Merry magic leads Granemore to glory

Granemore 3-9 Athleague 2-5

Granemore were crowned All-Ireland Junior A champions with a victory over Athleague following a magnificent performance.

Connor Devlin’s side led from start to finish and full forward Rachael Merry was the star of the show.

Merry top scored on the day, and it was her two three-pointers that led the Granemore ladies to glory.

Granemore got off to a dream start as they raised the games first green flag from their opening attack.

Rachael Merry’s long range shot dropped short and ricocheted off a defender and dribbled into the back of the net.

The Granemore forwards looked like scoring every time the ball came in their direction and Ellen Lavery split the posts for their first point.

Photo Credit: John Merry

While the forwards done their job, the resilient Granemore rear-guard stood tall and Athleague struggled to break them down.

Merry slotted over a free before swapping score with Athleague’s Rebecca Brennan, who opened their account.

Athleague could have had a goal of their own, but a superb Ciarrai Devlin save meant the Ulster champions kept their clean sheet.

Corinna Doyle landed the final score of the first half, slotting over from the edge of the D. That saw Granemore carry a 1-4 to 0-1 lead into the second period.

The Roscommon girls flew out of the traps at the start of the second half with two points in quick succession.

Merry tapped over another free before Athleague grabbed a goal through full forward Tara Naughton.

Merry slotted over a fourth point before rifling home a second goal to restore her sides six-point advantage.

Photo Credit: John Merry

The Granemore full forward swapped frees with the opposition before another from near the sideline, this time from play, pushed her side further ahead.

Athleague weren’t done yet however and a converted penalty along with a free reduced the gap to just three.

But the Armagh champs responded in brilliant fashion. Doyle blazed her way through the Athleague defence and fired the ball to the top corner.

Merry brought her tally to 2-7 for the day and as Athleague missed a second penalty, Granemore held on to claim the All-Ireland title.

Granemore Scorers: Rachael Merry 2-7 (5f), Corinna Doyle 1-1, Ellen Lavery 0-1.