Clonguish ladies crowned senior county champions

Delighted Clonguish captain Marie Brady receives the Alison Smyth Memorial Cup from Gordon Smyth (brother of the late Alison) after her team won the Ladies Senior Football Championship title.  Photo: Declan Gilmore
It was a long time coming, well six years to be exact, but Clonguish are crowned Longford Ladies Senior Champions for 2015 after stopping Killoe from winning their sixth county title in a row.

It was a long time coming, well six years to be exact, but Clonguish are crowned Longford Ladies Senior Champions for 2015 after stopping Killoe from winning their sixth county title in a row.

Killoe have been the dominant force in ladies football and showed their class throughout this game but in the end Clonguish’s hunger and desire paid off.

The one thing the Newtownforbes side had this year that they lacked in previous years and that was belief. Even when Killoe went three points ahead twice in the game Clonguish fought back well and when they went ahead again in the 45th minute they were able to drive on and claim the win.

A free from Anne Marie Bratten in stoppage time left it a one point game but Killoe just couldn’t get another point to bring the game to a replay.

It was Bratten that opened the scoring in this game in the third minute when she pointed her first free. Clonguish replied with a nice point from Aoife Darcy and Darcy followed that up with a free after Una Shanley was fouled.

Shanley hit over a point minutes later to put her side ahead by two. An injury to Killoe’s Emma Kiernan held up the game for a few minutes and when play restarted it was Killoe who gained the upper hand.

Points from Jacinta Brady and Anne Marie Bratten (free) levelled the game in the 16th minute. Una Shanley then had a shot cleared off the line in the 17th minute before Aisling Greene edged Clonguish ahead again one minute later.

In the final 10 minutes of the first half Killoe’s experience told with Bratten and Fiona Fox putting their side in front again by the 25th minute. Bratten hit over two points (one free) just before the break to give her team a three point advantage, 0-7 to 0-4.

Four minutes into the second half Siobhan McGowan fired over a point for Clonguish but Edel Quinn restored her side’s three point advantage in the 35th minute with a good point.

Aoife Darcy had a chance for Clonguish in the 36th minute but her effort just went wide of the goal. One minute later though they raised the green flag when Una Shanley found the back of the net and the game was level.

Anne Marie Bratten hit over another free in the 40th minute to put Killoe back ahead again but their lead only lasted three minutes as Darcy fired over a free to draw the game level.

Alice Magan set up Aisling Greene for a point in the 45th minute to put Clonguish ahead for the first time since the 18th minute when the same player had put her side ahead.

Killoe rallied and tried to get scores but Clonguish got back in numbers and their defence were solid with Catriona and Mairead Moore, in particular, excellent as they denied Killoe on several occasions. Catriona Moore put in two tremendous blocks to stop Killoe from scoring.

Two minutes from time Clonguish went two points ahead. A ’45 was played in and it eventually fell to Cliona Allen and she pointed.

There was still time for drama though and Killoe showed they weren’t going to relinquish their title without a fight. In stoppage time Edel Quinn was played in and as she went bearing down on goal Lynn Gregg got back and fouled Quinn; it was better to concede a free than a goal.

Anne Marie Bratten stepped up to take the free but she opted to go for a point. Killoe though couldn’t get the equalising point as Clonguish held on for a terrific win.

CLONGUISH: Jessica Stewart; Anne Burke, Marie Brady, Marie Kelleher; Catriona Moore, Sinead Macken, Mairead Moore; Siobhan McGowan (0-1), Lynn Gregg; Alice Magan, Aoife Darcy (0-3, 2 frees), Una Shanley (1-1); Aisling Greene (0-2). Ailbhe McGowan, Cliona Allen (0-1).

Sub:- Niamh Darcy for M Kelleher (13 mins).

KILLOE: Dervla Murphy; Fiona Toher, Maire Carrigy, Antoinette Brady; Margaret Brady, Kathryn Lynch, Mary Reynolds; Jacinta Brady (0-1), Fiona Fox (0-1); Anna McDonnell, Emma Doris, Emma Kiernan; Edel Quinn (0-1), Ali Kenny, Anne Marie Bratten (0-7, 5 frees).

Sub:- Laura Smith for E Kiernan (injured, 13 mins).

Referee: Joe McDermott (Young Grattans).