Saturday 24 March 2018

Adamstown return to top flight immediately

ADAMSTOWN RETURNED to the top flight at the first attempt after last year's relegation with an emphatic victory over Crossabeg-Ballymurn in the ladies' football Intermediate championship final in Killurin on Sunday last.

The 2012 Junior 'A' winners were struck by stagefright in the early stages and the game was effectively wrapped up after a mere six minutes when the Ross District side led by 2-3 to nil. The underdogs had no answer to the blinding pace of Ellen O'Brien and the class of Chantelle Martin up front, and while they did improve in the second-half, they were chasing a lost cause as they trailed by 3-7 to 0-2 at the break.

Martin (free) and O'Brien picked off quick points before a great run and neat pass by the latter set up the former for a well-taken goal in the fourth minute. Niamh Kelly then got in on the scoring act, grabbing a point before adding a goal following superb play in the build-up by Martin who was afforded far too much space.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn didn't lift the siege until near the end of the first quarter when an Aoife Sheil shot was well saved for a '45 by Leanne Murphy and Katie Redmond then pointed a free to get them off the mark.

However, it was a brief respite as Chantelle Martin added two more points, one from a free, before Redmond struck again. Adamstown would have won by even more but for one forward's greed in possession, an obvious trait that will have to be eradicated if they are to make progress in Leinster.

Still, they dominated this game all the same, with Martin hitting another couple of points before half-time and a second Niamh Kelly goal sandwiched in between in the 29th minute.

Although Katie Redmond (free) and Laura Corrigan registered the first two scores for Crossabeg-Ballymurn on the re-start, they were rocked again in the 34th minute when Adamstown's Marcella Cullen saw her shot deflected to the net off a defender following an Ellen O'Brien pass (4-7 to 0-4).

Redmond did grab a goal at the other end after Niamh Quirke had the first attempt, but the Over The Water side never looked like bridging that big gap and trailed by 4-10 to 1-8 at the three-quarters stage.

They lost Lorraine O'Connor to the sin bin for ten minutes as Adamstown outscored them by three points to one in the closing stages, before team captain Rosie Lawlor received the Ger Mullery Perpetual Cup, the new prize on offer for this championship, from his daughter, Avril.

Adamstown: Leanne Murphy; Aine Shannon, Róisín Barden, Sarah Jane Flood; Sandra Thorpe, Catríona McCabe, Mairéad Furlong; Rosie Lawlor (capt., 0-1), Patrice O'Gorman; Niamh Kelly (2-2), Fiona McCabe, Claire Stephenson; Marcella Cullen (1-2), Chantelle Martin (1-7, 0-3 frees), Ellen O'Brien (0-1). Subs. - Jenny Sweeney for Stephenson (46), Cora Flood for C. McCabe (60), also Katie Kelly, Lynn Bradley, Biddy Wickham, Kelly Whelan, Mary Ellen Doyle, Stephanie Sinnott, Nikki Dunphy, Eimear McCabe, Katie White.

Crossabeg-Ballymurn: Katie Sludds; Elaine Barlow, Gretta Heffernan, Elaine Shanahan; Lorraine O'Connor (0-1), Kim Moloney, Mairéad Cummins; Siobhán Cummins (capt.), Tara Moloney; Noeleen Shanahan, Katie Redmond (1-6, 0-5 frees), Niamh Quirke; Aoife Sheil (0-1), Laura Corrigan (0-1), Amanda Scallan. Subs. - Emma Kavanagh for Quirke (56), Emma McDonald for E. Shanahan (59), Orla Joyce for Barlow (59), also Aleisha Cullen, Vanessa O'Brien, Sara Nolan, Mia Kelly, Laura Dagger, Ann-Marie McDonald.

Referee: John Birmingham (Wicklow).

New Ross Standard