ULSTER LADIES CLUB SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL
ST MACARTAN’S V CROSSERLOUGH
Sunday, Augher, 2pm
IT was back to business for Ryan Mc- Menamin and St Macartan’s on Tuesday night as they refocused their attentions on the Ulster Club Championship once again. This will be the Mac’s fourth campaign on the bounce, after they claimed an historic first provincial title in 2017 but there remains some unfinished business for this particular group of players.
There is a belief in this squad that an all Ireland club title is not beyond them, but McMenamin is not looking any anay further than the visit of Cavan champions Crosserlough to Augher on Sunday (throw-in 2pm) It’s only a matter of days since the Macartans eased to a 2-15 to 0-6 win over Cookstown in the Tyrone County Final.
They were comfortable throughout the match as they completed their first four in a row and equalled the twelve titles won by Carrickmore. McMenamin was pleased with the outcome but admitted the Ulster series will be a step up.
“Of course I am happy that we won but we face a very good Cavan side. We know what we are facing, Crosserlough are a senior side, there’s four or five of them in the Cavan squad, Ciara Finnigan and young Mc Vitty among them. We would have to step up 10 or 20 percent more if we want to progress in Ulster.”
Their opponents at Fr Hackett Park come to Tyrone on the back of an excellent Cavan championship campaign.
En route to the final they ousted the reigning champions Lurgan in the semi-final by nine points and followed that up with a seven point win over Mullahoran in the County final.
That match went ahead on the first weekend of September and the period since has allowed Crosserlough plenty of time to clear up a couple of bumps and scrapes from a keenly contested decider.
St Macartan’s have a lot less recovery time but they are used to the quick turnaround, although it isn’t that easy confirmed the manager.
“It’s not much time for recovery for sure but these girls will know how to prepare, we will be ready”
In the Cavan championship decider Crosserlough conceded two early goals to Mullahoran but had the quality to grind them down in a dominant performance.
Muirieann Cusack, Hannah Boylan and player of the match Finnegan had Crosserlough ticking along nicely in the second period with a Lauren Mc Vitty penalty easing them to the seven point win in the end.
Manager Paul Cahill will have had time to assess the trip to the Clogher Valley this weekend, and were interested spectators at Greencastle at the weekend to witness a very workmanlike performance by the St Macartan’s.
St Macartan’s got off to a sluggish start and trailed by three points but once they got going there was no stopping the champions. A strong second quarter did the damage, and McMenamin felt it was always going to be that type of game.
“You can talk to the girls and try and get them going but so many people were telling them they would win the final, maybe that sinks in. Cookstown are a good team and they got off to a great start.
“It took us a while to get going. We got Slaine Mc Carroll on the ball and Chloe (Mc Caffrey) got us some frees that pulled us back but that second half performance would not be good enough for Ulster, we know that we have a lot of work to do.”