The hand of history beckoned for Drumragh Ladies at Fr Hackett Park, Augher on Sunday when they took the field for the club’s first ever game at senior level away to the current Tyrone and Ulster Senior Champions, St Macartans.
The young Sarsfields ladies, short of 8 first team regulars due to work commitments or illness were always going to find it tough against one of the best club teams in the country and so it proved. However the girls can be so proud of their efforts over the 60 minutes.
St Macartans flew out of the blocks and dominated from the first whistle. A team which boasts Cathy Donnelly, Jolene Donnelly and Chloe McCaffrey in its forward line is going to cause problems for any defence and so it proved as the champions established a healthy lead. County players Colleen McQuaid and Slaine McCarroll drove forward from midfield while Neamh McGirr led a very disciplined Macartans defence which joined the attack at every opportunity..
The Drumragh defence led by Joanne Barrett and Josephine Quinn performed heroics to keep the marauding Macartans forward line at bay and it was heartening to see their determination and courage and refusal to buckle in the face of some superb attacking play from the home forwards. The midfield of Leah Quinn and Laura Harkin fought hard to gain a foothold against their vastly more experienced opponents.
Up front, the Sarsfields attack found possession hard to come by although Caoimhe Cullinan and Beth Donaghy showed well in a first half when possession was at a premium.
The second half was more of the same with St Macartans attacking at will and the Drumragh defence fighting hard to repel the maroon wave. History was made midway through the second half when following a flowing move displaying what the Sarsfields were capable of, ended with wing half back Coblaith McKenna scoring the club’s first ever score at senior level.
Referee, Brian McCallion brought proceedings to a close with a final scoreline of St Macartans 6-24 Drumragh 0-1.
It was a tough introduction to senior football for the young Sarsfields team and this season will be very much a steep learning curve. On this form St Macartans will once again be the team to beat.
We wish Claire McLaughlin a speedy recovery following the injury she sustained late on. Thank you to the large travelling contingent who were in attendance at Augher to witness such a red letter occasion for the club and to offer support and encouragement to the team.
Team: Rachel Cleary; Claire McLaughlin, Joanne Barrett, Saoirse Mullin; Julie Ann Quinn, Josephine Quinn, Coblaith McKenna; Leah Quinn and Laura Harkin; Caoimhe Cullinan, Beth Donaghey, Amy Cox; Clodagh Loughran, Eva McCaul, Sorcha McKenna
Subs: Shannon Starrs, Autumn McLaren, Breanna Breslin, Saffron Baxter