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Ladies Intermediate Championship Final

01/Sep/2006

Cloone 4-10 Kiltubrid 3-05.
Inspired by team captain Eileen Donohue, Cloone turned back the years with a powerful display to capture the Intermediate Championship title against a brave Kiltubrid challenge in Ballinamore on Saturday evening last. While Cloone dominated the game with a solid and sometimes perfect performance, they met a very determined Kiltubrid resistance and it was only into the second half before they finally got the scores to seal the game.

Both teams put in a great hour’s effort throughout the game, and must be pleased that all of the players on the field played to their full potential in the final. In the end the experience of the Cloone players was a big factor in the outcome of the game with Donohue, her sister Annette, Teresa Mylott, Carla Creegan and the three Brennan sisters, Tara McCabe and Aoife Kelly all contributing well to the Cloone effort. Kiltubrid will be disappointed with the result but can take great encouragement from the efforts of a number of players on the day including Miranda Burke, Blaithin McKiernan, Sinead Meehan, Emer Kelly, Emer Horan and in particular younger players Aine Tighe and Aoife McWeeney.

Straight from the throw in Cloone won possession and set up the first attack of the game with Aisling Brennan, Eileen Donohue and Lorraine Brennan all involved before Aoife Kelly fired over the opening score. This was quickly followed by a Donohue wide. Moments later midfielder Sinead Brennan hit in a dangerous ball that was well dealt with by Kiltubrid keeper Emer Horan but Cloone won posession again and pass from Aisling Brennan to Andrea Beirne resulted in a foul on the Cloone forward. However the opportunity was wasted as Tara McCabe hit the free wide. Five minutes into the game a sideline ball to Cloone resulted in Kiltubrid possession but in overcarying the ball in an attempt clear, Tara McCabe made no mistake from the resulting free. Kiltubrid eventually worked the ball up field and a testing ball into the square was only half cleared by the defence and Miranda Burke hit the loose ball over off the ground to open Kiltubrids account after nine minutes.

Moments later Cloone were awarded a 45 and a good ball in from Sinead Brennan fell nicely to sister Aisling who hit a similar shot over the bar to re-establish the Cloone lead. Two Kiltubrid attacks were well won back by Carla Creegan at full back to keep the Cloone goal intact. Another attack was set up by Donohue as Lorraine Brennan hit a wide. As the half progressed Cloone dominated the midfield battle and had another opportunity of a score as a great ball in from Sinead Brennan was won by Tara McCabe who fed Donohue and she set up Sinead again for a fine point. Kiltubrid were under serious pressure to win their own kickout but Emer Kelly became more prominent as they began to make some inroads into the Cloone defence. However Annette Donnelly and Teresa Mylott cut out a number of Kiltubrid attacks before Emer Kelly was fouled but the free was sent wide.

Another sweeping move from Cloone upfield was started by Grainne Tiernan and found the impressive Aisling Brennan in space, however Tara McCabe missed a great opportunity to extend the Cloone lead. Moments later Miranda Burke found Aine Tighe in the corner and as she attacked was fouled but hit over the free to leave just two points between the teams. This free seemed to inspire Kiltubrid into action but Regina Bohan missed a chance to narrow the gap with her effort. A poor clearance from keeper Aisling Mitchell fell to Sandra Early who was fouled but this time Tighes free went narrowly wide. With ten minutes remaining in the half Tighe had another free to reduce the gap to the minimum and this time she obliged as Kiltubrid enjoyed their best period of the game. However Cloone responded immediately when Aisling Brennan sent in a great ball to Aoife Kelly who was fouled and McCabe pointed the free. Kiltubrid again won possession with Aoife McWeeney’s pass to Aine Tighe who was supported by a great run from Siobhan Kelly who blasted over the bar when a goal was on to leave the half time score five points to four in Cloone’s favour.

Within twenty seconds of the resumption, Cloone were two points up as Sinead Brennan won the throw in and found Aisling Brennan who was supported again by Donohue and her perfect return pass was pointed by Aisling. Three minutes later Cloone were rocked by a Kiltubrid goal as Emer Kelly took advantage of a loose ball after a clash between two players and her intended pass across the square deceived keeper Aisling Mitchell and ended in the far corner of the net. Cloone responded immediately with a Tara McCabe free after a foul on Lorraine Brennan to level matters. As they had threatened all through the game, Cloone suddenly found another level and went into the lead again with a great point from McCabe after solid defending from Noreen Colreavy. A minute later they doubled that lead when Sinead Brennan found Aoife Kelly in space and she fired over a point. The turning point came two minutes later after Andrea Beirne did well to keep in play a long range free from Lorraine Brennan and her pass set up Tara McCabe for Cloone’s first goal of the evening. A great win by Donohue in the middle of the field found Aisling Brennan and when her initial shot hit the crossbar, Aoife Kelly was on hand to blast to the net as Cloone moved into an eight point lead.

Kiltubrid were now on the back foot but responded immediately with an attack from Regina Bohan and Aoife McWeeney who found Siobhan Kelly but she was unlucky to see her goal chance go narrowly wide. Three minutes later Cloone went eleven points up as Aoife Kelly was again at the end of a sweeping Cloone move and she finished with and unstoppable effort to the back of the net. Kiltubrid tried to make an impression up front and twice Aine Tighe tried her best to find the net but a commanding back line snuffed out her efforts. They did have a great chance of a goal midway through the half but Aoife McWeeney’s effort hit the crossbar and Emer Kelly hit the rebound wide. However two minutes later they were rewarded as a Regina Bohan free found Tighe on the edge of the square and she scored a well placed goal.

Aoife Kelly and Andrea Beirne hit wides for Cloone and a Sinead Brennan effort was well dealt with by Emer Horan. Another Kiltubrid effort was held by Mitchell but she over carried in an attempt to clear and Tighe pointed the 13m free. With five minutes remaining Eileen Donohue was rewarded with a point for her efforts following a good attack by Aoife Kelly. Kelly herself had two more opportunity’s to add to her tally but one went narrowly wide while Emer Horan saved well at her near post. As the game moved into injury time there Kelly hit her third goal of the game for Cloone following another great Cloone move up the field to confirm their superiority on the day, however there was time for a last attack for Kiltubrid and sub Lisa McWeeney finished well to the net for a consolation goal.

The presentation the new Mary O’Brien Kelly Memorial cup for this first Intermediate Championship title was made by County Board Chairperson Geraldine Creamer to the winning captain Eileen Donohoe.

Cloone: Aisling Mitchell, Grainne Tiernan, Carla Creegan, Annette Donnnelly, Teresa Mylott, Louise Heslin, Noreen Colreavy, Sinead Brennan (0-1), Lorraine Brennan, Andrea Beirne, Eileen Donohue (0-1), Carmel Monaghan, Aisling Brennan (0-2), Tara McCabe(1-04), Aoife Kelly (3-02). Subs: Una McKeon, Una Creegan, Patricia Beirne, Brenda Reynolds, Aisling McCabe, Olivia Reynolds, Niamh Brennan, Andrea Kelly, Katie Moran, Catherine Murphy, Sinead Creegan.

Kiltubrid: Emer Horan, Claire Kelly, Sinead Meehan, Grainne Gill, Sinead Tighe, Blaithin McKiernan, Tara Evans, Linda Tighe, Emer Kelly (1-0), Regina Bohan, Siobhan Kelly (0-1), Sandra Early, Aoife McWeeney, Miranda Burke (0-1), Aine Tighe (1-03). Subs: Tracey Costello, Kathy Beirne, Lisa Mcweeney (1-0), Sinead Byrne, Aine Meehan, Claire Judge, Stephanie Reynolds, Cloda Foley, Helene Duignan, Martina Gilmartin, Kara McLoughlin, Orlaith Heeran, Shiela Guckian, Siobhan Carroll, Deirdre Harris.

Referee: Ray McBrien