No separating Stabannon and Roche in opening round of Senior Championship

Roche Emmets 2-10 Stabannon Parnells 2-10

Stabannon Parnells under the management of Niall Conlon travelled to Roche Emmets on Sunday morning to open their championship campaign.  After a tough league campaign Stabannon were hoping for a good performance against a strong Roche side.

As Stephen Devlin took charge of the game on a sunny Sunday morning, it was Danielle Sharkey who put Stabannon a point ahead.  Grace Lynch who had returned to play was instrumental in setting up the score and no sooner had Grace set Danielle up than she set up Rachel McNally to put her team two points ahead.  Stabannon were working well as a team and started very strong much to the surprise of Roche.  Danielle was then on hand to put the ball over the bar for the a point.  Oonagh Giggins who had returned to play after an injury in the league campaign made a brilliant block in the backs to allow for great combination play between herself and Grace Lynch and finally to Rachel McNally who put the ball to the back o f the net. This was all in the first ten minutes of the game and Roche found themselves 6 points behind.

Roche then regrouped and brought Jenny McCourt of the field where she got her team on the score board with a point from a free.  Roche at this stage were gaining momentum so much so that Shauna Finn put the ball in the back of the next to leave just two points between the teams.  Stabannon were unlucky not to score from a free and another point from Sarah McArdle left just one between the teams.  Roche were winning the Stabannon kick outs and they punished the mid Louth side for this and Seona Halligan made no mistake when putting the ball over the bar to bring the teams level with the first water break approaching.  Just before the first water break Sarah McArdle put the ball over the bar to leave the home side one point ahead.  After the water break both teams were guilty of wides from play and from frees but Danielle Sharkey put the teams level again with a point from play.  Laura McNally was having a great game in the middle of the field and got her reward with a point as the half time mark approached putting Stabannon a point ahead.  However this game as end to end as one point resulted in another and Jenny McCourt again equalise with a point from play.  Grace Lynch put the ball over the bar just as the half time whistle blew to leave Stabannon a point ahead at the break.

It would be all to play for in the second half and Danielle Sharkey put Stabannon two points ahead at the start but Sarah McArdle made no mistake from a free to bring it back to one between the teams.  Abi Keenan equalise for the Roche team and then a killer goal from Louise Byrne put the home side 3 ahead with Stabannon having it all to do.  Ruth McNally replaced her sister Laura McNally and Danielle Sharkey scored from a free as Tara Greene replaced Kate Smyth.  Roche were guilty of a number of wides which kept Stabannon just two points behind as Danielle scored from another free to bring it back to one point between the teams.  Stabannon rose to the challenge and great play from Ruth McNally, Danielle Sharkey saw captain Orlagh Bryne put the ball to the back of the net to put Stabannon a point ahead.  No spectators were leaving this match as it was end to end for both teams.  Sarah McArdle brought it back to a draw match.  Stabannon were not giving up and substitute Amy Malone put the ball over the bar and Stabannon were sure they had done enough to take the points for the game but Roche were not giving up and again it was Sarah McArdle who put the ball over the bar to leave the match at a draw.  On the day it was probably a fair result and both teams take a point from the game as they head into the next match in the round.  Stabannon have certainly improved on their league campaign and Roche have also showed they too are a team well in contention in this years championship.


Scorers for Stabannon

Danielle Sharkey 0 – 6

Amy Malone 0 -1

Grace Lynch 0 – 0

Laura McNally – 0-1

Orlagh Byrne 1-0

Rachel McNally – 1-1


Scorers for Roche

Sarah McArdle – 0-5

Jenny McCourt – 0-3

Abi Keena – 0-1

Seona Halligan – 0-1

Shauna Finn –  1-0

Louise Byrne  – 1-0