Ladies' football: Clann Éireann triumph in Armagh while Kinawley win in Fermanagh

Clodagh McCambridge was delighted to help Clann Éireann retain their Armagh senior title
Clodagh McCambridge was delighted to help Clann Éireann retain their Armagh senior title Clodagh McCambridge was delighted to help Clann Éireann retain their Armagh senior title

Buttercrane Armagh Senior Ladies' Football Championship final: Clann Éireann 1-15 Carrickcruppen 0-4 

CLANN Éireann successfully retained their Armagh senior title with a comprehensive victory over Carrickcruppen in Saturday’s county final in the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds. 

This was a repeat of last year’s final, which needed a replay to decide, but there was no doubt about the outcome of this one as Clann Eireann claimed back-to-back titles while Carrickcruppen’s wait for championship final success for the first time since 2018 continues.  

It was a low-scoring first half with only six points scored, the defending champions playing into against a strong a strong breeze, leading by two, 0-4 to 0-2. They opened the scoring through Meabh McCambridge with a fisted point in the sixth minute but Carrickcruppen, who were appearing in their 14th final in 16 years, levelled through stalwart Caroline O’Hanlon four minutes later. 

The next score did not arrive until the 23rd minute with Clann Éireann edging in front again through Dearbhla Coleman before O’Hanlon again tied things up four minutes later. Immediately, the Lurgan side took the lead though Niamh Murray and it turned out to be one they would not relinquish as Tiarna Grimes added another on the stroke of half-time to double her side’s advantage. 

Clann Éireann came storming out of the blocks when the second-half got underway and 1-10 without reply strengthened their group on the Marie Hoye Cup. 

Murray, Roisin Mulligan, Grimes, Aoibhin Donohue and Murray again all raised white flags in the first four minutes of the resumption and suddenly the lead was seven points. Murray added another brace of points before striking the game’s only goal in the 44th minute to stretch their lead out to 11 points and she followed up with another point a minute later to bring her tally to 1-5 for the day. Henderson sisters, Niamh and Aoibhinn finished their side’s scoring with four points between them, captain Niamh with three, her last in the 60th minute, but not before Carrickcruppen ended a 30-minute barren spell with O’Hanlon pointing in the 55th minute and Ciara Garvey a minute later but by then the game was well out of reach. 

Clann Éireann defender Clodagh McCambridge said they were delighted to retain their title and are looking forward to the Ulster competition. 

“The aim this year has been to lift the standards and be better than before and that had left us in a good position to try and retain the title, but we knew it was going to be tough,” said McCambridge.  

“We knew we were capable of getting over the line, it was just about performing on the day and glad we able to do that on Saturday. We hadn’t scored a lot in the first half, but we created a lot of scoring opportunities against a strong breeze and we just focused on the positives. We knew if our forwards could keep pressing and get the scoreboard ticking, we would be in a good place by the final whistle. 

“Ulster will be another step up, with a lot of great teams involved, but there is a lot of talent within our team and a belief that we can compete with them. We’ll just enjoy the next few days and then focus in on our quarter-final.” 

O’Neill’s Sportswear Fermanagh Senior Ladies' Football Championship final: Kinawley 2-11 Derrygonnelly 1-4 

KINAWLEY’S dominance of Fermanagh football continues after they clinched a sixth successive Fermanagh senior title with victory over Derrygonnelly in Brewster Park on Saturday. 

The history books now read Kinawley 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 as Derrygonnelly once more fell short against their familiar foes. 

Full-forward Niamh McManus picked up the player-of-the-final award while corner forward Gemma McCaffrey finished with 1-4 as seven different players got on the scoresheet for Mark Cunningham’s side. Apart from trailing 0-3 to 0-1 after the first quarter, Kinawley, when they took the lead through a Danielle McBrien (nee Maguire) 18th minute goal, never looked like letting the six in-a-row slide from their grasp. 

McManus opened the scoring in the sixth minute but three points without reply - two Eimear Smyth frees either side of a Lynne Carroll point put Derrygonnelly two ahead after 12 minutes.  

McBrien’s goal signally a second quarter of dominance from the defending champions who hit 1-5 without reply to lead 1-6 to 0-3 as half-time approached. Aine McGovern, Kealan Murphy, who was a late call-up to the starting team, two McCaffrey frees and a second McManus point, put them six ahead.  

Derrygonnelly though got right back into it when Smyth blasted home form the penalty spot in first half injury time, ending Aine Horan the wrong way, to half the deficit but Lisa Maguire and Kinawley had the last say of the half with a point to give her side a four point, 1-7 to 1-3, lead at the break. 

McCaffrey’s well-taken 40th minute goal put the game beyond doubt as Kinawley hit an unanswered 1-4, 1-3 of that from McCaffrey, in the second half, Derrygonnelly’s solitary second half score a point from a free from Smyth in the 54th minute before Kinawley midfielder Roisin O’Reilly wrapped up the scoring with a 60th minute point.