St Mary’s, Convoy ladies were celebrating their first ever League title on Sunday as they won the Division Two crown – earning promotion to Division One for the first time in their history.
St Mary’s 2-08 Killybegs 0-10
The scenes in Donegal Town when the final whistle blew at the end of Sunday’s final clearly illustrated just how much this victory meant to the team and indeed to the St Mary’s club.
For the large crowd in attendance however, with 15 minutes to go in this absorbing game, a St Mary’s victory looked highly unlikely.
The play up to that critical point midway through the second half had been balanced ,but the scoreline which at one point read 0-8 to 0-2 in Killybegs’ favour accurately reflected the many chances squandered by St Mary’s.
A much more clinical Killybegs attack seemed to punish St Mary’s at every opportunity.
Killybegs got of to a flying start and had a strong lead of 0-6 to 0-0 before Niamh Mailey got the Convoy squad on the board with a point and a free just before the break.
Killybegs started the stronger in the second half and with two unanswered points they were 0-8 to 0-2 up.
Dina Patton and Niamh Mailey reduced the arrears for St Mary’s and with 15 minutes to go, Kelly Wilson stepped up to hit a free for St Mary and she sent it in high to the net.
Soon, Aimee Bonner fired home a second St Mary’s goal and the pendulum swung.
Niamh Mailey (2), Victoria Kelly and Kelly Wilson all pointed late in the game as St Mary’s took the win.
St Mary’s manager Stephen Friel singled out Dina Patton and Eilish McCafferty for special praise after the game.
He said: “Elish covered every blade of grass and was fantastic for us in Defence. Dina has been immense for all all season and i’ve no doubt she will be on the radar of the county senior management next year.
“I’m delighted for all the girls, its a cliché, but this was a real panel effort. The courage and attitude they showed today to pull this victory out in the last 15 minutes was unbelievable.”