LADIES GAA | Mattock take Division Three title after thrilling final with the Clans
Louth Ladies Division Three Final
Mattock Rangers 1–14 Clan na Gael 2–10
Super sub Maria Reid’s eighth point of the game — coming in the ninth minute of injury time — broke Clan na Gael hearts and sent the Louth Ladies Division Three title back to Collon after a dramatic and thrilling final in Knockbridge on Friday night.
Both sides served up a fantastic encounter and there would not have been too many people disappointed if the game had ended in a stalemate and they had to do it all over again.
A collision between Clan na Gael’s Chloe Enright and Mattock’s Niamh Reid led to the Mattock defender needing a lengthy period of treatment. As a result, referee Gerry Malone added almost 11 minutes of additional time — much to the confusion of many in attendance — and it handed Reid an opportunity to win the cup for Mattock.
The Clans, who had to plan without the injured Grace Fitzpatrick and Therese Curran, will feel hard done by and they will also wonder how they lost a game that they led for long periods.
In one of the best matches seen in Louth club football for some time, the Castletown side were awarded a close-range free after just 30 seconds but Enright’s effort dropped short.
Two minutes later, Niamh Reid brilliantly won possession for Mattock. Her precise pass found Rebecca Levins and she offloaded to Nicola Noone who hit the Clans net from close range.
Niamh Dooley then added a point before the Clans replied when Alannah McLoughlin took off on a wonderful run, leaving a number of defenders in her wake, before shooting low to the net.
Ciara Woods converted twice from frees to put the girls in green and gold ahead for the first time after 10 minutes. It was a lead they would hold until deep into lost time.
Mattock had chances of their own but Niamh Dooley and Grainne Reid all saw their efforts miss the target before Nicola Noone dragged the sides level with another wonderful effort.
The Clans were soon back in front when centre back Sinead McGill went on a 50-yard run and slotted over with a contender for the score of the game.
And boosted by this superb point, the Clans added two more points from the impressive duo of McLoughlin and Woods before they raised a green flag for the second time.
A brilliant 35-yard pass from McGuill split the Mattock defence and Ciara Woods raced onto it to give keeper Michelle Breen no chance, 2–5 to 1–2 after 29 minutes.
Mattock needed to reduce the gap before the break and they grabbed the final two scores of the half from Noone to leave four between them at the interval.
The second half began at the same frantic pace with Allanagh McLoughlin getting the Clans off the mark before Maria Reid, with a brace, replied for Collon.
The scoring continued with Abbie O’Brien and Noone on target for Mattock and Grace Smyth for Clans. Smyth’s point was followed up by another eye-catching moment as Kathy O’Reilly shook off a couple of Mattock challenges to fire off a superb point from some distance and put the Clans 2–8 to 1–7 ahead after 48 minutes.
The lead extended to five when Ciara Woods sent a free over the bar after she was pulled down by Megan Minogue en route to goal. The Mattock defender was ‘sin binned’ for the foul.
Despite being down to 14 players, Mattock came back strongly and three scores from the deadly boot of Maria Reid left it all square, 1–12 to 2–9, in the sixth minute of added time.
The Clans thought they had won it two minutes later when Grace Smyth was on target — 2–10 to 1–12 — but referee Malone played a further two minutes and the Collon side snatched it with a brace from their hero, Maria Reid.
MATTOCK RANGERS: Michelle Breen; Eimear Grimes, Roisin Roche, Niamh Reid; Anna Dunne, Rachel Dunne, Niamh McComish, Megan Minogue; Kelly Connor, Gemma Sheridan; Rebecca Levins, Grainne Reid, Abbie O’Brien (0–1); Nicola Noone (1–4), Niamh Dooley (0–1). Subs: Maria Reid (0–8), Lisa Duff.
CLAN NA GAEL: Mia Rogers; Geraldine Smyth, Daramay Fitzpatrick, Jessica Gaffey; Kellie Hughes, Sinead McGill (0–1), Regan Donnelly; Kathy O’Reilly (0–1), Shannon McLaughlin; Grace Smyth (0–2), Gillian O’Reilly, Lee Lawlor; Alannah McLoughlin (1–2), Ciara Woods (1–4), Chloe Enright. Subs: Donna Conroy for C Enright, Emma Fallon for G Smyth.
REFEREE: Gerry Malone.