All-Ireland Ladies Intermediate Club Championship Quarter-Final
John Mitchel’s 1-10
By Martin Mannering
at Greenbank Park, Liverpool
Liverpool’s John Mitchel’s bowed out of the All Ireland Intermediate Championship in the cruellest of fashions after a thrilling contest at Greenbank Park.
After a stirring fight-back they were hit by a sucker punch when Monaghan champions Latton scored an injury time goal to send them tumbling out.
Mitchel’s began in blistering fashion and went five points up in as many minutes as they threatened to run riot.
Eilish Gannon put them in front after collecting Roisin McCafferty’s long range pass and then Roisin Colleary won the kick-out and fired over.
Gannon was causing panic in the Latton defence and won a free which Danielle Farrell tapped over and immediately set the same player up for another, before the excellent McCafferty hit the fifth from distance.
Latton began to get their game together and Claire McElroy soloed through to open her side’s account seven minutes in, but resolute defending by the Sinead Purcell led backline kept them largely at bay.
The first of a series of events to have a telling effect came on ten minutes when Eilish Gannon took a heavy knock which greatly curtailed her movement and influence, allowing the Monaghan defence to gain a measure of control.
Scores remained at a premium until two quick-fire points from Shannon Conlon and Shauna Coyle narrowed the gap to two.
Gannon did find enough space to hit Mitchel’s sixth after more fine work by Mc- Cafferty. McCafferty herself hit a great long-range effort just before the break only to see the ball come off the post.
The result of that was double-barrelled as Latton broke the length of the pitch and Shannon Conlon reduced what might have been a fourpoint interval lead to two.
The home side were hit with another blow when Gannon had to retire at the break and that was compounded by the loss of Danielle Farrell at the same time.
They did resume brightly enough but lacked composure in front of goal and a number of scoring chances went a begging.
They were hit with another and perhaps the most telling blow came when Roisin McCafferty was harshly sinbinned for what appeared to be an honest 50:50 challenge with Aoibhe Quinn.
Latton took control with the extra player and Amelia Elliott pointed a free after being fouled as she bore down on goal.
Twelve minutes in Latton made the breakthrough when Shannon Conlon weaved her way through the middle and planted the ball in the bottom corner. Elliott hit another free before McCafferty returned to help steady the ship.
Claire McElroy stretch the lead to four before Mitchel’s found their feet and substitute Kerri McGarvey hit two fine points. One of the features of the Monaghan side was their ability to carry the ball at speed and Ciara Mulligan went on a blistering run up the right wing before finding Emilie Culleton who rattled the net.
Five down with eight minutes remaining Mitchel’s were staring down the barrel, but they reacted in terrific fashion. In a switch that may perhaps have been made earlier, Roisin Colleary moved to full forward and made her physical presence felt immediately.
She made a brilliant catch from Kerri McGarvey’s dropping ball and was clattered as she was about to pull the trigger.
Undeterred the Sligo woman got to her feet and placed her spot kick perfectly in the right-hand corner. They poured forward from there and Maura Melanophy saw her effort drift inches wide, but McCafferty won the resulting possession and found Colleary who was fouled and she comfortably pointed the free.
She then levelled it with another when Niamh Molloy was impeded as the game entered stoppage time. Mitchel’s pressed for the winner but were hit with the final body blow when Shauna Coyle turned over possession and sent Latton on another devastating counter attack.
She picked out Katie Duffy who powered up the right and offloaded to Amelia Elliott in the right corner. Elliott, in turn, fired across where the inrushing Culleton was on hand to palm the ball in to the net.
It was the final act of a pulsating encounter and the Liverpool players sank to their knees as their heroic effort ended in glorious defeat after a performance they can be proud of.
LATTON: Sinead Black; Laura McPhillips, Sarah Boyd, Aisling McPhilips; Aideen McPhillips, Shauna Coyle (0-1), Clodagh Hamilton; Aibhne Quinn, Claire McElroy (0-2); Shannon Conlon (1-2), Katie Duffy, Ciara Mulligan; Amelia Elliott (0-2), Lisa Lennon, Emilie Culleton (2-0). SUB: Laura Duffy for Laura McPhillips.
JOHN MITCHEL’S: Louise O Neill; Maeve McCormack, Sinead Purcell, Lucy Cormac, Maura Melanophy, Noleen Conway, Roisin McCafferty (0- 1), Amanda Treanor, Cliona Gannon, Roisin Colleary (1-3), Lorraine Brennan, Danielle Farrell (0-2), Eilish Gannon (0- 2), Niamh Molloy. SUBS: Shona McGonigle for Eilish Gannon, Kerri McGarvey (0-2) for Danielle Farrell, Francis Handley for Lorraine Brennan.