December 7th, 2022

Richard Bullick

Former county panellist Lauren Sheridan won the Player of the Match award as Dromahill added the Buttercrane Senior Shield to the McGuinness Plumbing League Division Two Title already lifted this season.

In the final domestic match of the year at adult level, played on a horribly wet Sunday morning in Silverbridge, Dromahill impressively pulled away in the second half against an understrength Crossmaglen side shorn of their two brightest stars.

All Star nominee Lauren McConville, who had shone on the same pitch as Crossmaglen lost to Silverbridge in last month’s Championship quarter-final, was badly missed this time along with Alex Clarke, still serving her suspension for being red-carded in that game.

A third forward from this season’s Armagh senior squad, Megan O’Callaghan, was another absentee along with experienced campaigner Orla Donaldson, though Aislinn McMahon was back after a two-match ban for a controversial sending off at the end of August.

With Crossmaglen so badly depleted, Dromahill went into this match as favourites and, although it was still all to play for at half-time with the eventual victors just four points up, they went on to win on the impressive scoreline of 5-12 to 2-5.

Dromahill’s All Star nominee Aoife McCoy opened the scoring with a third minute point and Sarah King soon bundled home a goal after a great save initially by Crossmaglen goalkeeper Sinead Boyle.

Crossmaglen were back on level terms within two minutes but Aoibh O’Neill quickly got a second goal for Dromahill before the teams traded points, an Emma King free cancelled out by a Niamh McMahon score from play.

It was all square again midway through the half when an attack launched by the McMahon sisters and Grace Fitzpatrick led to a Crossmaglen goal, and a point by Armagh’s Shauna Grey for Dromintee was cancelled out by one from Mairead Watters at the other end.

McCoy and Lauren Sheridan edged Dromahill ahead but the former missed a great goal chance when she dinked the ball just past the right post with the outside of her foot after carving open the opposition defence.

Lauren Sheridan scored her first major as the half entered injury-time but Caitlin Lenaghan had the last word before the break with a point, meaning the sides went into the changing rooms with Dromahill leading 3-5 to 2-4.

Sarah Cairns and Riona McConville came on for Cross at the start of the second half but were hit by a fourth Dromahill goal after just 20 seconds and it was one-way traffic for the rest of the game as the weather worsened.

In spite of the difficult conditions, Dromahill managed some superb scores and Crossmaglen just couldn’t get going in spite of one inspirational turnover won by young Eimear McMahon against the opposition’s star turn McCoy.

The 17-year-old had already won camogie’s Armagh Minor Championship the day before and of course the club’s senior men went on to claim yet another county title in football later on Sunday afternoon, also at the expense of Granemore.

Partnered by sister Megan in midfield, Lauren Sheridan weighed in with another nicely-taken goal midway through the second half and others such as Erin Douglas and sub Hollie Morgan got in on the scoring too.

The trophy was presented to Dromintee captain Nicole McKenna by Owen Reel on behalf of Armagh LGFA and, as well as praising the efforts of the players, he referenced the excellent turnout of support for both teams in spite of the early start and awful weather.

Holding a subsidiary competition for teams who lost their opening championship match is a new innovation by Armagh LGFA this season and it was apparent on Sunday that this trophy triumph meant something to Dromahill.

They had to win three matches to claim the silverware, with a 0-14 to 1-8 victory over Shane O’Neills being followed by beating Grange 3-12 to 1-3, while Crossmaglen reached the final courtesy of an 8-14 to 2-4 rout of Killeavy, who didn’t win a single game all season.

Saturday’s Junior Shield final at Carrickcruppen saw Pearse Og, who had won 5-10 to 2-10 at Middletown and 3-10 to 2-8 against Wolfe Tones of Derrymacash to get there, defeat Clann Eireann Seconds 5-6 to 4-5.

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