St Naul's captain Michaela Breslin in full flow against Latton
St Naul’s great Ulster journey is over following Saturday afternoon’s semi-final defeat by Monaghan champions, Latton, in Pairc Naomh Brid, Ballintra.
ST NAUL’S . . . 1-9
LATTON . . . 4-12
Latton were the better side but their 12-point winning margin may have been a little flattering against the first time Donegal Intermediate champions.
This game was won and lost in the second quarter when the Monaghan champions hit 2- 2 in the space of a golden eight minutes to come from one down to go 2-3 to 0-4, in front, playing into a strong wind.
St Naul’s, who got off to a good start, were in bother at half-time. After playing with a stiff wind in their backs, they trailed by seven points.
Latton, after a slow start, led by seven points, 2-5 to 0-4, at half-time.
Katie Duffy and Shannon Conlon scored the goals and the elusive Amelia Elliott kicked four of the points.
Emer Shovlin and Eilish Ward posted two points each for the Donegal champions.
Three of those points were hit in the opening ten minutes as St Naul's got off to lively start to lead 0-3 to 0-1 by the ten minute mark.
And they were still 0-3 to 0-2 in front entering the second quarter when Katie Duffy ran through from midfield to rattle the back of Yvette Armstrong’s net for the game’s opening goal.
That was on 16 minutes and propelled the Monaghan champions into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead.
And nine minutes later goal number two arrived when Armstrong failed to hold a long delivery and Shannon Conlon punished when she palmed to the back of the St Naul’s net for a 2-3 to 0-4 lead.
On-song Elliot added two more points before half-time to send Latton in 2-5 to 0-4 in front on the changeover.
St Naul’s, despite playing into the elements, stepped up on the resumption and took the game to the Monaghan ladies, playing with greater urgency and bite to their game
Denise Breslin, Layla Alvey and Eilish Ward all kicked points to one from Elliot as the locals cut the Latton lead to five points, 2-6 to 0-7, by the 40 minute mark.
And the Donegal champions were back in the game in a big way when Alvey - who really took the fight to Latton - ran 40 metres before unleashing an unstoppable shot to the roof of the Latton net.
Latton’s lead was cut to three as they led 2-7 to 1-7 with a little under a quarter hour to go on the clock.
The margin was still three when Alvey polished off another sweeping move with a fine point. Latton who had points from Elliot and Jane Duffy, led 2-8 to 1-8.
With Emer Shovlin, St Naul’s and Aideen McPhilips, in the sinbin for separate fouls, St Naul’s did not score again until on the stroke of full-time.
In between, Latton regrouped and they posted 1-4 without reply, the goal scored by Joanne Culleton to lead 3-12 to 1-8 with the clock ticking on 60 minutes.
Shovlin pointed on her return before Elliott rounded off a brilliant individual display with the fourth goal deep in injury time.
ST NAUL’S: Yvette Armstrong; Emer Burke, Sarah Meehan, Aoife Greene; Eileen Campbell, Amy Shovlin, Michaela Breslin; Eilish Ward (0-3, 1f), Niamh Boyle; Denise Breslin (0-1), Layla Alvey (1-2), Shannon White; Niamh Geoghegan, Annaleigh Breslin, Emer Shovlin (0-3, 1f).
Subs: Kerrie McGroarty for A Greene, 61.
LATTON: Sinead Black; Laura McPhilips, Sorcha Boyd, Aisling McCabe; Aideen McPhilips, Shauna Coyle (0-1); Jane Duffy (0-1); Ailbhe Quinn, Clare McElroy; Shannon Conlon (1-1), Katie Duffy (1-1); Ciara Mulligan; Amelia Elliott (1-7,2f), Joanne Culleton (1-0), Emile Culleton (0-1). Subs: Lisa Lennon for J Culleton 58; Clodagh Hamilton for C Mulligan 61.
REFEREE: Sean MacIntyre (Tyrone).