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St Macartan girls fall at last hurdle after Mayo rivals turn on the style

St Macartan's 0-8 Carnacon 3-14

By Damien Donnelly

The All-Ireland dream has been put on ice for St Macartan ladies as they fell to a power-packed display from Mayo's Carnacon at Fr Hackett Park in Augher ­yesterday.

Cora Staunton, who is bound for Australia before Christmas to play in the Ladies NFL there, was in town for this first ever All-Ireland club championship meeting between Ulster ­champions St Macartan's from Tyrone and their Mayo/Connacht counterparts.

Cora contributed 1-7 but this was about a strong team performance on behalf of Carnacon wherein the likes of Fiona McHale and Amy Dowling shone brightly too.

Lynda Donnelly and Shauna McGirr put in super shifts for the host St Macartan's but the Tyrone team failed to convert some well-worked openings and were punished at the other end of the field despite resolute defending.

The Mayo team were ahead 1-6 to 0-3 at half-time, that tally boosted significantly following a fine individual goal from goal from Fiona McHale on 17 minutes.

Carnacon also chalked up points in that first half via Cora Staunton(0-4), three of which came from frees.

Erina Flannery and goal scorer McHale claimed points as well.

St Macartan's notched three points in that opening half through Colleen McQuaid, Chloe McCaffrey and Cathy Maguire but they faced work to do as the teams turned round for a further 30 minutes.

Lynda Donnelly was deployed in attack for the second half and was soon posing problems for the Carnacon defence, although Aoife Brennan and Staunton did extend the away advantage through early points.

Niamh McGirr pulled a score back for St Macartan's who were then unfortunate to concede a goal from Cora Staunton's dipping free kick on 37 minutes that finished in the net.

Spirited St Macs continued to probe for a route back into the match but had a few goalbound efforts blocked down and Staunton then fired over at the opposite end.

Donnelly drove over the bar in response but a Carnacon counter-attack resulted in goal number three for the Mayo visitors after 47 minutes when Amy Dowling netted.

Staunton and McCaffrey swapped scores before Cathy Maguire pointed at the double for St Macs.

Amy Dowling, Louise Dowling and Aoife Brennan replied for Carnacon as they set the seal on an All-Ireland club final spot before Christmas.

Scorers: St Macartan's: Cathy Maguire 0-3(1f), Chloe McCaffrey 0-2, Niamh McGirr 0-1, Colleen McQuaid 0-1, Lynda Donnelly 0-1

Carnacon: Cora Staunton 1-7(5f), Amy Dowling 1-2, Fiona McHale 1-2, Aoife Brennan 0-2, Erina Flannery 0-1

St Macartan's: Niamh McKenna, Shannon McQuaid, Mara Donnelly, Marie Treanor, Slaine McCarroll, Niamh McGirr, Lynda Donnelly, Maura McMenamin, Colleen McQuaid, Shauna McRory Cathy Maguire, Paula Donnelly, Shauna McGirr, Chloe McCaffrey, Joline Donnelly. Sub: Tara O'Hagan for P Donnelly.

Carnacon: Michelle Higgins, Sharon McGing, Martha Carter, Sadhbh Larkin, Michelle McGing, Marie Corbett, Doireann Hughes, Fiona McHale, Erina Flannery, Louise Dowling, Amy Downey, Aoife Brennan, Emma Cosgrove, Cora Staunton, Brona Bruton. Sub: Aoife McHale for S Larkin.

Referee: Colm McManus (Meath).

Belfast Telegraph

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