Naomh Abán secure All-Ireland final place after 'tough affair'

Naomh Abán will face Salthill-Knocknacarra in the All-Ireland Junior LGFA final following victory over Castleblayney Faughs at Páirc Íosagáin on Sunday
Naomh Abán secure All-Ireland final place after 'tough affair'

ON THE BURST: Rosie Corkery of Naomh Abán is tackled by Arlene Leonard of Castleblayney Faughs during the 2022 currentaccount.ie All-Ireland Ladies Junior Club Football Championship semi-final at Páirc Íosagáin, Naomh Abán, Co. Cork. Pic: Cian O’Regan/Sportsfile

Naomh Abán 0-12 Castleblayney Faughs 0-7 

Naomh Abán will face Salthill-Knocknacarra in the Currentaccount.ie All-Ireland Junior LGFA final following victory over Castleblayney Faughs at Páirc Íosagáin on Sunday.

The Munster champions held their Ulster equivalents to two frees in the opening half of a defence-dominated encounter.

Naomh Abán stretched their advantage to seven heading into the closing stages only for a resurgent Castleblayney Faughs to mount a comeback.

It wasn’t enough as late Allanagh Hoare and Grace Murphy scores cemented a famous win for the Ballyvourney club.

“That was a real tough affair out there today,” Naomh Abán manager Noel McDonagh said.

“A lot of people were saying we were at home so had all the advantage. That brings its own pressures. I must say the girls stood up today. They played really well. We had a bit of homework done and knew they were good.

“Our girls had to dig this game out today because northern football is tough and this was a tough game for us.” 

Defences were on top throughout a tight opening half that saw Naomh Abán switch ends 0-5 to 0-2 ahead despite playing into the teeth of a strong wind.

Led by excellent centre-back Rósie Corkery, Amy McDonagh and Grace Murphy points pushed the home side further ahead after the break.

Substitute Aimee Donnelly notched the visitors’ first score from open play after 34 minutes before a dominant Naomh Abán surged 0-10 to 0-4 in front courtesy of Lydia McDonagh (free), Grainne Lucey and Annie Maher efforts.

Roared on by a sizeable travelling support, Castleblayney responded through Hazel Hughes, Jodie McQuillan and Orlaith Maguire points. Suddenly there was only a goal between the teams as full-time approached. Two late points cemented Naomh Abán’s victory however, and qualification for an All-Ireland LGFA final.

Scorers for Naomh Abán: A Hoare and G Murphy (0-2 frees) 0-3 each, L McDonagh (0-1 free) and A Maher 0-2 each, A McDonagh and G Lucey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Castleblayney Faughs: J McQuillan 0-3 (0-3 frees), A Donnelly 0-2, H Hughes and O Maguire 0-1 each.

Naomh Abán: L Ní hAodha; U Ní Thuathaigh (captain), M Ní Dhuinnin, A Ní Chríodáin; E Ní Cheallaigh, R Ní Chorcora, M Ellen Ní Chéilleachair; A Ní Dhonnacha, G Ní Luasa; A Ní hUidhir, E Ní Mhurchú, C Ní Fhaoláin; A Ní Mheachair, L Ní Dhonnacha, G Ní Mhurchú.

Subs: J Kelly for E Murphy (blood, 30), J Kelly for E Murphy (56).

Castleblayney Faughs: R Treanor; L Connolly, S Brady, A Leonard (captain); H Hughes, E Heavin, S McKenna; E Ruddin, O Maguire;G Hanratty, A McCooey, S Moloney; A Connolly, J McQuillan, C Farrell.

Subs: Aimee Donaghy for S Moloney (33), Aoibhin Donaghy for G Hanratty (43).

Referee: P Smith (Waterford).

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