St Naul's Ladies are back-to-back champions in Donegal

Parish of Inver girls add Intermediate title to Junior won last year

Tom Comack


Tom Comack

St Naul's Ladies are back-to-back champions in Donegal

The St. Naul's Ladies after the final whistle.

St Naul’s are celebrating Donegal Intermediate Ladies Championship success following Sunday’s final win over St Eunan’s.

They won the title in some style in St Mary’s Park, Convoy with 15 points to spare at the finish 4-14 to 1-8 winners.

Layla Alvey scored two of the goals with team captain Sarah Shovlin and full-forward Eilish Ward netting the other three pointers.

St Naul’s, who won the Donegal Junior A Championship last year for the first time, led by 13 points at half-time.

“We played with the wind in the first half and we got off to a good start and the goal from Layla Alvey, the first score of the game, settled us into the game,” said St Naul’s manager Glen Campbell, who was also manager last season.

“We felt a good start was very important because St Eunan’s dropped down from senior at the start of the season and we were only up from junior football.

“We had played in Division One in the league and had done well and finished in second place. But the championship is different and we didn’t know what to expect from St Eunan’s.

“We felt after the league we were probably good enough but the championship is different to the league. That is why it was important to get a good start and put them on the back foot.

“Sarah Shovlin and Eilish Ward scored the other goals and we were in a good place at half-time even though we had to play into the wind in the second half.

“But we have a good team and I was confident that we had the players to play the possession hand passing game.

“And we did that and it was a case of keeping the goals out and matching them for score to score. I know we conceded a goal but we did more or less match them on the scoreboard.

“It is great to win the Intermediate and so soon after winning the Junior and we are looking forward to playing in the Ulster championship now. We have to play the Down champions.

“It is more or less the same team as won the Junior. I think we lost something like ten players from last year’s squad but most of the starting team are available again this year.

“Emer Burke at corner-back and Niamh McGeehan at corner-forward are the only new faces in the team that started on Sunday.

“I’m really delighted for the girls they put in a big effort in training. We also brought Brendan McCready in to help out with coaching and he has done a fantastic job.

“Brendan did a lot of work with the forwards on scoring goals. We had been creating a lot of goal chances but weren’t converting them.

“But since Brendan started working with them all that has changed and we have been scoring more goals and we scored four on Sunday.”

St Naul’s are due to play the Down champions in two weeks’ time. And already Glen Campbell is planning without corner-back Ally McCready and is hoping there is no hold up in the fixtures or he could also be without team captain Sarah Shovlin.

“Ally is off to Australia tomorrow (Wednesday) and Sarah is heading off on her travels on October 2nd, the day after the Ulster game,” the manager told the Democrat on Tuesday.

“We will miss them and they will be a loss but we have a good squad and it is just a matter of getting on with it.

“We are looking forward to playing in Ulster and giving it a right good rattle.”

ST NAUL’S: Yvette Armstrong; Emer Burke, Sarah Meehan, Ally McCready; Michaela Breslin, Amy Shovlin, Ellen Campbell; Sarah Shovlin (1-2), Niamh Boyle (0-1); Denise Breslin (0-1), Layla Alvey (2-2), Emer Shovlin; Niamh McGeehan (0-4), Eilish Ward (1-3), Annaleigh Breslin (0-1). Subs: Shannon White, Anna Campbell, Kerrie McGroarty, Roisin Ward, Laura Furey.

ST EUNAN’S: Aisling Nee; Molly Carr, Kaneshia McKinney, Rachel Hannigan; Lauren McConnell, Annie McCole, Niamh Ryan; Katherine Kelly (0-1), Anna Flanagan (0-4,4f); Hannah Carr (0-1), Clodagh Brennan, Megan Reid; Nell Carr, Laura Crossan (1-0), Naomi McMenamin (0-2). Subs: Catherine Fletcher, Grace Harkin, Grainne Gallagher.

REFEREE: S Coyle (Gaeil Fhánada).