St Mary’s 1-14 Eastern Harps 1-8
Connacht Gold Intermediate Championship final
ST Mary’s are the 2022 Connacht Gold Intermediate champions following a strong second half against opponents Eastern Harps in a balmy Enniscrone on Sunday afternoon.
Shane Breheny’s side, who were a point adrift at the interval, were more dominant in the second period and Ruth Monaghan’s goal in the 49 minute proved to be the game changer as they never looked back.
It was an entertaining game of football from both sides in front of a big crowd at the impressive facility in Enniscrone/Kilglass.
It was Stephen Powell’s side who were in front at the first water break, which was badly needed in the hot temperatures, Eastern Harps leading by 1-2 to three points with the goal coming courtesy of the lively Megan McCormack just before referee Maggie Foy signalled the break.
Both sides made one switch ahead of throw-in, with Sarah Conheady coming in place of Roisín Molloy for Harps and Ruth Monaghan replacing Jillian Monaghan on the St Mary’s forward line.
Harps started strongly, points from Tara Phillips (free) and impressive midfielder Lisa Powell edging them in front, before St Mary’s hit three on the bounce, Ciara Gilroy and Emma Corcoran both pointing from play, with the hardworking Michaela Gaffney adding a free on 11 minutes.
Then, Harps retook the lead, a superb ball into the path of McCormack seeing her find the game’s opening goal with a fine finish just before the water break, Harps leading by 1-2 to 0-3.
The East Sligo side went further in front, Lisa Casey setting up Philips for her second in a well-worked team score, which was followed by a point from play from Casey as they led by four on 24 minutes.
St Mary’s responded well, with the excellent Karen Maloney getting her first of the afternoon with Gaffney and Monaghan adding two more as they were behind by 0-6 to 1-4 at halftime in what was end to end stuff.
St Mary’s pointed a mere 30 seconds in following the resumption, great work from the tireless Maloney as it was back to a level game.
A foul on Helen Monaghan was converted by Maloney as St Mary’s took the lead on 34 minutes.
McCormack with a fine point responded for Harps, good work from Powell and Orlaith Connolly as it was level once more on 36 minutes.
Monaghan sent over a fantastic point from play a minute later as St Mary’s took the lead again in what was a very evenly matched encounter, moments later Harps’ Philips pointing a free on Powell who did well.
It was Harps then who took the lead, a neat one-two with Katie Hannon and Eimear Connolly seeing the latter point as shortly after Harps defenders Sarah Gallagher and captain Edel McNulty did well to thwart a St Mary’s advance.
Maloney once again brought it level from a sideline ball while down the other end, Phillips saw a free on Powell come off the post.
Ciara Gilroy did well to add another for St Mary’s on 43 minutes, again Monaghan involved as St Mary’s retook the lead.
McNulty did well to block a Gaffney goal chance as Shereda Davey also did well in the Harps’ goal to deny Maloney.
Then, St Mary’s edged further in front, Monaghan finding the net after brilliant work from Maloney to send a long ball into Ciara Gilroy who saw Monaghan lurking as they went four in front on 49 minutes.
Down the other end, a Harps goal chance involving Casey was saved on 53 minutes by Sarah Corcoran while St Mary’s were pulling away slightly.
A good pass from Emma Corcoran to Ciara Gilroy saw the latter send over a fantastic point as they led by five with minutes to go.
Harps were looking for goals which didn’t come, the outstanding Maloney adding another from play for St Mary’s as six separated them.
Casey was to score the last point for Harps, McCormack and Conheady involved, with player of the match Monaghan getting the last for St Mary’s who won the title as both now look ahead to the Senior championship.
ST MARY’S; Sarah Corcoran, Sarah Keaney, Aoife Connolly, Diana McDonagh, Emily Nicholson, Aoife Gilroy (C) , Casey Cox, Emma Corcoran, Tara Breheny, Kayla Breheny, Karen Maloney, Helen Monaghan, Ciara Gilroy, Michaela Gaffney, Ruth Monaghan.
Substitutes used; Keighleigh Cawley for McDonagh (22).
Scorers; Ruth Monaghan 1-3, Karen Maloney (0-5, 1f), Ciara Gilroy (0-3), Michaela Gaffney (0-2, 1f), Emma Corcoran (0-1)
EASTERN HARPS; Shereda Davey, Edel McNulty (C), Sarah Gallagher, Claudia McGovern, Orlaith Connolly, Leanne McGowan, Grace Rafferty, Lisa Powell, Amy McGovern, Katie Hannon, Lisa Casey, Megan McCormack, Sarah Conheady, Tara Phillips, Eimear Connolly.
Substitutes used; Emma Hannon for McGovern (53), Aideen Coyle for Rafferty (53), Roisín Molloy for Hannon (57)
Scorers; Megan McCormack 1-1, Tara Phillips (0-3 2f), Lisa Casey (0-2), Lisa Powell (0-1), Eimear Connolly (0-1).
REFEREE; Maggie Foy (Donegal).