Shelmalier 7-4, Geraldine O'Hanrahans 2-9: Shelmalier qualified for the final of Division 1 of the ladies' football league when they overcame Geraldine O'Hanrahans in Bree recently by 7-4 to 2-9.
It could have been a lot worse for the Ross girls but for the outstanding saves made by their goalie, Nicola Scully. She made at least half a dozen point-blank stops as the Over the Water girls went goal crazy.
Ross had first use of the strong wind blowing straight down the well-lit Bree pitch, the lights having been installed recently, though the Shels made the best start. They had a goal after two minutes when Leona Tector rounded her marker and hit a rasper that came off the crossbar, only for Michelle Hearne to finish the rebound to the net.
Ross responded two minutes later with a Natasha Martin point. Over the next ten minutes though it was all Shels, as GOH found it hard to get out of their own half. Deirdre Fox had a point before Leona Tector hit two goals. Nicola Scully had also brought off two great saves between those Tector strikes.
The Geraldines eventually broke the stranglehold in the 14th minute with a Natasha Martin point from a 20-metre free. They followed this up with another three points from Martin, Marcella Cullen and Eilish Furlong, who was starting her first Senior game.
Kate Kelly then scored her first point for the Shels before Ross were awarded a penalty when Deirdre Nugent was pulled back as she bore down on goal. Natasha Martin converted it.
This reduced the margin to three points but Shelmalier respond with a goal when Tara Moloney collected the ball 30 metres out on the left. As she soloed in she lost control of the ball but fly-kicked it off the ground into the far corner of the goal. Natasha Martin then kicked a 30-metre free before Kate Kelly scored a point just before the break.
Geraldine O'Hanrahans were now facing the strong wind and they were applying all the pressure, but to no avail, as they were not able to break down a resolute Shels defence, who lost Shelly Doyle for ten minutes when she was yellow-carded in the third minute.
Shels eventually lifted the siege in the ninth minute when Kate Kelly finished to the net after a good layoff by Michelle Hearne. Two minutes later they had another goal when Nicola Scully saved from Kelly, only for Hearne to finish the loose ball to the net.
It wasn't until the 14th minute that Ross had their first score, an excellent point from midfielder Stephanie O'Hallahan. Leona Tector then had a point for the Shels before Natasha Martin scored a point from a 30-metre free.
Substitute Aoife Nugent then scored a goal for Ross when her long range shot went in just under the crossbar, and Shels did score once more before the final whistle, a goal from Tara Moloney.
Shelmalier: Caroline Curran; Lisa Quill, Fiona Cullen, Laura Corrigan; Ceara O'Brien, Nikki Scallan, Michelle Doyle; Clara Donnelly, Kelly Anne Kearney; Maeve Quill, Kate Kelly (1-2), Deirdre Fox (0-1); Leona Tector (2-1), Michelle Hearne (2-0), Tara Moloney (2-0). Subs. – Siobhán Cloake for O'Brien, Ellie Carley for Tector, Katie Duggan for Hearne.
Geraldine O'Hanrahans: Nicola Scully; Eimer Larkin, Sinéad McCarthy, Bernadette Nugent; Helena Nugent, Melissa Hanley, Carol Breen; Stephanie O'Hallahan (0-1), Deirdre Callaghan; Natasha Martin (1-6), Marcella Cullen (0-1), Eilish Furlong (0-1); Iona Ní Dhúbhda, Lynsey Dunne, Deirdre Nugent. Subs. – Denise Moran for B. Nugent, Aoife Nugent (10) for D. Nugent.
Referee: John Denton (Faythe Harriers).