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Ladies Progress in Championship

posted 18 Jun 2015, 00:27 by Jarlath McCann
Monday 15th June 2015
Armagh Intermediate Ladies Football Championship Quarter Final

St Mochua's Derrynoose v Ballyhegan Davitts

The Ladies senior team travelled to Derrynoose on Monday night for their quarter final in the Intermediate Championship. It's always an exciting time of year and this year was no exception with the training intensity and expectation rising as we got closer to the fixture. The sense of excitement was boosted by the unveiling of the Ladies new kit kindly sponsored by Derry Refrigerated Transport. A strong squad of 20 players travelled giving the Coach many difficult decisions to make regarding selection.
It was a fine evening in South Armagh with a stiff breeze at the back of the Davitts in the first half. This undoubtedly helped with the visitors getting off to a flying start, with a fine point from Blaithnaid Hendron in the opening minute. Dominant displays from a midfield duo of Clodagh McCann and Sarah Louise Doherty ensured the Davitts kept up the pressure with further points from Eve Lavery and the impressive Blaithnaid Hendron. However the front six were wasteful with their possession, hitting six wides in the opening half. Derrynoose began to make some quick counter attacks and on 15 minutes they got their first score hitting the net from close range. This seemed to spur on the Davitts Captain Brenda McCormack, playing in an unfamiliar role of full forward, she showed the way with a devastating burst of scoring on the 20 minute mark, a close range point was quickly followed by a spectacular goal stuck on the turn with her right foot into the top left corner of the hosts net, the very next attack again finished with Brenda sending over another point. Further scores from Eve, the tireless Rebecca McGeary and even one from the marauding wing back Kate McCormack saw the Davitts stretch their lead. An attack in the final minute of the half from the home team saw a scramble in front of the Davitts goal, the refs decision was a penalty award to the home team which they converted to leave the half time score 1-11 to 2-0 in favour of the Division one favourites.

The Davitts made two changes at half time, bringing on the pace and experience of Hayley McCann at corner forward and also adding the attacking wing back Eimear Murray. Playing into the breeze the Davitts took a while to register in the second period hitting a couple of wides before Brenda settled the nerves with a point in the 5th minute. Derrynoose responded with a fine point of their own from their County minor player Hannah Keenan, but with 10 minutes gone in the second half Eve Lavery scored the Davitts second goal to give the Ladies added breathing space. 
Derrynoose never gave up and continued to play and compete for every ball. They scored again on 20th minute, which was followed immediately by a point from the Davitts sub Hayley McCann. Hayley was causing the hosts' defence all sorts of problems and the Davitts senior ladies would have been out of sight had it not been for a series of saves from their goalkeeper.
Injuries to Rebecca McGeary and Alanna Hughes gave Championship appearances to Maria Nuggent and Edith McCormick. With pace and power all over the pitch Ballyhegan dominated the final minutes and it was fitting that the captain finished the scoring with two unanswered points to leave the final score 2-15 to 2-02 to send the North Armagh girls through to the semi final.
This was a fine display from the Davitts one the whole squad can be rightly proud of, but nevertheless there's lots of work to do before the semi final which will be against the winners of Lissummon and Crossmaglen. 
Many thanks to Patrick Derry and all at Derry Refrigerated Transport for their generous support of the Ladies team, and to our hosts St. Mochua's  Derrynoose who kindly put on tea and sandwiches for everyone after the game. 
Training continues Monday's and Wednesday's at 7.30pm.
Ballyhegan lined out as follows:-
Orla McKeever, Catriona Laverty, Carol McCann (Edith McCormick), Alanna Hughes (Eimear Murray), Emma Williamson, Ciara McKeever, Kate McCormack 0-1, Sarah Louise Doherty, Clodagh McCann, Rebecca McGeary 0-1 (Maria Nuggent), Eve Lavery 1-04, Lauren O'Gorman, Blaithnaid Hendron 0-2, Brenda McCormack 1-6, Amy Fay (Hayley McCann 0-1), unused sub Eireann McQuillan. 
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