A year after winning the Junior title, St. Helen’s (Drumlish/Ballinamuck) achieved another championship success when they overcame Carrickedmond in the Intermediate final at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday last.
Goals win games and this proved the difference between the sides with St. Helen’s getting their goals at crucial stages of the game. Four minutes before the break Carrickedmond had edged in front by one point but St. Helen’s replied with two goals to give them a five point lead at half-time, 5-2 to 2-6.
St. Helen’s scored a sixth goal midway through the second half and it killed off the challenge of Carrickedmond, who suffered a significant setback when Michelle Noonan was sinbinned in the 41st minute.
Carrickedmond started well with Elaine Kelly forcing a good save out of St. Helen’s keeper Sinead Corrigan and after hitting two wides they got their opening score in the third minute through Sarah Shannon.
Emma Farrelly got St. Helen’s first point in the seventh minute and one minute later Orla Noonan grabbed her side’s first goal. Noonan then forced Carrickedmond keeper Monica Bannon into making a save in the 10th minute with Catriona O’Hara finishing the breaking ball to the net.
Points from Emer Powell and Michelle Mulvey cut the gap to four in the 14th minute but Emma Farrelly responded with a nice point in the 19th minute. Carrickedmond then hit a purple patch that turned the game in their favour in a six minute spell.
Michelle Noonan got Carrickedmond’s first goal in the 20th minute and then Niamh Feeney brought her side to within one point of St. Helen’s. Feeney found the net with a fantastic strike four minutes later to give her side the lead.
Michelle Noonan followed up with a point to put Carrickedmond ahead by three but St. Helen’s response was terrific with Orla Noonan levelling the game with a goal. Emer Powell put Carrickedmond ahead by one in the 26th minute but goals from Emma Farrelly and Orla Noonan left St. Helen’s leading by five points at the break.
The lead was just two points in the 37th minute when Elaine Kelly got Carrickedmond’s third goal. But minutes later they were dealt a blow when Michelle Noonan was sinbinned. St. Helen’s got their sixth goal in the 42nd minute through Laura Burke to restore their five point advantage and Emma Farrelly then followed up with a point.
It was all St. Helen’s at this stage and Aisling O’Hara fired over a point in the 51st minute to extend the lead to seven points. Substitute Ann Marie McKeon shot wide in the 54th minute and one minute later Laura Burke hit over a point.
Carrickedmond added on points near the end before Emma Farrelly was sinbinned in the 58th minute. The last point of the game was scored by Carrickedmond player Shauna McCormack in stoppage time as St. Helen’s captured the Intermediate title, confirming superiority over their final opponents who they also beat in the group stage of the championship.
ST. HELEN’S: Sinead Corrigan; Sarah Murphy, Louise Quinn, Catriona O’Hara (1-0); Patricia O’Hara, Rachel Murphy, Ellie Collum; Louise Clarke, Sinead Hughes; Ailish Noonan, Orla Noonan (3-0), Aisling O’Hara (0-1); Laura Burke (1-1), Emma Farrelly (1-3), Leah Donnelly.
Subs:- Ann Marie McKeon for A Noonan (injured, 49 mins), Kerri Donnelly for L Donnelly (63 mins).
CARRICKEDMOND: Monica Bannon; Ann Ryan, Ann Burns, Gillian Farrell; Tara Esler, Rachel O’Farrell, Shauna McCormack (0-1); Claire Flood, Michelle Noonan (1-1); Sarah Shannon (0-1), Michelle Mulvey (0-2, 1 free), Niamh Feeney (1-1); Sinead Moran, Emer Powell (0-3), Elaine Kelly (1-0).
Subs:- Aisling Farrell for A Burns (45 mins); Ellen Byrne for T Esler (47 mins); Rita Connaughton for E Kelly (52 mins), Carla Esler for S Moran (56 mins).
Referee: Joe McDermott (Longford Slashers).