Clans start Intermediate Championship in style and Junior Championship underway

Clan na Gael 3-17 St.Mary’s 1-3

A strong second half showing helped Clan na Gael who are many people’s favourites  for this year’s Intermediate Championship get their campaign  off to a good start in  beating  St Marys on their home pitch  on Thursday night.

Mary’s didn’t make it easy for them  and trailed by just  four points at the break. It could have been much better for the Ardee side had luck been on their side early on. After the impressive Denise McKenna opened the scoring with a fine point after just two minutes, the Ardee side were in front just moments later when Patrice Finnegan took advantage of a defensive mistake to smash the ball into the Clans net.

From the restart she regained possession and her vicious shot came back off the crossbar. Another big goal chance fell to the mid-Louth side in the ninth minute as mid-fielder Ellen Carolan saw her shot go inches wide and then Mia Duffy also hit a post from a free. Clans did steady themselves with points from county stars Shannon McLaughlin and Emily Norton putting them back in front. Duffy with a similar score restored parity 1-1 to 0-4 after 18 minutes but it was the home side who finished the half the better with Denise McKenna,(2) Emily Norton, Cara McKeever all raising white flags as Clans led 0-8 to 1-1 at the change over

Ex Dublin star Denise McKenna hit an early point on the resumption which was quickly followed by a succesion of Clans scores before Ciera Eccles had Mary’s first score of half  the as the Clans led by 1-12 to 1-2 after 42 minutes.  Clans continued to add to add to their tally before  centre forward Deirbhle Tinnelly put the icing on the cake with two brilliantly taken goals late on.

While not at their best Clans management team will have been delighted with how new addition Denise McKenna has fitted into the side, her strength and scoring ability along with Cara McKeever and 15 year old  sensation Deirbhle Tinnelly who contributed 3-10 of their tally between are a trio of much attacking potential

While Mary’s manager Ronan Shevlin will be disappointed with the margin of defeat for his young side, he will be encouraged by his side’s first half display and to have county star Rachel Kane back in the side after a long lay-off due to a serious knee injury.

Former Dublin player Denise McKenna was delighted with how her side recovered from a slow start to get the victory;

 “The first round of championship  for any team is always a nervous one, you want to get off on the right foot  to reduce the pressure and get in the best position possible for a championship semi final. I thought we were all a bit extra nervous with the lack of games and training due to the pandemic but our management used the time we did have well and prepared us best as possible going into the game on Thursday against Ardee St Marys.  We were slow to get going and St Marys created some great scoring opportunities but we soon found our rhythm and had some good link up play in the forwards and started to clock up scores.  The match was a good battle and we were delighted with the win. We are looking forward to our next game.”

What are the Dublin native’s  thoughts on the Louth LGFA scene and how has she fitted with her new club Clan Na Gael?
“As its my first year playing club football in Louth, I’m unfamiliar with the different calibre of teams we will be up against in our division but I’m really enjoying getting to know and playing with my new teammates in Clan na Gael, I feel very lucky and  I feel that I fell on my feet a little joining this club as everyone has been so welcoming and made me feel at home from the get go. They are really a great bunch of people and I’m looking forward to earning my stripes with the club and seeing how far we can go in the Intermediate Championship and further.
I played senior Division 1 club football with my club Fingallians in Dublin for the last 10 years and now playing with Clan na Gael in Louth in an intermediate division I was naively expecting a slight less intensity, but that isn’t the case. The pace of some of the players and intensity they play with would match what I played against in Dublin”, concluded the former Fingallians  star.

Clan Na Gael; Mia Rogers,  Tina McKeever  Therese Curran,   Daramay Fitzpatrick,   Sinead McGill,  Alannagh Tinnelley,  Janine Kelly, Shannon McLaughlin, Emily Norton 0-2, Kathy Reilly, Deirbhle Tinnelly, 2-00, Alanna McLaughlin, Cara McKeever, 1-5, Denise McKenna 0-5, Ciera Woods. Subs used Lee Lawlor 0-3, Gillian Reilly, Grace Smith

St.Mary’s; Jasmine Carroll, Aoife Mooney, Amy Hanratty, Jessica McCabe, Maebh Hickey, Rachel Kane, Erin Shevlin, Ellen Carolan, Mia Duffy, 0-1 Ciera Matthews, Katie Jennings, Ciera Eccles,0-1, Niamh Whyte, Nicole Hanratty, Patricia Finnegan 1-1. Subs used; Sarah Scott, Megan Minogue, Ciera Kelly, Tara McGuinness

Referee: David Loughran (Lordship)

Report by Dermot Woods

The other Intermediate and Senior Championship games are on Sunday at 11am.

On Friday evening the Junior B Championship kicked off.

Cooley Kickhams had a good home victory over their old rival Geraldines on a scoreline of 5-08 to 2-07.

Meanwhile in Knockbridge, Gleann Mháirtín got their Junior championship off to a winning start with a win over St Brides.

Gleann Mhairtin 3-11, St Brides 3-09.

The Brides has the better of the early exchanges and an early goal from full forward Edel McKeown saw them establish an early lead. However the girls from Monasterboice/Tullyallen fought back and took control of the game as the first half progressed. With a spectacular long range goal from half-forward Claire McGuigan and points from Marcella Molloy, Ellen Brady and Niamh McCullough, they took a five point lead into the break.

A great team goal, finshed by Marcella Molloy midway through the second half and further good point taking from the forwards set-up Gleann Mháirtín for the victory. A late rally by the Brides including another goal from McKeown and a penalty put away by midfielder Aoife Reilly made for a tense final few minutes but the Naomh Mairtin /Glen Emmets combination held on for a well deserved win.

St Brides; Sarah Kieran, Grace Conlon, Ciara Byrne, Debbie Kirk, Emma Fagan, Aoife Marry, Aoife Reilly, Kerri O’Connor, Kiera Harvey, Phyllis Coyle, Ellen Rutledge, Edel McKeown, Michelle Duffy, Ellen McDonnell, Ella Kieran.

Gleann Mháirtín; Cara McDonnell, Tara Kindlon, Katie McCabe, Yvonne Brennan, Molly McCann, Pia McCann, Emily Neilon, Katie Whelan, Katie Tiernan, Claire McGuigan, Clíona O’Connor, Chloe Reilly, Marcella Molloy, Ellen Brady, Katie Campbell. Subs; Niamh McCullough, Laura McNally, Keelin O’Reilly, Katie Carolan, Rachael Callan, Aoife O’Rourke.