St Kevin’s retain Louth LGFA senior championship status with play-off win over Stabannon Parnells

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St Kevin’s preserved their SFC status for 2023 by beating neighbours Stabannon Parnells in this relegation play-off in Young Irelands on Friday last.

he Philipstown side got off to a strong start with Mia Duffy putting them in front inside the opening minute. Further scores from Róisín Maguire, Vanessa Brennan and Eimmer Murray had them four ahead before Rachel McNally had Stabannon’s first score in the 10th minute.

Maguire replied with a similar score shortly after as Kevin’s continued to dominate and they were rewarded when Aoife Gregory won possession and shot confidently into the corner of the net to extend their lead to 1-6 to 0-1.

Parnells fought back bravely and had two goals in as many minutes as McNally’s fine effort found the net and then referee David Loughran awarded a penalty which Sophie Smith converted at the second attempt – her first shot came back off the crossbar

But the girls in red recovered well from this double blow with points from Maguire (2) and Duffy followed by a Lucy Sheridan goal after a brilliant pass by Gregory to give Kevin’s a 2-9 to 2-1 interval lead.

The scoring rate dropped considerably after the break and while Stabannon had points from McNally and Zara Sweeney, any hopes of a comeback were ended when the outstanding Maguire ended a great run with scorching shot which gave ’keeper Katie Martin no chance.

ST KEVIN’S: Cara Lynch; Gráinne Murray, Clara Cunningham, Niamh Murray; Michelle McMahon, Katie Matthews, Katie Donaghy; Eimear Murray 0-1, Vanessa Brennan 0-1; Lucy Sheridan 1-0, Susan Byrne 0-1, Mia Duffy 0-2; Leah Cunningham, Aoife Gregory 1-1, Róisín Maguire 1-7.

STABANNON PARNELLS: Katie Martin; Kate Smith, Bronagh McGrane, Aoife Lowth; Anne Marie Lynch, Grace Lynch, Lucy Smith; Oonagh Giggins, Orlagh Byrne; Kim Lynch, Ciara McNally 1-0, Danielle Sharkey 0-1; Zara Sweeney 0-1, Rachel McNally 1-1, Sophie Smith 1-0. Subs: Caoimhe Boyle, Kayla Darby, Eireann Titley, Saoirse Titley, Ruth Butterly.

REFEREE: David Loughran (St Patrick’s).

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