Mourneabbey showed their true mettle to reach another ladies football All-Ireland

Mourneabbey showed their true mettle to reach another ladies football All-Ireland
Bríd O'Sullivan of Mourneabbey in action against Niamh Callan of Donaghmoyne. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Mourneabbey 2-13 Donaghmoyne 1-10 

MOURNEABBEY had to dig deep, really deep, to see of Monaghan side Donaghmoyne in the All-Ireland semi-final after the Ulster Champions looked to have found the measure of the reigning All Ireland champions.

On a bitterly cold day at the North Cork side’s home venue there were plenty fireworks as Donaghmoyne put it up to the perennial favourites with a blistering first half display - however if Mourneabbey were off the pace in the first half they more than made up for that after the break with a display worthy of all the superlatives on offer.

Mourneabbey had to go back to basics in a game that saw three goals, a host of on field incidents and three Mourneabbey girls sent to the line in the latter stages for pretty innocuous looking challenges.

Donaghmoyne came to the game have five All-Ireland titles to their name and they made it clear from the outset that they weren't overawed.

Led on the field by an attacking sextet that take a backseat to no side, Mourneabbey stormed from the blocks with a goal from Laura Fitzgerald inside two minutes. Brilliant work from Doireann O’Sullivan and Noelle Healy set the corner forward in on goal and Fitzgerald finished in style.

A point from O’Sullivan followed moments later before the Monaghan side got going and for the next 12 minutes the visitors took control, landing 1-4 without response – their goal coming after a long range free from Donaghmoyne’s Catriona McConnell.

Mourneabbey levelled things up on the 26th minute with another major (Doireann O’Sullivan) however Donaghmoyne showed just why they are one of the top sides in the country bagging three points in three minutes to lead by three at the turn. 1-9 to 2-3.

The second half was all about the home side as they battled to keep the ball in hand and with the expertise of Doireann and Ciara O’Sullivan as well as a dogged defensive pack they powered to another all Ireland final with all of six points to spare.

Scorers for Mourneabbey: D O’Sullivan 1-8 (0-6 f), L Fitzgerald 1-0; N Healy, C O’Sullivan 0-2 each, K Coakley 0-1.

Donaghmoyne: C McConnell 1-3 (1-1 f), L Kerley 0-3 (0-2 f), R Courtney 0-2, C Courtney, H Kingham 0-1 each.

MOURNEABBEY: M O’Sullivan; A O’Sullivan, E Meaney, S Conroy; K Coakley, R O’Sullivan, E Harrington; M O’Callaghan, N O’Sullivan; C O’Sullivan, B O’Sullivan, N Healy; l Fitzgerald, D O’Sullivan, S O’Callaghan.

Subs: E Jack for N O’Sullivan (36), A Ryan for E Harrington 936), A Cronin for S O’Callaghan (54), A Walsh for B O’Sullivan (63).

DONAGHMOYNE: L Martin; J Geoghegan, F Courtney, H Kingham; J Courtney, S Courtney, E Treanor; A Casey-Finnegan, C Courtney; L Garland, R Courtney, L Kerley; A Garland, C McConnell, N Callan.

Subs: A Keenan for A Garland (55), R Finnegan for L Kersley (60).

Referee: J Murphy (Carlow)

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