St MACARTAN’S carved out another piece of ladies football history at Killeeshil on Saturday as they completed a fourth league and championship double in a row as well as securing their eighth Senior League title on the bounce as they eventually eased to comprehensive 15-point win over Errigal Ciaran.
The scoreline wasn’t perhaps a fair reflection on the game as a whole. As a contest Errigal were very much in the frame through the first half but a 36th minute goal from Cathy Maguire and the loss to injury of Aine Canavan shuddered Errigal and they failed to recover.
Joline Donaghy’s second goal ended their hopes as a very heavy sod failed to stop an excellent running game from the Macartan’s with Ryan McMenamin once again adding to his managerial honours list.
McMenamin will now focus on the Fermanagh job and there remains no word on his future involvement with ladies football.
Whatever his or indeed several older players in the Macartan’s squad decision is over their future, they owe ladies football nothing.
Credit to Errigal, they took the initiative and early points from Geardine McGinley and Emily Loughran gave them the best possible start. Tara Meangh McCarroll responded with a long range Macartan’s point and the sides were level in a sluggish opening ten minutes when Donaghy eased the ball over the bar from a close range free.
Both teams had plenty of ball but scores were at a premium. Chloe McCaffrey and Colleen McQuaid landed two points in twelve minutes of play and Paula Donnelly was denied a Macs goal by Errigal goalkeeper Eimear Corrigan, the keeper making a fine save. McGinley and a Maria Canavan free had drawn the sides level with five minutes of the half left.
McCaffrey finished well after a tidy through ball from Maguire, that point cancelled out by another Canavan free before right on the stroke of half-time Maguire’s point nudged the champions ahead by a single point.
A sweeping move from defence to attack produced a Maguire point after the break and with six minutes of the restart St Macartan’s took a major step towards the eight in a row. McCaffrey’s weighted ball from the right was collected by keeper Corrigan but as it spun out of her hands Maguire swooped to drive the ball to the net.
Errigal needed a quick response but they found Niamh McGirr, Slaine McCarroll and Grainne McKenna at their best in the Macs defence, they struggled to get within striking distance. Canavan did tag on a free on the 42nd minute but that proved to be their final score of the tie. Moments later Aine Canavan, who had been playing a key role for Errigal was forced off after a collision. They never recovered.
Maguire and Paula Donnelly landed points before Donaghy got on the end of a rebound and didn’t need a second chance to steer the ball past Corrigan, again a McCaffrey ball causing problems for the Errigal defence.
Veteran Lynda Forde and top championship scorer McCaffrey dropped over points as McMenamin ran his bench, several youngsters getting a run out in this league final.
McCaffrey, Paula Donnelly, Shauna McGirr and Michacla Woods kept the scoreboard ticking over until the close.
A well organised display from St Macartan’s as they once again eased to a victory over their near neighbours. The Macs dominance continues and shows little sign of wavering.