Carrickcruppen march into Ulster semi-final
Tuesday, 8 October 2013
CARRICKCRUPPEN 3-15 NEWTOWNBUTLER 0-8
ICONIC captain Caroline O'Hanlon led from the front as a confident Carrickcruppen swept aside Fermanagh champions Newtownbutler to reach the Ulster Senior Club Championship semi-finals.
Before the match at Lowe's Lane the Cruppen manager Lorraine McCaffrey had warned their rivals that Cruppen were far from a one-woman team and on the day there were any number of impressive personal performances to back up her claim.
Megan Cinnamond's contribution went well beyond the five points she put on the scoreboard, full forward Caoimhe Murray must have impressed watching Armagh manager James Daly and numerous others rose to the occasion of a provincial championship match.
But it is the incomparable O'Hanlon who makes this team tick and she hit the net in only the third minute to give Cruppen the perfect start and slotted home a penalty midway through the first half before bossing the second with a typically commanding display.
That early goal, effortlessly executed even though O'Hanlon had work to do after receiving a well-placed pass, gave the Armagh champions a lead they never lost on an afternoon they had gone 10 points clear by the quarter-hour mark. Although they hit the woodwork several times, it was an assured display by the Lowe's Lane ladies for the opening half hour - until the double whammy of yellow cards for Cinnamond and Lennon in first half injury-time. Having two extra players for the early stages of the second half as well as the advantage of playing down the slope with whatever wind there was, may have given Newtownbutler hope that they could claw back the 12-point interval deficit.
But they couldn't make significant inroads into the arrears, pulling back only two points which were in turn cancelled out by O'Hanlon-inspired replies for Cruppen, courtesy of Rebecca O'Reilly and Aoife McCullough.
Carrickcruppen continued to create chances including 16-year-old Dearhbla Wright striking the post low down but after the teams exchanged points, Lennon emphatically ended any outside chance of a dramatic comeback by the visitors. Firstly she skimmed over a point after cutting in from the left and then hit the net to capitalise on a good run by Cinnamond who later added a free with a superb solo point by O'Hanlon completing Carrickcruppen's scoring.
Two injury-time Newtownbutler points were scant consolation for a well-beaten team whereas Cruppen's reward for a deserved victory is home advantage against Termon of Donegal in Sunday's semi-final (2pm).
Carrickcruppen scorers: C O'Hanlon 2-2, M Cinnamond 0-6 (3f), N Lennon 1-2, A McCullough 0-3, C Murray 0-1 and R O'Reilly 0-1.
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