BUNCRANA MADE LIGHT of a spate of absentees to win the Donegal Ladies League Division Two in Burt against St Mary’s Convoy today.
Buncrana 1-10 St Mary’s Convoy 2-2
Just a week after the County Junior champions exited the Ulster JFC having lost to Steelestown in Derry, Buncrana had hoped for a weekend off before their league was decided.
But that wasn’t the case and they were without Lauren Hegarty, Kirtsy Grant, Caroline Gallagher, Mairéad Walsh, Helena McColgan and Louise Devlin.
However, the panel that Lawrence Hegarty and Brian Stokes have at their disposal, plus the fact they’ve been involved more so than St Mary’s at the business end of the season, meant they had enough to get over the line. They didn’t cry over spilled milk.
Paula McGrory’s eight points from the middle of the field were a huge factor in the win.
Playing against the wind, Buncana were in a decent position by the break, with a 0-6 to 1-1 advantage with centre-field pairing Deirdre Grant and McGrory on top.
However, a fifth minute goal from Eithna Cranwell meant that St Mary’s, who had sprung Irish underage soccer international from the bench, were still in contention.
Three minutes into the second half, St Mary’s went ahead when Blaithín Gildea scored their second goal from close range. That made the score 2-1 to 0-6.
Buncrana, though, didn’t panic and, on 42 minutes, managed to goal themselves when Michaela Mullan took a pass from her captain Grant to shoot past Denis McElhinney.
St Mary’s, who were lively in attack, saw their hopes further stretched when Kelly Wilson was sin-binned for hooking McGrory, although the numbers were balanced at 14 apiece moments later when Doreen McGee was also yellow-carded.
Mullan’s goal was part of a streak of 1-4 without replay from Buncrana, with McGrory scoring four of their last five points. It was enough to seal the win for the team from Scarvey, who next season will be pitting their wits against those in the senior bracket.
Buncrana: Amy Casey; Orla O’Regan, Danielle Loughrey, Gemma McDaid; Michelle Browne, Doreen McGee, Ciara Masterson; Deirdre Grant, Paula McGrory (0-8, 2f); Niamh Connolly, Michaela Mullan (1-1), Ella McLaughlin; Claire Doherty, Natasha Craig (0-1), Allison McGonagle (0-1). Subs: Laura Reid for McGonagle (22), Leah Ryan for Doherty (43)
St Mary’s Convoy: Denis McElhinney; Victoria Kelly, Anne Rose Quinn, Caoimhe Browne; Erica Wilson, Kelly Wilson, Sarah Allen; Fiona Allen, Aoife McLaughlin; Blaithín Gildea (1-0), Eithna Cranwell (0-1), Fiona Deeney; Emer Gibson, Eimear Shovlin, Ciara Gallagher (0-2). Subs: Zoe McGlynn for Gibson (23), Lauren Guthrie for Gildea (54), Gibson for Gallagher (60).
Referee: Michael Mulhern (St Eunan’s).