Match Report – Cooley advance to SFC semi-finals

Cooley Kickhams 3:10 Stabannon Parnells 0:12

Cooley Kickhams advanced to the Halpenny Travel Senior Champhionship semi finals by seeing off seven time winners Stabannon Parnells in Fr. McEvoy Park on Friday evening (16th Aug).

After a less than impressive start to the defence of their title where they lost to Roche Emmets in their opening fixture, Paul Hanlon looks to have his side hitting form at the right time and this win sets them up for a semi final clash with Roche on Sunday week. What makes this win all the more satisfying for the Cooley manager is that it was achieved without a number of key players including key forward Lauren Boyle.

Cooley sent out a statement that says they are in no mood to relinquish their Championship title easily. The foundation for their win came in an eight minute scoring blitz in the opening half which yielded 2:04 without reply to establish a 2:5 to O:02 lead.

In a bright opening the visitors had their first sight on goal within seconds of the start when Rachel McNally gained possession and fired over from close range. Megan Ferguson soon had the Champions level with a well taken point. Ruth McNally and Jenny McGuiness both hit wides before Kickhams took a firm grip on the tie as Kaitlyn Quinn smashed home the first goal in the ninth minute and just seconds later Niamh Rice won possession and fired a wonderful shot past Suzanne Carroll in the Stabannon goal.

Boosted by the goals the home side added further points with Rennie McGlynn, Evelyn Rice (2) and Niamh Rice on target before Rachel McNally set up Jenny McGuiness for a badly needed score (2:5 to 0:2).

Stabannon created a number of chances with both Ann-Marie Lynch and Kim Lynch both hitting wides before the 2017 champions winners were dealt a further blow as Renee McGlynn took advantage of a poor clearance to find the net in some style in the 26th. minute. Niamh Rice and Jenny McGuiness swapped points to give Cooley a 3:06 to 0:03 lead at the break.

Niamh Rice posed a constant threat throughout and she extended the Cooley advantage shortly after the restart with another superb effort, but Stabannon driven by the hard working Rachel McNally hit the next six points from Kate Smyth, Danielle Sharkey (4)and Niamh Tenanty 3:07 to 0:09.

Indeed the Mid Louth side might have been even closer had it not been for a brilliant save by Coirin Rice to keep out a blistering Rachel McNally shot and two efforts from McGuiness which dropped into the keeper’s hands.

Despite Stabannon enjoying the lions share of possession Cooley continued to look dangerous with their pace and energy and in a smart counter attack Kaitlyn Quinn made the clever delayed pass giving Megan Ferguson time to wriggle clear of her marker and firing over. Jenny McGuiness replied with two well taken points before Rachel McNally worked an opening but was off target with her shot as Stabannon sought a badly needed goal. A tally of ten wides in total did little to help Stabannon and Cooley finished with a flourish with further scores from Evelyn and Niamh Rice to a solitary reply from Rachel McNally

Cooley Kickhams; Coirin Rice, Deborah Malone, Lisa McCarragher, Shauna Murphy, Laura Traynor,Claire Donnelly, Aoife Traynor, Laura Grills, Katelyn Quinn (O:01) Aoife McDaid, Ciara Quinn, Niamh Rice (1:04), Renee McGlynn (2:00) Evelyn Rice (0:03) Megan Ferguson (0:02)

Stabannon Parnells; Suzanne Carroll, Aoife Lowth, Aine McGee, Emma Tuite, Bronagh McGrane, Annemarie Lynch, Carol Cluskey, Ruth McNally, Jenny McGuiness, (0:04) Danielle Sharkey, (0:04 free’s)Rachel McNally, (0:02,) Kate Smyth (0:01) Marie Bannon, Laura Keenan, Niamh Sadlier.
Subs used, Kim Lynch, Niamh Tenanty (0:01) Claire Keenan

Referee; David Loughran (St. Patricks)

Senior Championship Semi Finals on September 1st:

  • St Kevins v Geraldines
  • Roche Emmets v Cooley Kickhams

Report by Dermot Woods | Photos by Veronica Traynor