Staunton inspires Carnacon

Youghal 0-14 St Gabriel’s 0-09
Cora Staunton scored 1-5 for Carnacon as the Mayo and Connacht champions regained the All-Ireland Club SFC title yesterday.

In a repeat of last year’s decider, 2011 winners Carnacon wrestled the Dolores Tyrrell trophy back from Monaghan outfit Donaghmoyne, who registered a tally of 16 wides at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon.

Staunton may have scored all but one point of her side’s winning tally in a low-scoring encounter but her direct opponent, Sharon Courtney, was defensively brilliant nonetheless, producing a series of magnificent blocks to keep the Mayo forward at bay on numerous occasions.

Staunton managed just a point from play in the final 12 months ago, with Courtney superb in a direct marking role, but she managed to escape for three points from play in this tense rematch.

Donaghmoyne, who had memorable displays from the Courtney sisters, Sharon and Cora, will look back and wonder how they left the chance of back-to-back crowns slip away.

Profligacy in front of goal was the main reason as by half-time they had racked up 13 wides, including seven within the first ten minutes.

The wides tally had reached double figures by the 23rd minute and Donaghmoyne were also frustrated by their inability to raise a green flag.

In the 12th minute, Niamh Callan saw her gilt-edged goal chance saved by Michelle Higgins while Fiona Lafferty shot straight at Higgins early in the second half.

Donaghmoyne were also unlucky in the 45th minute when Lafferty’s effort struck a post.

Chances for Carnacon were not as plentiful, with Staunton registering five of their six wides, including four from placed balls. But the nine-time All Star held her nerve to net the only goal of the game in the 35th minute, after the sides were level at half-time, 0-3 apiece.

Donaghmoyne corner-back Hazel Kingham was adjudged to have fouled Aoife Brennan and from the resultant penalty, Staunton slammed her shot straight down the middle.

That goal handed Carnacon a 1-3 to 0-4 lead, but in a tie that was level six times, Donaghmoyne responded with points from Rosemary Courtney and Majella Woods to ensure parity.

Staunton edged Carnacon ahead again but two frees from ace Monaghan forward Cathriona McConnell, who was held scoreless from play, had Donaghmoyne 0-8 to 1-4 in front.

Michelle McGing became the only player other than Staunton to register a point for Carnacon in the 48th minute but Staunton would have the final say ten minutes from the end.

In a frantic finish, Donaghmoyne could not find the leveller.

Scorers for Carnacon: C Staunton 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), M McGing 0-1.

Scorers for Donaghmoyne: C McConnell 0-4f, M Woods 0-2, R Courtney and N Callan 0-1 each.

CARNACON: M Higgins; A Loftus, N Tierney, S McGing; M Corbett, C McGing, E Flannery; C Egan, M Carter; D Hughes, M McGing, F McHale; A Brennan, C Staunton, M Corbett.

DONAGHMOYNE: L Martin; J Geoghegan, F Courtney, H Kingham; L Kingham, S Courtney, J Courtney; A Casey, C Courtney; E McElroy, F Lafferthy, R Courtney; C McConnell, M Woods, N Callan.

Sub: S McConell for J Courtney (56).

Referee: P Kehoe (Carlow).


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