Fionnbarrs come out on top in League Div 2 Play-Off

Nh.Fionbarra 7-11 Kilkerley Emmets 4-15 (AET)

It took extra time to divide these evenly matched sides after a terrific contest in this Division 2 League play off in Kilkerley, with Naomh Fionnbarra finally edging out in front after extra time with both teams missing a number of regulars last Sunday morning.

Naomh Fionnbarra started the better and raced into an early lead courtesy of points from Marianne Hullen (2) and Leanne Sharkey. Kilkerly were soon level with a goal from Leah Hoey. Both teams registered a goal a piece before the break, while the Finbarrs added a further point through Sophie Turley. This left the game level at half time, 2-01 to 1-04.

While the home side hit a well taken point shortly after the re-start,the Togher side responded strongly with goals from Marie Doyle, Leanne Sharkey and Aideen Dunne leaving Kilkerley with a mountain to climb entering the latter stages. The young Kilkerley side dug deep and after Ciara Lennon and Ella McEnteggart both found the net to reduce the defecit to the minimum. It was rising star Ciera Lennon who showed admirable composure to send over late on to ensure extra time with both teams having scored 4-7.

The first half of extra time was closely fought with both teams registering a point in the opening minute. Kilkerly began to pull away adding three further points, while a number of the Barrs attempts were off target . Leanne Sharkey did however raise a white flag to keep her side within touching distance.

Alan McMahon’s side had an opportunity to go in front just ahead at the break when they were awarded a penalty, however their attempt went wide and Kilkerly led by 3 points going into the final section of the game.

Both teams exchanged points at the beginning of the final half. After winning the Kilkerly kickout, the Finbarrs scored a goal from a long range effort by Marie Doyle. A foul on Marie Doyle resulted in another ‘Barrs penalty, with Marianne Hullen making no mistake from the spot kick. Shortly after Hullen added another goal to put the game beyond Kilkerley after the ball was overturned by the Finbarrs defense. Kilkerley responded with a point, but it was a case of too little too late for the north Louth side.

Kilkerley; Eimear McEnteggart, Eimear Geoghegan, Sinead Kneel, Blaithin McFadden, Lucy Litchfield, Annemaree Kane, Leah Hoey, Rachel McNally, Ciara Sharkey, Ella McEnteggart,Caragh Brady, Enya Kempes, Ciara Lennon, Claire Lennon, Caoimhin Brady.  Subs used; Kerri Litchfield and Aoife McGeough,

Naomh Fionnbarra: Stephanie Shevlin, Leah Cassidy, Niamh Devlin, Katie McArdle, Roisin Osborne, Marie Claire Rogers, Maria Butterly, Heather Rogers, Amy Grant, Sophie Turley (0-1), Marie Doyle (2-3), Aideen Dunne (1-0), Ava Carroll, Leanne Sharkey (2-3), Marianne Hullen (2-2). Subs: Saoirse Holmes, Katie Ward, Brianna Murphy, Ellen Butterly (0-1), Mary Kate Osborne