Maria’s late, late point wins the title for Mattock
Mattock Rangers 1-14 Clan na Gael 2-10
Mattock Rangers took the Division 3 title in dramatic fashion on Friday night when super sub Maria Reid fired over in the ninth minute of injury time to deny Clans after a dramatic and thrilling final in Knockbridge.
Both these teams produced a superb encounter and there would have few in the large attendance disappointed if the game had finished level and they had to do it all over again.
An accidental collision between Chloe Enright and Mattock defender Maria Reid led to the Rangers player needing a lenghty period of treatment. As a result Referee Gerry Malone added almost 11 minutes of additional time and it handed Reid an opportunity to win the game
The Dundalk side who to o without the key duo of Grace Fitzpatrick and Therese Curran will wonder how they lost a game that they led for long periods.
In one of the best games seen in Louth club football in a long time Clans had an early chance when they were awarded a close-in free after only 30 seconds but Chloe Enright's effort dropped short into the keepers hands.
Just two minutes Niamh Dooley brilliantly won possession and her precise pass found Rebecca Levins who offloaded to Nicola Noone who hit the net from close range.
Dooley then added a point before Clans replied as Allanah McLoughlin took off on a wonderful run leaving a number of defenders in her wake and shooting low to the net.
Ciara Woods converted twice from free's to put the Castletown Road side ahead for the first time 1-2 to 1-1 after ten minutes a lead they would hold until deep into lost time.
Mattock then had chances of their own but Niamh Dooley, and Grainne Reid all saw their efforts miss the target.
Nicola Noone then had the sides level with another wonderful effort, but Clans were soon back in front when centre back Sinead McGill went on a 50 yard run and slotted over for what was possibly the score of the game.
Boosted by this superb point Clans added further points form the impressive duo of McLaughlin and Woods before they raised a green flag for a second time as a brilliant 35 yard pass from McGuill split the Mattock defence and Ciara Woods raced onto it to give keeper Michelle Breen no chance 2-5 to 1-2 after 29 minutes.
Mattock had the last two scores of the half from Nicola Noone to leave four between them at the interval.
The second half began at the same frantic pace with an Allanagh McLaughlin point and Maria Reid (2) replying for the Collon side.
The scoring continued with Abbie O'Brien and Noone on target for Mattock and Grace Smyth for Clans. Smyth's point was followed by another eye-catching moment as Kathy O'Reilly shook off a couple of challenges and shot a superb point from some distance 2-8 to 1-7 after 48 minutes.
Clans again won possession and as Ciara Wods went through on goal she was pulled down by Megan Minogue who was sent to the "Sin Bin" with Woods sending the free over the bar. Mattock came back strongly despite being down to 14 players and had the next three scores from the deadly Maria Reid 1-12 to 2-9 in the sixth minute of added on time.
Clans thought they had won it two minutes later when Grace Smyth was on target but Referee Gerry Malone played a further two minutes and the Collon side won it with a brace from their hero Maria Reid
Mattock RANGERS: Michelle Breen, Eimear Grimes, Roisin Roche, Niamh Reid, Anna Dunne, Niamh McComish, Megan Minogue, Kelly Connor, Gemma Sheridan, Rebecca Levins, Grainne Reid, Abbie O'Brien 0-01, Nicola Noone 1-04, Niamh Dooley 0-01, Lisa McCabe. Subs, Maria Reid 0-08, Lia Duff
Clan NA GAEL: Mia Rogers, Geraldine Smyth, Daramay Fitzpatrick, Jessica Gaffey, Kellie Hughes,Sinead McGill, 0-01, Regan Donnelly, Kathy O'Reilly 0-01, Shannan McLaughlin, Grace Smyth 0-02, Gillian O'Reilly, Lee Lawlor, Allanah McLoughlin 1-02, Ciara Woods 1-04, Chloe Enright. Subs, Donna Coroy for C.Enright, Emma Fallon for Geraldine Smyth,
Referee: Gerry Malone (Cooley Kickhams).