Donaghmoyne (Monaghan) 1-15
Glenfin (Donegal) 1-8
CATHRIONA McConnell inspired Donaghmoyne to an 11th Ulster senior club title in 15 years as they proved too strong for Glenfin in Saturday’s decider at St Mary’s, Killyclogher.
McConnell hit nine points for the Monaghan champions as they built on their 1-4 to 0-4 half-time lead with seven unanswered second half points to open up an eight point gap that Glenfin, despite their best efforts, particularly from Yvonne Bonner, could not recover from.
Eimear Traynor’s 17th minute goal separated the sides at half-time in what was a cagey opening half in difficult conditions.
McConnell opened the scoring in the second minute with a point having worked a short free to Cora Courtney to put the return between the posts, but that was cancelled out by a Karen Guthrie free on seven minutes.
They edged back in front through McConnell again in the 10th minute in a direct copy of her first score but a point from Australia-bound Bonner and a superb long range effort from Katy Herron put Glenfin ahead for the first time, 0-3 to 0-2, at the end of the first quarter.
The Donegal champions though were stunned when Traynor’s effort dropped into the back of Sharon Conaghan’s net to open up a 1-2 to 0-3 advantage.
McConnell, who was very much involved in the Donaghmoyne attacks, sent over a point from play to make amends for an earlier missed free and she added her fourth of the afternoon on half-time after Bonner had made it a two point game again with their first score in 11 minutes.
A Guthrie brace on the resumption reduced the Donaghmoyne lead to the minimum within two minutes.
But Donaghmoyne hit an unanswered five points, three of those from the inspirational McConnell, including a wonderful effort from out on the sideline in a six-minute rout, to push them into a six point lead that extended out to eight, 1-11 to 0-6, by the 49th minute.
Bonner got a hand to a ball in from Katy Herron to send it to the net to reduce the gap back to five in the 53rd minute, their first score in 20 minutes, and Guthrie followed it up with a free to leave four between them.
But Donaghmoyne closed the door on any kind of a comeback with further points from McConnell, captain Cora Courtney and her sister Rosemary to regain the Ulster title once again.
Donaghmoyne, Ulster champions for the first time since 2016, will now meet Leinster champions - Foxrock-Cabinteely (Dublin) or Sarsfields (Laois) – for a place in the All-Ireland Final.
Donaghmoyne scorers - C McConnell (0-9, 3f), E Traynor (1-0), S Courtney (0-1), L Garland (0-1), L Kerley (0-1), H Kingham (0-1), C Courtney (0-1), R Courtney (0-1).
Glenfin scorers - Y Bonner (1-3), K Guthrie (0-4, 3f), K Herron (0-1).
Donaghmoyne - L Martin; J Geoghegan, F Courtney, L Garland; H Kingham, S Courtney, J Courtney; N Callan, R Courtney; A Garland, L Kerley, E Traynor, C McConnell, C Courtney (capt), S McConnell.
Subs: A McElroy for S McConnell (50), N Lynch for Kerley (57), A Keenan for Kingham (62), R Finnegan for A Garland (63).
Glenfin - S Conaghan; D McGlynn, T Martin, M Ward, AM Logue, AM McGlynn, S McGinty; G Houston (capt), K Guthrie; Kathy Ward, Karen Ward, K Herron, L Martin; G Glackin, Y Bonner, K Long.
Subs: C McGrath for K Long, M Martin for M Ward (h/t), D McGinley for G Glackin (48).
Referee - G Corrigan (Down).