Saturday 21 July 2018

Staunton and Dowling strike late to net title for Carnacon

Carnacon 4-10 Kilkerrin-clonberne 2-13

Staunton soloing past Nicola Ward of Kilkerrin-Clonberne in Ballyhaunis yesterday. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Staunton soloing past Nicola Ward of Kilkerrin-Clonberne in Ballyhaunis yesterday. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

Cora Staunton and Amy Dowling hit quick-fire late goals as Carnacon came from behind in sensational fashion to retain their Connacht ladies senior club football title yesterday.

Galway's Kilkerrin-Clonberne looked like winning the crown they last captured in 2015 as they held a three-point lead, 2-13 to 2-10, with time fast running out.

Cora Staunton lifts the cup after Carnacon’s victory in the Connacht Ladies Football senior club final replay. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Cora Staunton lifts the cup after Carnacon’s victory in the Connacht Ladies Football senior club final replay. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

But when Carnacon needed her most, Australia-bound Mayo star Staunton, who scored 1-6, lobbed a close-range free to the net for the equalising goal.

And with extra-time looming, Dowling kept her nerve to slam a low drive beneath Lisa Murphy for the winner. It was a dramatic end to another titanic struggle, following on from last Sunday's epic stalemate at the same Ballyhaunis venue.

There were 11 goals in the drawn match and six more at the second time of asking, with Carnacon edging through to an All-Ireland semi-final clash with Tyrone's newly-crowned Ulster champions St Macartan's.

Staunton was yellow-carded late on, the second Carnacon player to be sin-binned after half-time, while Kilkerrin-Clonberne lost captain Louise Ward in the closing stages.

Sarah Gormally of Kilkerrin-Clonberne in action against Louise Dowling of Carnacon. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Sarah Gormally of Kilkerrin-Clonberne in action against Louise Dowling of Carnacon. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Answers

It looked like nothing would separate the sides once more but Carnacon, who had a player-of-the-match display from midfielder Fiona McHale, found late answers.

Kilkerrin-Clonberne led by 2-4 to 1-5 at half-time, with Hannah Noone and Siobhan Divilly netting within a minute of each other in the first half.

It was Carnacon who struck the first significant blow of the second half, when sub Emma Cosgrave netted to hand them a 2-6 to 2-5 lead in the 33rd minute, but there was plenty of intrigue in store for a big crowd. Midway through the second half, it was level at 2-8 apiece before Carnacon's Martha Carter was yellow-carded.

That looked like a fatal blow as Kilkerrin-Clonberne moved four clear, 2-13 to 2-9, with Chloe Miskell shooting a couple of glorious points. But after Marie Corbett's point brought Carnacon to within three, there was still time for a late double sucker-punch, as Staunton and Dowling struck to seal a 16th Connacht senior title.

Fiona McHale of Carnacon in action against Lisa Gannon of Kilkerrin-Clonberne. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Fiona McHale of Carnacon in action against Lisa Gannon of Kilkerrin-Clonberne. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

SCORERS - Carnacon: C Staunton 1-6 (1-5f); A Dowling 1-1; B Bruton, E Cosgrave 1-0 each; M Carter, M Corbett, A Brennan 0-1 each. Kilkerrin-Clonberne: O Divilly 0-8 (5f); H Noone, S Divilly 1-0 each; C Miskell 0-3; N Ward, C Boyle 0-1 each.

Carnacon: M Higgins; S McGing, M Carter, S Larkin; B Bruton, M Corbett, D Hughes; F McHale, M McGing; E Flannery, A Dowling, A Brennan; M Larkin, C Staunton, L Dowling. Sub: E Cosgrave for Larkin (23).

Kilkerrin-Clonberne: L Murphy; A McStay Gibbons, S Gormally, S Mee; L Noone, C Dunleavy, C Costello; S Divilly, L Gannon; O Divilly, A Clarke, C Miskell; N Ward, L Ward, H Noone. Sub - C Boyle for McStay Gibbons (30+2).

Ref - G Chapman (Sligo).

Michelle McGing of Carnacon in action against Hannah Noon and Nicola Ward of Kilkerrin-Clonberne. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Michelle McGing of Carnacon in action against Hannah Noon and Nicola Ward of Kilkerrin-Clonberne. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

 

Indo Sport

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport