Two goals in each half help Naomh Abán capture Junior A Football championship

Muskerry side earn promotion to the intermediate grade after defeating Skibbereen
Two goals in each half help Naomh Abán capture Junior A Football championship

The winning Naomh Abán celebrate their win. Picture: Larry Cummins

Naomh Abán 4-6 O’Donovan Rossa 1-10 

TWO goals in either half saw Naomh Abán crowned 2022 Cork LGFA Junior A Football Championship county champions at MTU Cork on Saturday afternoon.

The Gaeltacht club, based in Baile Bhuirne, gained promotion to the intermediate grade thanks to a blistering start that saw Gráinne Lucey and Annie Maher find the net in quick succession.

O’Donovan Rossa fought back in the second period but another Maher green flag and late Cliodhna O’Leary goal put the seal on a deserved Naomh Abán success.

 Celebrations at the final whistle. Picture: Larry Cummins
Celebrations at the final whistle. Picture: Larry Cummins

The two finalists previously met in the round-robin section of the junior A championship on September 18th. 

The latter emerged 3-15 to 4-8 winners on that occasion.

Another evenly-fought encounter was anticipated but it was Naomh Abán who were quickly into their stride thanks to Annie Maher and Grace Murphy (free) scores.

In contrast, O’Donovan Rossa struggled to find their feet and conceded two goals in quick succession. 

Annie Maher with her proud parents Paddy and Mary. Picture: Larry Cummins
Annie Maher with her proud parents Paddy and Mary. Picture: Larry Cummins

First, Gráinne Lucey and then Annie Maher found the net. An Alannah Hoare point completed a dominant Naomh Abán start.

2-3 to 0-0 behind, Éabha O’Donovan and Laura O’Mahony finally got the Skibbereen club on the scoreboard. 

The latter might have goaled but O’Mahony’s shot sizzled inches over the crossbar.

A scrappy second quarter finished with Naomh Abán 2-5 to 0-4 ahead courtesy of a Lydia McDonagh brace. Late Fionnuala O’Driscoll and Laura O’Mahony efforts reduced the deficit before the sides changed ends.

Captain Una Twohig lifts the cup. Picture: Larry Cummins
Captain Una Twohig lifts the cup. Picture: Larry Cummins

Kate O’Donovan scored the first point of the second period and it was game on when O’Donovan Rossa’s Fionnuala O’Driscoll palmed Laura O’Mahony’s pass to the net after 40 minutes.

Naomh Abán responded instantly however as a flowing move ended with Annie Maher netting her second goal to make it 3-5 to 1-5.

Credit to O’Donovan Rossa who fought back in the closing stages thanks to late Sarah Hurley, Éabha O’Donovan and Sharon Stoutt scores but it wasn’t enough to prevent Naomh Abán running out 4-6 to 1-10 winners and new county JAFC champions.

Scorers for Naomh Abán: A Maher 2-1, G Lucey and C O’Leary 1-0 each, G Murphy (0-2f) and L McDonagh 0-2 each, A Hoare 0-1.

O’Donovan Rossa: É O’Donovan 0-4 (0-3f), F O’Driscoll 1-1, L O’Mahony 0-2, K O’Donovan, S Hurley, S Stoutt 0-1 each.

NAOMH ABÁN: L Hughes; U Twohig (c), M Dineen, A Creedon; E Kelly, R Corkery, M E Kelliher; A McDonagh, G Lucey; A Hoare, E Murphy, C Phelan; A Maher, L McDonagh, G Murphy.

Subs: J Kelly for A Hoare (41), C Murphy for E Murphy (58), C O’Leary for A Maher (62), N Murphy for C Phelan (62).

O’DONOVAN ROSSA: C Fitzgerald; A Bohane, A Whooley, M Donelan; A Kearney, S Stoutt, T Murphy; M O’Neill, L O’Mahony; F Leonard (c), F O’Driscoll, L Harte; E O’Donovan, K O’Donovan, S Hurley.

Subs: E McCarthy for M O’Neill (24), A Tobin for T Murphy (35), M O’Neill for S Hurley (52), E Fitzgerald for M Donelan (52).

Referee: Conor McCarthy (Rosscarbery Ladies).

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