachel McNally and Grace Rogers  set up O’Hare for  Stabannon’s third goal and they put the game  beyond Geraldines reach less than two minutes later as McNally profited from some wonderful  play by Orlagh Byrne to hit the back of the net and make it 4–11 to 2–4.

To their credit, the Geraldines never threw in the towel and  ex Cooley star Roisin Soraghan was most unlucky to see her effort come back off the woodwork.

Both managers then sent on a number of as substitutions as  the game petered out with Stabannon adding further points through substitute Bronagh McGrane and Rachel McNally.

Sandra Lynch had the Geraldines’ final point of the day before Alannah Finn denied Grace Rogers another goal by making a fine penalty stop with the last kick of the ball.

Both teams now turn their attention to the the Senior Championship campain which gets under way in early August the .

STABANNON: Kim Lynch; Michelle McArdle, Andrea Carney, Kate Smyth; Siobhan Giggins (0–1), Ann Marie Lynch (0–1), Orlagh Byrne; Grace Lynch, Aine McBride; Carol Cluskey, Rachel McNally (1–1), Amy Malone (0–1); Danielle Sharkey (0–5, 2f), Grace Rogers (1–2), Meabh O’Hare (2-00). Subs: Ruth McNally for A Malone,

Bronagh McGrane (0–1) for K Smyth,  Jenny McGuinness for M O’Hare,  Ciara McNally for D Sharkey,

GERALDINES: Alannah Finn; Sharon O’Connor, Ciara Power, Eilis Hand; Sinead O’Keefe, Jade Reddy, Gemma McCrave; Megan Scully, Helen Ryan; Meadbh O’Hagan, Sandra Lynch (1–2, 1f), Emma Gartlan (0–2); Fionnula Cafferty (0–2, 2f), Roisin Soraghan, Aine Lynch (1–0). Lorna Moriarty for M O’Hagan, 46 mins; Amy O’Donoghue for C Power, 47 mins;

Referee: Fintan Levins.(Hunterstown)

Report, Dermot Woods


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