Donaghmoyne remain Ulster standard bearers but suffer heartbreak on national stage as Derrygonnelly enjoy provincial success

Andrea Gordon and Rebecca Wallace with the trophy after Derrygonnelly's win over Castlerahan-Denn
Andrea Gordon and Rebecca Wallace with the trophy after Derrygonnelly's win over Castlerahan-Denn

Ladies' Football Review of the Year – Club  and underage inter-county

THE curtain just came down on the club season this week with Lurgan of Cavan collecting the last piece of silverware up for grabs – the Ulster Minor Club Championship title.

At senior club level, once again, Donaghmoyne dominated as they collected their 14th Ulster title but their wait for a sixth All-Ireland championship crown goes on after coming up short against defending champions, Galway side Kilkerrin-Clonberne, in the final just weeks ago.

However, despite that final loss, they will be able to look back on the year with pride after winning their 20th consecutive Monaghan county title and that 14th provincial title, coming through a real battle with Antrim champions Moneyglass, their experience pulling them through at the end.

Kilkeerin-Clonberne actually won two All-Ireland club titles this year. The 2021 competition’s semi-final and final stages were only played out in January of this year, Donaghmoyne losing to them in the last four, before they saw off Mourneabbey to claim the 2021 and their first ever All-Ireland title.

Derrygonnelly won their first Ulster title with an intermediate final win over Cavan side Castlerahan-Denn.

Unfortunately, that competition will also be remembered for the semi-final that was not played between Derry champions Steelstown and Castlerahan-Denn, the former not travelling for their rearranged game and thus forfeiting the fixture.

Derrygonnelly went on to reach the All-Ireland semi-final – they had a quarter-final win over Round Towers, London - but suffered a heartbreaking extra-time loss to Tipperary side Mullinahone, who suffered defeat in a second successive All-Ireland final, Longford Slashers pipping them to the title.

The junior title went to Castleblayney Faughs who defeated Clonoe. They enjoyed an All-Ireland quarter-final victory over Belgium GAA in Maastrichts, Holland, but their fairytale ended with a semi-final loss to Cork’s Naomh Abán. The All-Ireland junior title went to Salthill-Knocknacarra (Galway).

There were All-Ireland schools’ titles for Loreto Cavan who won the Junior A title, Loreto Omagh who claimed the Junior B crown and Colaiste Oiriall, Monaghan who were crowned Senior B winners.

The inter-county underage scene produced three All-Ireland champions and it was a memorable year for Armagh and Cavan.

The Orchard County won provincial titles at all underage levels – and do not forget they won the Ulster senior title as well. At U14 level, they claimed the Festival of Football Platinum crown defeating Down in the final. Their U16s won the Silver title, defeating Derry in a highly entertaining 7-11 to 7-6 final and they went on to taste All-Ireland U16 C success with a 1-14 to 2-4 final win over Longford and at minor level, they captured another Silver title coming out on top with Derry once again.

Cavan tasted Ulster success at minor and under 16 level winning the ‘Platinum’ titles in both competitions and the ‘Gold’ title in the U14 championship.

It was a history-making year for the Oak Leafs as the county collected the county's first every All-Ireland title, winning the U14 Festival of Football Bronze Championship defeating Offaly 3-10 to 2-7 in the final. They had defeated neighbours Antrim in the provincial Bronze final before following it up with national honours. Tyrone lost the Silver All-Ireland final to Waterford by a single point, 5-8 to 5-7, but did claim the provincial title.

The other All-Ireland title went Monaghan’s way as the minors were crowned B champions with an emphatic 7-16 to 2-19 victory over Longford in the decider to add that silverware to their Ulster title. The minor ‘Bronze’ trophy was claimed Down.

At U16 level, other provincial honours went to, Donegal (Gold) and Down (Bronze) while at Under 14 Donegal won the ‘Silver’ and Antrim won the ‘Bronze’.