Drumgoon, ladies junior champions 2021. Photo: Adrian Donohoe.

Drumgoon lift first adult title with dominant display

Cavan LGFA Carol Kiernan presented the Junior championship cup

On Saturday afternoon last in a rainy Kingspan Breffni Laragh United faced off against Drumgoon.

Laragh, in their first year of ladies competition since reforming, were looking to overcome a two-point deficit from when the sides met in the group stages. Drumgoon, on the other hand, were chasing the club’s first ever adult title.

Drumgoon, lead by manager Jimmy O’Reilly, got off to the perfect start with Jordan Crowe sending over her first point from close range. Working hard, Drumgoon won the resulting kick-out with Sarah Clarke gathering the ball and sending it back over the bar from 40 metres.

Kicking into the Flaggy Bottom end, Drumgoon continued to press Laragh in on their own kick-outs and made it count on the scoreboard as Catherine Aherne sent over a beauty on her right foot. Laragh, unable to break past midfield, now trailed by three.

With seven minutes played, Sarah Clarke broke from midfield before hand passing to Aherne in behind the Laragh defense and Aherne hit the net for the game’s first goal. Laragh, when they did get into the scoring zone, were met by a crowd of Drumgoon jerseys and had Teresa McCann playing a sweeper for double security.

Jordan Crowe continued her fine start with her second point giving Drumgoon a 1-4 to no score lead after eight minutes. As Laragh began to get more possession of the ball, Drumgoon’s defenders had to step up as they forced turnover after turnover to keep Laragh from registering on the scoreboard.

Things got tougher for Laragh before the water break as ’keeper Jenny O’Rourke picked up an injury and was replaced in goals by Katie Smith with Arlene Brady coming into the forward line. On the resumption of play, the classy Jordan Crowe added two more points from play before a long-range point from Catherine Aherne saw Drumgoon lead 1-7 to no score.

Laragh finally got off the mark with a Meghan McKenna free after Clodagh Keenaghan was fouled and a second free from McKenna four minutes later had a settling effect on the Stradone-based side. With half-time approaching, Laragh’s Aislinn Keenaghan passed the ball over the rushing Drumgoon defence to Jacqui Rudden who slotted the ball to the back of Emma Carroll’s net.

Jordan Crowe’s fifth point for the Eíre Ógs was matched by a third point from Meghan McKenna from an impossible angle to leave the half-time score 1-8 to 1-3 in Drumgoon’s favour.

Laragh needed a good start to the second half to ask the hard questions of Drumgoon but after referee Brian Crowe got the second half underway, the disciplined Drumgoon defense held strong to keep them out. On the eighth minute of the half, a Catherine Aherne free extended the Drumgoon lead to six.

Two minutes later, an attempt for a sixth point by Jordan Crowe from 20 metres fortunately dropped under the cross bar and into the back of the net to make Laragh’s task significantly tougher. Laragh, not ready to through in the towel, hit back with a goal of their own as Niamh Keenaghan played a one-two with Arlene Brady before blasting to the net.

The Drumgoon midfield pairing of Pamela McCabe and Sarah Clarke were controlling most of the kick-outs and providing quality ball to their forward line. Clarke, after an interception, set up Jordan Crowe for her final point, bringing her total to 1-6 on the 14th minute of the second half.

Before the second water break, once again a punted effort for a point ended up dropping into the back of the Laragh net, this time from Sarah Clarke’s boot. Drumgoon, as a result, entered the final quarter leading by ten points and knowing that Laragh would need goals to turn them over.

The final quarter saw Laragh push in search of the necessary goals but they had to settle for a single point from a Meghan McKenna free. Drumgoon’s final score of the game also came from a free as Catherine Aherne brought her tally for the day to 1-4.

After the final whistle sounded and the cheers died down, chairperson of the Cavan LGFA Carol Kiernan presented the Junior championship cup to the Drumgoon captain Teresa McCann.

Drumgoon: Emma Carroll, Cora McBride, Cliona Farrell, Lisa Murray, Siobhan Smith, Aoife McGorry, Megan Moynagh, Pamela Crowe, Sarah Clarke (1-1), Orlaith Smith, Catherine Aherne (1-4, 3f), Rhiannon O’Reilly, Jordan Crowe (1-6), Denise Smith, Teresa McCann

Subs: Ellen Gallagher for Rhiannon O’Reilly, Naoise McDermott for Denise Smith, Aoife Brazil for Orlaith Smith, Laura Fox for Naoise McDermott

Laragh Utd: Jenny O’Rourke, Claire Brady, Aoishe Reilly, Katie Sexton, Meghan Denning, Siobhán Cooney, Vera Cooney, Lorraine O’Rourke, Aoife Brady, Meghan McKenna (0-4,3f), Niamh Keenaghan (1-0), Aislinn Keenaghan, Katie Smith, Jacqui Rudden (1-0), Clodagh Keenaghan

Subs: Arlene Brady for Jenny O’Rourke, Maggie Farrelly for Aoife Brady

Ref: Brian Crowe