St Rynagh’s hold off Rhode fightback to claim title

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Damian Moran

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St Rynagh’s had to hold off a late fightback from Rhode to claim the Offaly Ladies Senior Football title after a thrilling high scoring game in Clara last Saturday.

St Rynagh’s had to hold off a late fightback from Rhode to claim the Offaly Ladies Senior Football title after a thrilling high scoring game in Clara last Saturday.

Hugh Lynch Offaly Ladies Football Senior Championship Final

St Rynagh’s 3-11

Rhode 3-10

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Rhode started off well in the first few seconds of the game with Laura Devery pulling off a great save and deflecting the ball out for a forty five as Rhode’s Orlagh Heavey blasted the ball towards the St, Rynagh’s goal. From the forty five Rhode’s Therese Hickey scored the first point of the game.

From the kick out Mairead Daly equalised for St Rynagh’s followed by a lovely point from Linda Sullivan. The Rhode ‘keeper Leanne Galvin pulled off a terrific save when Linda Sullivan hit the ball low towards the corner of the net.

This was a low scoring half with neither team giving away possession. The only goal of the half came from the inspiring Linda Sullivan. Rhode could have had a goal of their own minutes before the half time whistle when Niamh Malone was one on one with Laura Devery in the Rynagh’s goal but the ‘keeper made a magnificent save. At half-time St Rynagh’s were 1-6 to 0-5 ahead.

With only seconds gone in the second half the ‘Gooch’ of Offaly Ladies football Mairead Daly had the ball in the back of the Rhode net. Minutes later a deflection from a Linda Sullivan shot saw the Rhode keeper put the ball over the bar and St Rynagh’s had extended their lead by eight points with only minutes gone in the second half.

Rhode battled on and reduced the lead by three when corner forward Nicola Feery sidestepped Siobhan Flannery and Sinead Daly before blasting the ball to the St Rynagh’s net.

The Rhode girls were on a high but unfortunately for them the excellent Linda Sullivan brought them back to earth with a great goal.

It was end to end scores, with Rhode starting to take the game to St Rynagh’s with Orlagh Heavey kicking some lovely points. Rhode substitute Mary Kerrigan finished the ball to the back of the S, Rynagh’s goal only minutes after taken to the pitch and a goal from Orlagh Heavey closed the gap even further.

All that separated the sides was a Mairead Daly point which she scored from a free after Linda Sullivan was fouled. That proved to be the difference as St Rynagh’s held on for a one point win after a tremendous game.

St Rynagh’s won their second title in as many years and will go onto represent Offaly in the Leinster intermediate Club Championships. Player of the Match for me was Captain Elaine Sullivan for the tremendous amount of work she did on the pitch.

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St Rynagh’s: Laura Devery, Chloe O’ Brien, Sinead Daly, Emma Dolan, Ciara McCormack, Siobhan Flannery, Ann Daly, Elaine Sullivan, Fiona Stephens, Jennifer Flannery, Emma Corcoran, Mairead Kelly, Linda Sullivan, Virginia Donna, Mairead Daly, Sarah Hogan, Aoife Corcoran, Hazel Daly, Danielle Walsh, Edel Flynn for Ann Daly, Aoife Troy, Helen Dolan, Tara Dooley, Danielle Gaughan, Grainne Dolan, Eleanor Clendenen. Scorers; Ann Daly (0-01), Linda Sullivan (2-05), Mairead Daly (1-05).

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Rhode: Leanne Galvin, Aoife Byrne, Emma Dalton, Evelyn Russell, Emma Scally, Hannah McMahon, Katie Killeen, Dawn Hanlon, Amy Kerrigan, Martina Darby, Therese Hickey, Niamh Malone, Nicola Feery, Orlagh Heavey, Oonagh Mulligan. Laureen Dunne, Mary Kerrigan for Therese Hickey, Colleen Molloy, Cliona Molloy, Emma Kerrigan, Emma Killeen, Sinead Hickey, Ciara McGuinness for Dawn Hannon, Nicola McPadden, Scorers;Nicola Feery (1-01), Orlagh Heavey (1-06), Mary Kerrigan (1-00) Therese Hickey (0-01), Martina Darby (0-02).
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Referee, Deirdre Kearney.