Northern Property U16 B Football Championship Final
Lámh Dhearg 4-10 Glenariffe 0-7
Goals were the difference at Slemish Park on Saturday afternoon as Lámh Dhearg clinched the Northern Property U16 B title with a win over Oisins.
First half goals from Lauren Smyth and Aoife Fitzsimons had their side 2-3 to 0-3 ahead at the break, and further strikes from Fitzsimons and Lauren Mullan inside the opening quarter of the second period ensured that the trophy would be heading to Hannahstown at the games conclusion.
Erin McNaughton converted a fourth minute free to give Oisin’s the early advantage, but Aoife Fitzsimons would level at the other end after Amelie Annett released Lauren Smyth with a quickly taken free.
Cara Lynch and Kayla Stanley were providing an attacking threat from deep with Laoise Stone providing an outlet to the Lámhs attacking third.
The Hannahstown side found the opening goal of the game in the 13th minute. Kayla Stanley won possession and offloaded to Aoife Fitzsimons who showed a burst of pace before the slipping the ball to Lauren Smyth to fire home.
Smyth added successive points, the first following a neat exchange between Lila McCann and Fitzsimons before linking up with Ameile Annett to give her side a 1-3 to 0-1 lead.
A converted Dervla McMullan free temporarily closed the deficit for Oisin’s, but Lámh Dhearg doubled their goal tally a minute before the break.
Aoife Fitzsimons played a crucial part in her side’s opener and added to her early point with an angled effort that found the corner of the net, following a fine move involving Rhea Hanna and Aoibhinn Clenaghan in the build-up.
A fine Kiera McLaughlin point finished the scoring for the opening half with Smyth and Fitzsimons goal the difference, ensuring the Lámhs held a 2-3 to 0-3 advantage.
Oisin’s began the second period on the front foot with Sarah Black swinging over a fine point and Erin McNaughton kicking her second free of the afternoon.
However, their momentum was quashed when Lámh Dhearg found the net for the third time.
Charlotte Coleman tried to work the angle for a shot that skewed off target and into the path of Lauren Mullan who rifled high to the net to make it 3-3 to 0-5.
Points were traded in the aftermath between Erinmae Mitchell and Ameile Annett (free) before Lámh Dhearg further asserted their grip on proceedings.
Charlotte Coleman popped over and just before the midway point in the half, Aoife Fitzsimons bore down on goal and squeezed a low shot inside near post to give her side a 4-5 to 0-6 lead.
Attacking defensive duo Cara Lynch and Caitriona Doran got in on the act with back-to-back points as the Lámhs had chalked up 1-4 without reply,
Glenariffe’s final score of proceedings came courtesy of a Dervla McMullan free, although they may have found a goal in the aftermath, only for Lámhs goalkeeper Breena Armstrong to turn Erinmae Mitchell’s effort around the post.
Jodie Peoples and Holly Black worked tirelessly along with their defensive colleagues in order to maintain their shut-out late on.
Three further points late on would complete the job for Lámh Dhearg. Lauren Smyth provided two of those and Lila McCann dropped over the other to ensure that they ran out winners.
LÁMH DHEARG: B Armstrong, C Lynch (0-1), J Peoples, H Black, C Doran (0-1), L Stone, K Stanley, L McCann (0-1), A Annett (0-1f), C Coleman (0-1), A Fitzsimons (2-1), L Smyth (1-4), R Hanna, L Mullan (1-0), A Clenaghan.
Subs: C Clenaghan for A Clenaghan (39), F Baker for L Mullan (39), A McGreevy for R Hanna (46), E Kelly for K Stanley (52), K McKenna for C Coleman (52).
GLENARIFFE: M McNaughton, B Mulholland, M McLaughlin, M Black, M Magee, R Black, R McAuley, D McMullan (0-2f), E McNaughton (0-2f), K McLaughlin (0-1), S Black (0-1), S Kerr-McKillop, E Emerson, E Mitchell (0-1), M Graham.
Subs: E Grant for B Mulholland (25), K McGregor for M Black (56), N McNaughton for M Graham (56).
REFEREE: Gerard Dougan (Creggan)