This certainly was a game of very contrasting halves as Kerry/Donegal were very dominant in the first half as they were ahead by 2-7 to 1-1 at the break. However the second half was a totally different kettle of fish as the Breffni Blues shed their lethargic and lackluster habits to hit for 5-5 while limiting the opponents to a solitary point late in the game. Meanwhile Kerry/Donegal started very impressively as Denise Dunnion finished a good run by Louise Lilly with a well-executed point. The combo outfit kept the pressure on as Dunnion blasted to the net after eight minutes after an incisive run by Anita McKenna. Everything seemed to be going Kerry/Donegal's way as a free for a foul on Dunnion by Catriona Brady ended up in the net for goal number two three minutes later. Finally at the midway stage Alisha Jordan lifted the siege as she soloed in for Cavan's first score. This score appeared to temporarily enliven Cavan's Nicola King who managed to cut through but her shot was straight at keeper Maher. The next attack was more fruitful as a good move involving Rosie O'Reilly and Nora Kilkenny ended with Caitlin Hynes rattling the net. However for the remaining ten minutes Kerry/Donegal assumed control again as they hit six unanswered points as Catriona Brady(2), Geraldine Doheny, Noelle Brophy, Anita McKenna and Denise Dunnion pushed their team into an nine point lead.
At the break it seemed that the O'Reilly factor would play a major role in the second half if the deficit was to be was to be reduced. First a stern pep talk by manager Dessie O'Reilly had the desired effect as the Breffni girls played with a lot more passion and purpose. In addition the timely introduction of Nicola Rogan, soon to be Mrs. O Reilly, was a stroke of tactical genius as she bagged 2-2 in the final ten minutes. It was all Cavan in the second half once Alisha Jordan punished a foul after a dazzling run by Linda McKeon. McKeon raced in for another before Catriona Rafferty crashed a shot to the net, culminating a good move involving O'Reilly, McKeon and Hynes. On thirteen minutes Jordan goaled from the penalty spot and five minutes later she leveled up. Then it was time for the Rogan show before Caitlin Hynes finished out the scoring with her second goal of the day. In a dismal second half for Kerry/Donegal Catriona Brady had their only score.Cavan Mairead Hynes, Katie Kilkenny, Ashley Callery, Caroline McBrien, Bridget Mulligan, Paula Lally, Mary Maguire, Linda McKeon, Kelly Donoghue, Catriona Rafferty Alisha Jordan, Rosie O'Reilly, Nora Kilkenny, Caitlin Hynes, Nicola King Sub Nicola Rogan Kerry/Donegal Deirdre Maher, Cathleen Hickey, Una Burke, Aoife Gibson, Anita McKenna, Louise Lilly, Niamh Britton, Noelle Brophy. Michelle McVann, Loretta Duffy, Catriona Brady, Amanda McGovern, Denise Dunnion, Aisling Curley, Geraldine Doheny. Referee Dean O'Connor Player of the game Alisha Jordan
Na Fianna edge away after break
This game started in a whirlwind fashion as both teams struck for a brace of goals in the opening minutes. Right from the throw in a speculative shot from Caitlin Slattery bounced over the bar for Fermanagh's opening score. Na Fianna marched right down the field with Stacy McCann blasting the ball past keeper Traynor for their opening score. Fermanagh were not to be outdone as they replied almost immediately with a slick passing movement involving Caroline Murphy and Johanna Levine which ended with Marie Dunleavy slotting the ball just inside the post for a goal. Fermanagh struck again for goal number two as Molly Boyle picked up the breaking ball right from the kick out and sauntered right through Na Fianna's defense to fire a powerful shot to the net. Then play switched quickly to the other end where the ever dangerous Molly O'Rourke laid the perfect pass into the path of Kelly McCormick for a major strike. However the first attempt hit the post but McCormick made no mistake with the second shot. The torrid pace soon cooled off as it was midway before the next score arrived. At this stage Na Fianna were methodically gaining control as they would hit the next four points, with three coming from the very industrious Aine Dwyer and the other from chief play-maker Molly O Rourke. Na Fianna led by 2-5 to 2-2 at the break.
In the second half Na Fianna gradually edged away from Fermanagh as their very fluid attack was well supplied by midfielders, Michelle Brennan and Fiona Dwyer. Molly O'Rourke got the scoring underway with a good assist from Mary O'Rourke. The roles were reversed for the next score before Brianna Tierney fielded well and soloed in for a fine score. However any hopes of a Fermanagh revival were killed off once the O'Rourke duo combined for Mary to slot home the third goal. Further points came from Aine Dwyer, Molly O'Rourke and a brace from the very impressive sub Selena Moylan. Fermanagh did finish with a mini flourish as Caroline Murphy hit for 1-2 late in the game but at this stage Manager Kieran Traynor and his assistants were strategizing for the final.Na Fianna Allison Leyden, Shannon Spillane, Katriona Lynch, Imelda Mullarkey, Stephanie Tierney, Johanna Monaghan, Jessie Garcia, Michelle Brennan, Fiona Dwyer, Brianna Tierney, Aine Dwyer, Stacey McCann, Kelly McCormick, Molly O Rourke, Mary O Rourke Subs Selena Moylen, Christina Dennison, Aisling Toolan, Tara Skehan, Jenine Rynne, Bridget Judd, Devon Nugent Fermanagh Donna Traynor, Noeleen Fitzpatrick, Tracey Ann McCullough, Christina Brown, Annie Kelly, Roisin Toner, Caroline McArdle, Caitlin Slattery, Ashlinn Gormley, Molly Boyle, Johanna Levine, Maria Walsh, Maire Dunleavy, Caroline Murphy, Loretta Cunningham. Subs Caitlin McGuigan, Clare McElroy, Caitlin Harper, Orla Traynor, Sharon Redican, Anne Dunleavy, Orla Ryan, Kelsie Boyle, Grainne Fitzpatrick. Referee Frank Brady Player of the game Johanna Monaghan.
Leitrim, Cork open with draw
The senior football championship got underway with Leitrim and Cork ending all square in a hard-hitting, low scoring game. It certainly was not a game for the faint-hearted as each side gave as good as they got. Tadgh Foley had Cork's first score with Francie Cleary and Mike Travers doing the approach work. Gary Lowney had the Rebels' second point after combining well with the strong running John Fitzpatrick and Jason Kelly. Leitrim's opening score on ten minutes was a fine effort by Adrian O'Connor after play-maker Dan Doona worked the ball into him. Though there was plenty of action with the defenses being dominant for the next quarter, there was no advance on the scoreboard until Dan Doona had his team's second score. Both teams added points late in the period, Sean Purcell for Cork and Adrian O'Connor for Leitrim.
On the resumption Cork jumped out in front with points from Purcell and Jason Kelly but Doona got one back for a foul on Kenny O'Connor. Cork surged ahead as a fine catch by veteran Pat Mahoney and a quick delivery led to Shay Furlong pointing. On thirteen minutes Purcell pointed another free and that was their last score of the game. Leitrim would add three as Paul O'Hara struck a fine effort after a good pass from Big Kenny. The big man had the next two scores as he latched on to a good through ball from Jeff Farrell and fisted over the equalizing point to conclude a game that was more noted for its physicality rather its finesse.Cork Darren O Mahoney, Paddy Harrington. Liam Hanley, Derek Courtney, John Fitzpatrick, John McLoughlin, Gary Hanley, Gary Lowney, Jason Kelly, Francie Cleary, Mike Travers, Shay Furlong, Tadgh Foley, Pat Mahoney, Sean Purcell.Leitrim Pa Ryan, Lonan McGuire, Alan Looney, Dermot Keane, Johnny Goldrick, Kieran Scannell, Cathal Mathews, Jeff Farrell, Pat Madden, Colm Cronin, Ken O Connor, Paul O Hara, Dan Doona, Adrian O Connor, Danny O Sullivan. Subs Shane Sweeney, Pat Daly Referee Martin O Connor
Thuggery mars senior clash
Tyrone had a very impressive win over the Kingdom in this senior football championship game. Meanwhile Darren Moore and Conor Skeffington traded opening scores before a fine point by Dermie Foley pushed Kerry ahead after seven minutes. Three minutes later Jason Killeen goaled after he finished a good move involving Mickey Sloan and Conor Skeffington. At the other end keeper Grimes did well to keep out a goal bound effort from Foley but CJ Molloy got a point back from a free. After twenty minutes play was disrupted as a sequence of events unfolded involving a bottle being thrown plus several punches being traded among players and mentors. In addition the linesman was struck from behind in a cowardly manner as he valiantly tried to broker peace. Eventually a number of cards were handed out by the referee but the punishment did not fit the crimes as the referee did not see the full extent of the thuggery plus the role of the linesman was also compromised as a result of him being struck. When play was resumed Tyrone struck for two goals with Brendan McGourty and Shane Ryan getting the majors while Donal Hartnett had the minor to leave Tyrone leading by 2-3 to 0-3 at the break.
On the resumption Tyrone continued to dominate as Ryan pointed and Darren Petit goaled. Soon Tyrone were down a man but it seemed to inspire them as their fitness and tenacity just knocked the life out of the Kingdom despite the best efforts of Darren Moore and Eoghan O Mahoney.