REPORT | Monagea dethrone St Ailbes to set up Limerick Ladies Senior Football Final clash with Ballylanders

Monagea ended St Ailbe’s two year stint as senior champions with a convincing win in the semi-finals yesterday.

Monagea were full value for a six point win over St Ailbes in the Limerick Ladies Senior Football semi-final in Clarina yesterday running out 1-9 to 1-3 winners.

After losing successive finals to Ailbes, the West side made their intentions clear from the start and were 1-8 to 0-0 clear at the half.

Catriona Davis opened the scoring for Monagea from a placed ball before the impressive Karen O’Leary doubled their lead minutes later, although Limerick’s camogie captain could have rattled the net, being fouled in the process of scoring before blasting over.

Davis added a second free to increase the advantage which was out to four after ten minutes. This lead was 0-5 to 0-0 at the first water break with Eimear Ryan hitting the upright with Ailbes only shot on goal.

Davis had the only score in the next fifteen as Monagea looked set to take a commanding advatnage into the half with Niamh Ryan rattling the crossbar for Ailbes.

But a quickfire double from the West side had them eight clear before Grace Lee’s effort dropped into the Ailbe’s net to give them an almost unassailable 1-8 to 0-0 lead at the half.

Ailbes introduced 2018 All-Ireland final goalscorer Mairead Kavanagh and she made an immediate impact kicking their first score of the game in the first minute of the second half. Eimear Ryan kicked a pair of frees as the East side began to eat into the lead.

But O’Leary was on hand to stem the tide with twenty to play and this took the wind out of Ailbes sails as their was just one more score in the game, an Ailbes goal late on, but in truth they never looked like overturning the massive half time deficit.

Monagea kept their opponents at bay late on to secure a place in the final for the fourth successive year, avenging the final defeats of 2019 and 2020 at the hands of Ailbes.

The 2021 Monagea Ladies Senior Football team prior to their Round one win over Feohanagh Castlemahon

In the final they will play Ballylanders in a repeat of the 2018 decider after the South side overcame Old Mill by three in their semi-final.

Ballylanders opened up a healthy 0-6 to 0-1 lead at the half against the 2019 Intermediate champions. The West side rallied in the second half with a goal but it wasn’t enough as Ballylanders won out 0-11 to 1-5.

That final will take place this weekend, as will the Intermediate final as defending champions Drom Broadford seek a two in a row when they face Oola.

Drom proved too strong for Murroe Boher while Oola defeated last year’s finalists Mungret St Pauls by five points.

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