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Dublin: 8°C Wednesday 24 February 2021

Seven-goal Wicklow set up All-Ireland final meeting with Fermanagh

The sides will contest the TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship decider after today’s semi-final victories.

Wick v Ant 1 Celebrations for Wicklow's Laura Hogan, Marie Kealy and Jackie Byrne. Source: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Wicklow 7-11
Antrim 3-10

Declan Rooney reports from Donaghmore/Ashbourne

WICKLOW WERE IN devastating form as their full-forward line accounted for 6-8 to fire them past Antrim and into a TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship final against Fermanagh.

Clodagh Fox hit three goals for the Leinster side, while Meadhbh Deeney, Marie Kealy and Laura Hogan all hit the net in an emphatic performance from Mark Murnaghan’s team.

Antrim were right in touch for most of the first half and only trailed by three points as the break approached, but Wicklow struck three goals in five minutes which proved to be decisive.

Played at a sun-drenched Ashbourne, Wicklow got off to a dream start when full-forward Deeney slotted past Anna McCann in the third minute.

Antrim made a couple of late changes before throw-in, and one of those inclusions, Lara Dahunsi, clipped over a great point from the right, while Aoife Taggart added a free soon after for the Ulster side.

Deeney and Kealy continued to torment the Antrim full-back line, but they were also guilty of some poor wides in that first half as Wicklow struggled to shake off their opponents despite their dominance.

Cathy Carey closed the gap for Antrim with two lovely points from open play – the first a huge effort from distance – but the game turned on its head before the break.

Fox hit her first goal in the 27th minute, before Deeney fired an unstoppable shot to the net. Laura Hogan rounded off an excellent half when her half-blocked effort just about crept over the line before Kealy applied an insurance touch.

Antrim were 4-4 to 0-5 behind at half-time but their cause was not aided when Wicklow kicked the first three points after the restart. Carey managed to find the net with a powerful shot in the 41st minute to lift their hopes, but they too faded quickly.

Kealy’s crisp strike resulted in Wicklow’s fifth goal, while Fox scored her second and third goals either side of Taggart’s reply for Antrim.

Despite fighting a losing battle, Antrim continued to battle well and substitute Bronagh Devlin made it 7-9 to 3-8 with three minutes remaining. Dahunsi also found the target late on, but there was no denying Wicklow their spot in the final.

Scorers for Wicklow: C Fox 3-0, M Deeney 2-3 (1f), M Kealy 1-5 (1f), L Hogan 1-1, S Miley 0-2.

Scorers for Antrim: C Carey 1-4 (2f), A Taggart 1-1 (1f), B Devlin 1-0, L Dahunsi 0-3, G McLoughlin and M McCurdy 0-1 each.


L Dempsey

E Mulhall
S J Winders
L Dunne

A Conroy
S Hogan
J Nolan Byrne

A Gorman
J Kinch

L Ahern
L Hogan
S Miley

C Fox
M Deeney
M Kealy


N McGettigan for S Hogan (HT)
H Dowling for Ahern (44)
J Byrne for Dunne (51)
S Goetelen for Nolan Byrne (51)
S McGettigan for Fox (58)


A McCann

N McIntosh
O Corr
N Webb

N Enright
S Tennyson
A McFarlane

C Brown
L Dahunsi

G McLoughlin
C Carey
A Taggart

N Jones
M McCurdy
Á Tubridy


N Burns for McFarlane (38)
F Rocks for McLoughlin (41)
C Stewart for Webb (44)
B Devlin for McCurdy (49)

Referee: L O’Sullivan (Dublin)

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Ferm v Lim 3 Amy Ryan of Limerick in action against Molly Flynn of Fermanagh. Source: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Fermanagh 4-10
Limerick 4-3

Tom Clancy reports from Kinnegad

FERMANAGH BOOKED THEIR place in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Junior Championship final, with Eimear Smyth’s double vital in their seven-point win over Limerick.

Fermanagh’s lightning start was enough to repel 2018 champions Limerick, as Jonny Garrity’s side came out the right side of a goal-fest to set up an All-Ireland decider against Wicklow.

The Ulster side dominated the first half to lead 4-5 to 1-2 at the interval, during which an early goal from Roisin O’Reilly gave Fermanagh the start they needed.

O’Reilly’s strike was added to by Smyth, who goaled in the fifth and 23rd minutes. Her first green flag was a wonderful right-footed drive from 25 metres which sailed into the top corner.

Joanne Doonan continued Fermanagh’s total dominance in the early stages with her side’s fourth goal, before a Smyth point made it 4-3 to 0-1 by the water break.

A young Limerick side regrouped at this juncture and added the final two scores of the half. Amy Ryan punched to the net after Shanua Murphy denied Cathy Mee, but the Munster side still trailed by 12 points at the break.

Points from Smyth, Doonan and Sarah McCausland were cancelled out by an Aine Cunningham goal at the other end, before Andrea O’Sullivan’s goal made it 3-2 to 4-9 at the second-half water break. Roisin O’Reilly was on target as Fermanagh were happy to take points when they were on offer with such a healthy lead to protect.

Limerick could have found another goal but Mee was thwarted by Murphy. Indeed, Murphy pulled off a string of saves but could do nothing to deny Limerick a fourth goal. It was Amy Ryan who grabbed her second goal when she powered low to the net, but the lead built up by Garrity’s side saw them over the line.

Fermanagh held on to book their place in the December decider and they will be hoping to go one better than 2019 when they lost in the final against Louth.

Scorers for Fermanagh: E Smyth 2-6 (0-2f), J Doonan 1-2, R O’Reilly 1-0, S McCausland and R O’Reilly 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: A Ryan 2-0, A Cunningham 1-2 (0-2f), A O’Sullivan 1-1.


S Murphy

S McQuade
E Murphy
M McGloin

M Flynn
S Jones
S McCarville

R O’Reilly
A Flanagan

S McCausland
R McDonald
A Maguire

J Doonan
E Smyth
A O’Brien


B Bannon for McCarville (45)
E Maguire for Doonan (47)
S Britton for McGloin (53)
C Bogue for McCausland (56)
A McCabe for McDonald (61)


S Hennessey

C Walsh
M McCarthy
R Daly

M MacNamara
N McCarthy
R O’Malley

C Hickey
R Ambrose

A Cunningham
C Mee
K Heelan

A O’Sullivan
A Ryan
L Coughlan


C Ní Cheallaigh for O’Malley (49)
R Greaney for Walsh (55)
A O’Brien for O’Sullivan (60)
K Bradshaw for Ryan (64)

Referee: Kevin Corcoran (Mayo)

About the author:

Declan Rooney

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