Lynne hits hat-trick to set up All-Ireland semi-final
Noelle Connolly in possession for Fermanagh during their 13 point win over Wicklow.
Fermanagh 4-11; Wicklow 2-04;
Fermanagh secured their place in the All Ireland semi-final after they outplayed and outscored last year's All Ireland Junior champions Wicklow, on Saturday afternoon. Whilst the scoreline may suggest the Erne ladies ran out comfortable winners it was not until midway through the second half that they pulled away, following a Lynne McFredrick hat-trick for her side.
It was a physical encounter between these sides but one which the Fermanagh girls were fit for, albeit they lost both Aine McHugh and Nuala McManus to a knee and shoulder injury respectively.
Fermanagh opened the scoring through Noelle Connolly after some good work by Shauna Hamilton and Caroline Little. Indeed Fermanagh were controlling proceedings early on and opened up a 1-03 to no score lead. Sharon Little landed the second point before Lynne McFredrick broke through for her first goal, after only seven minutes on the clock. Fermanagh could have had two goals in that space of time, had it not been for a fine save from the Wicklow keeper Emma Miley.
Noelle Connolly added to her tally eight minutes later after she cut in from the wing and lofted the ball over the bar. Wicklow were starting to get to grips with the game in the middle of the park and with 23 minutes played they broke the deadlock. Lucy Mulhall who proved to be a thorn in Fermanagh's side got the visitors off the mark. A minute later she made it two with another score.
Fermanagh keeper Roisin Gleeson was called into action moments later as she denied Caoilfhionn Deeney who was goal-ward bound. Mulhall got her side's third point before Sharon Little finished off a good passing movement involving Roisin Reilly, Tara Little and Aine McBrien.
With half time approaching Wicklow showed how dangerous they can be and Mulhall once again was the target. She breached the Fermanagh defence and hit a rasping shot past Gleeson, to leave only a point between the sides on a score line of 1-04 to 1-03 in favour of the home side.
There was still time for Fermanagh to strike back and that's what they did. From the kick-out Caroline Little was hauled down in possession and from the free the Lisnaskea player pointed. Noelle Connolly finished the first half scoring on 33 minutes thereby opening up a three point lead for the Erne ladies.
In the second half Fermanagh were aided by the breeze and resumed the scoring. Sharon Little picked up a pass from Danica Beattie and lofted over her third point of the afternoon. Like in the first half Fermanagh had goal chances but they were denied by the keeper. Instead it was Wicklow who found the back of the net. Caoilfhionn Deeney brought the deficit to a single point once more.
Fermanagh's response was swift and two goals in quick succession by Lynne McFredrick killed off the Wicklow challenge. The Erne ladies pushed on from here and tagged on points through Sharon Little and Aisling Moane. Lucy Mulhall managed another score for her side but it was Fermanagh who finished with a flourish.
Substitute Shireen Greene was fouled and Caroline Little picked up the ball and waltzed past two defenders before finishing to the back of the net to give her side a 4-09 to 2-04 lead. Further points from Noelle Connolly and Lynne McFredrick capped off the win and leaves only sixty minutes of football between them and an All Ireland final.
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 02 Aug 12