Caltra Cuans (Galway) 2-8
St. Enda’s, Omagh (Tyrone) 0-8
by Jackie Cahill at Mullahoran GFC, Cavan (Ladies GFC Website)
CORNER forward Áine Mannion inspired Caltra Cuans to victory in Sunday’s Tesco All-Ireland ladies junior club football championship replay at Mullahoran, Cavan.
The Galway champions and their Tyrone opponents, St Enda’s (Omagh), had finished level at 0-7 apiece on December 11 but due to adverse weather conditions, the replayed 2010 decider was put back until the New Year.
But this eagerly-awaited rematch was well worth the wait as a bumper crowd watched Mannion kick six superb points as Caltra Cuans captured a very first All-Ireland crown.
The 17-year-old attacker hit two from play in the first half and added four points after half-time, including two late frees which helped to seal a famous win.
Wing forward Emma Naughton put the icing on the Caltra Cuans cake with a goal in the third minute of stoppage time as she cut in from the right touchline and fired in a shot which dipped over the head of goalkeeper Kelly O’Sullivan.
In a desperate attempt to claw their way back into the game, St Enda’s brought O’Sullivan, who had started at centre forward, back into the game after she was substituted, with starting goalkeeper Colleen McCullagh pushed forward into attack.
But it was to no avail as Caltra Cuans comfortably held off the St Enda’s challenge to seal a six-point win.
A slight breeze favoured St Enda’s in the first half but it was Caltra who got off to a dream start with 1-1 on the board within six minutes.
The early goal came from Sarah Noone in the sixth minute as the inspirational centre back rifled home a penalty after Breda Hanlon had been fouled by Christiane Hunter.
With 23 minutes on the watch, Caltra led comfortably by 1-3 to 0-1 but a run of four unanswered points before half-time, including three from their leading scorer Teri McCullagh, brought St Enda’s right back into contention.
Emma Collins saw her shot flick off the top of the crossbar and over in the first half stoppage time as St Enda’s moved to within a point of the Westerners at half-time, trailing by 0-5 to 1-3.
Seven minutes after half-time, Caltra full-forward Orlaith Hannon sent a shot crashing off the bar before Mannion’s third point from play opened the second half scoring.
In the 44th minute, Collins hit the bar again as her goalbound shot was touched onto the woodwork by Caltra goalkeeper Lucy Greene before deflecting over.
That score brought St Enda’s to within a point again, 0-7 to 1-5, but Caltra hit back with a run of three unanswered points from student Mannion, including two well-taken frees.
Four points clear approaching the finish, Naughton’s goal put the end result beyond any doubt before McCullagh’s fifth point for St Enda’s left six between the sides after over eight minutes of stoppage time had been played.
Scorers for Caltra Cuans: Á Mannion 0-6 (2f), E Naughton 1-1, S Noone 1-0 (pen), O Hannon 0-1.
Scorers for St Enda’s: T McCullagh 0-5 (3f), E Collins 0-2, C McCrossan 0-1.
CALTRA CUANS: L Greene; T Loughnane, C McHugh, H Cullinane; A Ní Cheallaigh, S Noone, Á Tully; L Naughton, C Kilroy; E Naughton, O Kilkenny, N Kilkenny; B Hanlon, O Hannon, Á Mannion. Subs: S Mannion for Loughnane (34), S Flood for Hanlon (60+4).
ST ENDA’S: C McCullagh; O Kelly, C Gormley, E Nugent; C McGovern, C Mullin, C Hunter; C McCullagh, N McCrossan; C McGale, T McCullagh, H Ballard; E Collins, K O’Sullivan, C McCrossan. Subs: M O’Neill for O’Sullivan (46), L Moynagh for McGale (57), O’Sullivan for McCrossan (60).
Referee: P Kehoe (Carlow).