St. Helen’s and Edgeworthstown finish all square

Deniese O’Flaherty reporting from Emmet Park

A point from Sarah Tierney deep into stoppage time earned Edgeworthstown a dramatic replay with St. Helen’s in an entertaining Ladies Junior ‘A’ Football Championship Final played at Emmet Park, Killoe on Saturday evening last.

Just when it looked like the Drumlish/Ballinamuck side were going to claim victory Tierney fired over the equalising point three minutes into additional time and it was no more than the Mostrim girls deserved.

It was Edgeworthstown who enjoyed a lot of early possession but couldn’t put scores on the board. St. Helen’s opened the scoring in the 3rd minute through Emma Davis. Aisling O’Hara followed that up with an excellent point three minutes later. In the 12th minute St. Helen’s were even further in front when Kerrie Donnelly found the back of the net in a slick move.

But Mostrim came storming back and in the space of five minutes turned a five point deficit into a five point advantage with three quick goals. Eimear Monaghan grabbed their first goal in the 13th minute and just over one minute later they took the lead when Gemma Kenny scored their second goal with a speculative effort from about the 30 metre line. Then in the 16th minute they got a third; Oonagh Hussey’s shot was parried by St. Helen’s keeper Sinead Corrigan but the ball ended up in the back of the net.

Edel Kenny scored a point to put five between the sides in the 18th minute. After being stunned with those goals St. Helen’s came back into the game with three unanswered points from Aisling O’Hara, Leanna Kane and Leah Donnelly to reduce the deficit to two points in the 25th minute before Mostrim replied with a point from Edel Kenny in the 28th minute.

St. Helen’s had a chance to grab a second goal just before the break but the shot from Emma Davis flashed across the goalmouth. Right on the stroke of half-time St. Helen’s substitute Anne Marie McKeon got on the scoresheet to leave two points in it at the break.

Another Edel Kenny point two minutes into the second half stretched Mostrim’s lead to three points but in a dominant eight minute spell St. Helen’s turned the game in their advantage. Three converted frees from the boot of Aisling O’Hara levelled the game in the 39th minute before Leanna Kane put them ahead by one two minutes later.

The game then swung in Mostrim’s favour and points from substitute Michelle Burke and Gemma Kenny edged them in front by one in the 43rd minute. But the lead didn’t last long and St. Helen’s were level again in the 47th minute with a point from Leanna Kane. Five minutes later they went in front with a nice point from Orla Noonan.

It was end to end stuff and points from Sarah Tierney (free) and Michelle Burke in the 56th minute gave Mostrim the lead again and their keeper Monica Coyle pulled off a good save to deny Catriona O’Hara a goal for St. Helen’s in the 59th minute.

In a frantic final few minutes Sarah Tierney had a chance to put Mostrim ahead by two but hit her free wide. Down the other end two frees from the boot of Aisling O’Hara gave St. Helen’s the lead two minutes into stoppage time. But right at the end Tierney made amends for her earlier miss as she scored a dramatic equaliser.

ST. HELEN’S: Sinead Corrigan; Ailish Noonan, Tara Kane; Sinead Hughes, Rachel Murphy, Ellie Collumb; Aisling O’Hara (0-7, six frees), Rachel Cooney; Leanna Kane (0-3), Orla Noonan (0-1), Kerrie Donnelly (1-0); Leah Donnelly (0-1), Emma Davis (0-1).

Subs:- Anne Marie McKeon (0-1) for K Donnelly (30 mins); Catriona O’Hara for L Donnelly (42 mins); Patricia O’Hara for R Murphy (56 mins).

MOSTRIM: Monica Coyle; Leanne Keegan, Stephanie Reilly; Nikita Cassidy, Louise Monaghan, Sinead Noonan; Briana Connell, Gemma Kenny (1-1); Eimear Monaghan (1-0), Oonagh Hussey (1-0), Sarah Tierney (0-2, one free); Edel Kenny (0-3), Catriona Monaghan.

Subs:- Michelle Burke (0-2) for O Hussey (37 mins); Rachel Cheevers for E Monaghan (43 mins).

Referee: Bilal Moran (Granard St. Mary’s).