Sunday 18 February 2018

Murphy's late penalty ensures replay for battling Fermanagh

Derry 2-10 Fermanagh 3-7 All-Ireland Ladies JF final

Derry’s Jackie Donnelly and Aisling Maguire of Fermanagh battle for the ball. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Derry’s Jackie Donnelly and Aisling Maguire of Fermanagh battle for the ball. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

A dramatic goal from a well-taken Sharon Murphy penalty in the dying seconds earned Fermanagh a replay after this action-packed junior decider at Croke Park.

Fermanagh and Derry will have to do it all over again on October 8 - with the Erne County coming from nine points down to earn a second crack.

Derry, huge pre-match underdogs, were 2-9 to 1-3 clear midway through the second half, but Fermanagh somehow found a response.

A run of 1-4 without reply took them to within two points, before Derry's Emma Doherty clipped over her fifth free of the game.

Megan Devine, Derry's second-half goalscorer, rattled the Fermanagh crossbar with a ferocious drive and that was a huge let-off for Emmet Curry's charges.

And when Ciara Moore was adjudged to have fouled teenage star Eimear Smyth with just 48 seconds left on the watch, Murphy stepped forward to slot her penalty past Cheree Mackey.

Annie Crozier in action for Derry. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Annie Crozier in action for Derry. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

It was an incredible end to a final that took some time to warm up. Almost ten minutes had elapsed before Erin Doherty opened the scoring for Derry and at the end of the first half, the Oak Leafers led by 1-4 to 1-3.

Derry had the better goal chances - Devine kept out more than once by Róisín Gleeson, but it was Fermanagh who raised the game's first green flag, midway through. Róisín O'Reilly drilled it home after the ball moved through the hands of Lisa Maguire, Nuala McManus and Aisling Woods.

That score levelled the tie at 1-1 to 0-4, but Derry's response was impressive, as Gleeson was finally beaten in the 25th minute by Ciara McGurk.

Hawk-Eye came into play on All-Ireland final day for the first time as a Fermanagh effort was ruled wide, but Smyth had the final say of the half with a point.

Megan Devine scores Derry's second goal despite the best efforts of Courtney Murphy and goalkeeper Róisín Gleeson. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Megan Devine scores Derry's second goal despite the best efforts of Courtney Murphy and goalkeeper Róisín Gleeson. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Derry took over on the resumption, collecting 1-5 without reply.

Smyth had seen her 32nd-minute goal chance clawed onto the bar by Mackey, but Devine made no mistake in the 44th minute, profiting from Jackie Donnelly's incisive run to drill a low drive past Gleeson.

That goal had Derry nine points ahead, but then the Fermanagh fightback began.

A goal from Woods in the 49th minute had a big part to play in it, but Fermanagh still had to work desperately hard down the stretch to secure a replay for themselves.

Murphy's penalty goal ensured it, and there was still time for referee Angela Gallagher to wave away late appeals for a Fermanagh free.

Sharon Murphy celebrates scoring Fermanagh's game-tying goal from the penalty spot. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Sharon Murphy celebrates scoring Fermanagh's game-tying goal from the penalty spot. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Scorers - Derry: M Devine 1-2, Emma Doherty 0-5 (5f), C McGurk 1-0, D Kivlehan, Erin Doherty and A Crozier 0-1 each. Fermanagh: S Murphy 1-3 (1-0 pen, 1f), R O'Reilly 1-1, A Woods 1-0, E Smyth 0-2 (1f), B Bogue 0-1.

Derry - C Mackey; A McGough, D Donnelly, C Glass; N Browne, K Holly, D Kivlehan; A Laverty, Emma Doherty; J Donnelly, C Moore, Erin Doherty; A Crozier, M Devine, C McGurk. Subs: R Roberts for Browne (58).

Fermanagh - R Gleeson; E Campbell, C Murphy, Naomi McManus; M Connolly, S Hamilton, A Maguire; M McDonald, Á McGovern; R O'Reilly, A Woods, L Maguire; E Smyth, S Murphy, Nuala McManus. Subs: D McManus for Campbell (33), B Bogue for McGovern (40), S Britton for Nuala McManus (58).

Ref - A Gallagher (Dublin)

Ryan McCloskey proposes to Derry's Ciara McGurk following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Junior Championship Final match between Derry and Fermanagh at Croke Park. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Ryan McCloskey proposes to Derry's Ciara McGurk following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Junior Championship Final match between Derry and Fermanagh at Croke Park. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

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