Macartans make history with first Ulster title.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Macartans make history with first Ulster title. thumbnail St. Macartans Ladies GFC celebrate winning the 2017 Ulster Senior Club Championship.

ST MACARTAN'S created their own piece of football history at Emyvale on Sunday as they dethroned all Ireland club champions Donaghmoyne with a powerhouse first half display of scoring and disciplined assured defending throughout.


It was the Tyrone champions first Ulster club title in this their 25th year.

It was far from clear cut though as the Monaghan side reeled in an eleven point half time deficit to push the Macartans all the way in the closing stages, two between the sides at the final whistle but the win was richly deserved by Ryan McMenamin's team, the Tyrone side bouncing back from last year's final loss to the ten time Ulster winners.

Leading by eleven at the break St Macartan's looked impressive, they made life difficult for the Donaghmoyne forwards.

Niamh McGirr, player of the match Shauna Mc Quiad and Lynda Donnelly so clinical at the back but as the game wore on the Macartan's could only muster one second half point and also saw a Colleen McQuiad penalty well saved by all star keeper Linda Martin.

Despite a remarkable fightback the 2016 All-Ireland winners left themselves with too much to do as Macartan's held them off them off to clinch a first evenr Ulster title, the club having never been out of senior football in the county since their formation.

St Macartans laid the foundation for the victory in the opening half as they showed their intent with a high-intensity game plan giving Donaghmoyne no time on the ball and forcing errors and turnovers.

After Donamoyne went close for an opening score there were just 70 seconds on the clock when Chloe McCaffrey set up Cathy Maguire for the opening goal. A perfect pass followed by perfect execution form Maguire.

Louise Kerley hit Donaghmoyne's only score of the half on four minutes, from a free, as St Macs dominated.

Despite that dominance though the game went without a score for 19 minutes following a Joline Donnelly free. That changed though when Paula Donnelly took advantage of hesitancy by Linda Martin to flick a delivery from her sister Joline over Martin and into the net, an initial pass from McCaffrey putting Joline through.

Paula showing real bravery to get that final touch Just before the break Paula Donnelly netted her second goal with a piece of brilliance and calmness, coolly chipping the ball to the net to give St Macs a 3-3 to 0-1 lead.

A word though on the defence, they worked as one and at times they just suffocated the likes of Kerley and Courtney, Niamh McKenna also making a fine save through the half.

St Macartan's had a glorious chance to extend their advantage just three minutes after the restart but Linda Martin saved Colleen McQuaid's penalty, before the midfielder pointed the rebound.

The pressing game that St Macartans played in the first half disappeared as they tired and Donaghmoyne dug deep.

As Macartan's first lost Shauna McGirr and then Slaine McCarroll to yellow cards the Monaghan side got the space they need, three second half changes also added some pace to their attack and Fiona Courtney began a spell that yielded an unanswered 1-7 from the 10-time Ulster champions, who were back in the hunt.

Linda Martin's challenge on McCaffrey as the talented forward threatened to sneak in for a score should have produced a card too but there was nothing forthcoming as chances for the Macs were limited through the final quarter as Donaghmoyne hunted them down.

Louise Kerley's goal from the penalty spot suddenly left just three between the sides with still two minutes of normal time remaining.

There was four additional minutes and despite Macartan's being guilty of some poor passes and silly errors as the click ticked down Rosemary Courtney's point was all Francie Coleman's side could muster.

Cora Courtney was well marshalled by Mc Girr in those closing minutes too as she tried to unlock a resolute Macartan's rearguard and the Tyrone champions held on to claim an historic win and set up a meeting now with Mayo and Connacht champions Carnacon with Cora Staunton set for Augher later in the month after their replay win at the weekend.


St Macartans: Paula Donnelly 2-0, C Maguire 1-1, J Donnelly 0-2 (f), C McQuaid 0-1.

Donaghmoyne: L Kerley 1-3 (1-0p, 0-3f), F Courtney, E McElroy, G Comiskey and R Courtney 0-2 each.

St Macartans: Niamh McKenna; Neamh McGirr, Shannon McQuaid, Marie Treanor; Slannie McCarroll, Mara Donnelly, Lynda Donnelly; Shauna McRory, Colleen McQuaid; Cathy Maguire, Joline Donnelly, Paula Donnelly; Shauna McGirr, Chloe McCaffrey, Maura McMenamin.

Sub: Tara O'Hagan for S McGirr (57).

Donaghmoyne: L Martin; J Geoghegan, F Courtney, A Keenan; R Courtney, S Courtney, J Courtney; H Kingham, C Courtney; G Comiskey, N Callan, A McElroy; E McElroy, L Kerley, S McConnell.

Subs: A Garland for Keenan, L Garland for McElroy, R McConnell for S McConnell (all HT).

Referee: B Rice (Down)


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