Mount Leinster Rangers 3-10
St Fortchern’s 0-12
By Kieran Murphy
THIS senior football B final at Netwatch Cullen Park last Thursday could have gone either way.
St Fortchern’s will probably be kicking themselves they didn’t lift the trophy but when push came to shove it was the Borris side who held their heads, made best use of the chances which came their way and deservedly won the game.
There was little between the sides all through the first half. Right from the start, Geri Mae Mara pushed Rangers in front with a point from play. Rebecca Doran equalised. Eve Sinnott then restored the St Fortchern’s lead and Doran added another point.
In a sign of things to come, Rangers scored their first goal on 10 minutes when Ann Murphy made ground and Catherine Kavanagh scored from close range at the scoreboard end of the ground.
Continuing the topsy-turvy nature of the game, St Fortchern’s hit back and with Doran scoring four first-half points they went in leading 0-7 to 1-3 at the interval. The score which divided the sides came from Eleanor Tracey who was a commanding presence in the middle of the field for her side.
When Doran extended the lead in the second half it should have been a signal for the more experienced side to drive on. St Fortchern’s created goal chances but a combination of a poor first touch and just downright bad shooting kept Rangers in the contest.
The Borris side made full use of their reprieve when a clever kick pass from Eimear Byrne picked up the raiding Jenny Skelton and she finished to the net from close range.
That was a real sickener for St Fortchern’s and when Murphy picked off another point Rangers had the bit between their teeth. St Fortchern’s persisted but again that first touch let them down. So often, just as space looked to be opening up they were undone by an alert defence, a dropped ball or a hurried and inaccurate kick.
Rangers erred in this regard too but not as often as their opponents. With six minutes to go they clinched a great victory when Olivia McDonald scored the their third and final goal. Ann Murphy embellished a fine performance when she scored her sixth and final point from play. It looked easy in the end but it was far from that.
Mount Leinster Rangers: Rachel Breen; Jenny Skelton (1-0), Ann Murphy (0-6), Michelle Kelly; Geri Mae Mara (0-2), Catherine Kavanagh (1-0), Eimear Byrne; Katie Barcoe, Shannon Kavanagh; Ciara Kavanagh (0-2), Tara Kavanagh, Niamh O’Dwyer; Aoife Barcoe, Anna Breen, Orla Kavanagh. Subs: Niamh Doyle for A. Barcoe (h/t), Olivia McDonald (1-0) for Doyle (48 mins), Ruby Bolger for Byrne (49 mins), Anna Fenlon for O’Dwyer (55 mins).
St Fortchern’s: Sinead Kane; Emma Fitzpatrick, Caithlin Doran, Sinead Byrne; Oonagh Fitzpatrick, Niamh Canavan, Antoinette Dowling; Maria Kinsella (0-1), Sarah Scully; Ellen Murphy, Catherina Treacy (0-1), Eve Sinnott (0-2); Holly Bermingham, Rebecca Doran (0-6), Eleanor Treacy (0-2). Subs: Leah McCabe for Fitzpatrick (14 mins), Rachel O’Brien for Sinnott (21 mins), Teresa Doyle for Scully (h/t), Molly O’Dwyer for Bermingham (51 mins), Abby Pierce for Treacy (55 mins).
Referee: Pat Kehoe (Rathvilly).