Fermanagh Ladies goalkeeper Roisin Gleeson looks back on three memorable games from her career


Sunday, October 8, 2017 - All Ireland Ladies Junior Final Replay

Fermanagh 2-09 Derry 0-11

Home! That’s how I would describe St Tiernach’s Park., Clones - a pitch just less than 10 miles from my home. 
Clones is a pitch I have been honoured to play on on many big occasion - league finals, Ulster finals and now an All Ireland final replay.
After the final whistle in Croke Park two weeks prior I, personally, breathed a sigh of relief. 
We had edged a draw with a late penalty from Sharon Little to give ourselves another day out. 
The build up to this game was different than before, we knew we hadn’t played to our full ability and now we had time to right the wrongs. 
We were back in Lissan training in late September weather and plenty to work on. 
I was in England at the time finishing my degree so I had missed one or two sessions in the build up and I think that made it different to as I had to get my own sessions done before I flew back for the replay. 

An advantage to both teams was that the previous game had been televised and you could look closer at yourself and the opposition. Like most games you are involved with it’s hard to remember all that’s happening in the moment.
This was a team under the charge of Emmet Curry and Mickey Cadden in 2017 and made up of many young ladies who are very much the present and future of football in Fermanagh now. 
The team consisted of a number of experienced player like myself, Aisling Woods, Marita McDonald, Edel Campbell, Aine McHugh, Maria Connolly, Sharon Little, Shauna Hamilton, Roisin O’Reilly, then you had the likes of the Maguire sisters Danni and Lisa, Joanne Doonan on her return after a summer in America and then the breakthrough of Fermanagh ladies youth the likes of Eimear Smyth, Blaithin Bogue, the McManus twins.
I remember coming up to half time in the replay and they had a goal chance that I managed finger tips to. Derry were a team that knew goals were going to be key after getting two the previous outing in Croke Park. 
Going in at half time I think the fight was only starting to ignite in us. Courtney Murphy and Aisling Maguire were doing everything in their power to smother anything that came into our defence and player of the match that day, Shauna Hamilton, was the spring board to getting the ball forward.
Derry didn’t lie down, they came at us and with five minutes left on the clock I had to dive and push a shot out around the outside of the post - a blur of a memory but I’ve seen the game at least 50 times on TV since!
I remember looking up at the clock which was located below the scoreboard with a minute to go. 
No time to rest or sit back with our lead. 
We kept pushing the ball forward, even at the final whistle we were just over the half way line, Nuala McManus in possession and attacking like it was the first minute. 
After the hooter sounded, it was ours finally! 
After all this time, two previous failed attempts in 2009 and 2014 and this time taking it to a replay. The pitch was covered in Fermanagh fans in a matter of seconds, again another small detail that we wouldn’t of had in Croke Park. 
Everyone was shaking your hand, clapping you on the back. 
It was a feeling of pride and accomplishment to bring so many smiles to the faces of the people who had followed us for many seasons. 
Aine McHugh getting her hands on that cup was surreal and the team then getting up to lift it aloft. Things you dream off. 

Impartial Reporter: Fermanagh Ladies celebrate after victory over Down in the Ulster final.Fermanagh Ladies celebrate after victory over Down in the Ulster final.

Sunday, July 14, 2013 - Ulster Intermediate Championship Final

Fermanagh 4-08 Down 0-14

Celtic Park was a new territory for Fermanagh ladies and on a hot summer’s day there we took on Down in the Ulster Intermediate Championship final. 
Paula Cunningham and her backroom team were back in the driving seat in Fermanagh in 2013 and Ulster finals were days we, as players, looked forward too. 
Following on from a lively win over Antrim, we were ready for battle and only Down stood in our way of claiming that Ulster Championship title. 
The Fermanagh team at the time was blessed with extremely strong and experienced players; the likes of the Little sisters - Sharon and Caroline, Marcella Monahan, Aine McBrien, Kyla McManus, Tara Little, Aisling Woods, Shauna Hamilton, Lynne McFredrick and also the youth to back those girls up in the shape of Shannon McQuade, Joanne Doonan, Maura McDonald and Danica Beattie. 
This was a high scoring affair with 26 scores in total between the teams on the day. 
In the period 2010-2015 the likes of Cavan and Down ladies were teams that Fermanagh ladies knew inside out as we would meet in league, Ulster Championships and All Ireland Championships. 
Going into the game we knew where their strengths were, who needed extra attention, who was a threat and with an excellent management and backroom team, that left no stone unturned, we were fit to grind out a six point win. 
A lively Sharon Little, who was sprang from the bench, linked well with the forward line and caused Down a lot of problems. 
The defence was well marshalled by Kyla McManus at full back and Tara Little at centre half with the likes of a young 16 year old Shannon McQuade making her senior debut that season at corner back.
Many mini wars were won that day and Fermanagh were lucky to hit the back of the net a number of times to see off Down and get their hands back on the Ulster Intermediate title.
Fermanagh ladies have always been a team who perform well in provincial finals - from my debut season in ‘09 I am lucky to hold no less than seven Ulster medals.


Sunday, August 24, 2008 - Fermanagh Ladies Junior Championship Final

St. Patrick’s 1-15 Derrygonnelly 0-04

This was my First championship final win with St Pat’s ladies, the Fermanagh Ladies Junior Championship final against Derrygonnelly in Irvinestown.
Ogie Cadden  had built a team with a mixture of youth and experienced players and a year of true hard work and grit on the training field paid dividends come the latter end of the season.

Derrygonnelly was a big rival in years previous and had players like Adele Gallagher, Emma Burns and Lisa Murphy in their ranks who were all experienced and hard working.
However, this was a St. Pat’s team who were strong in every line - Michelle McDermott, Teresa Ingram, Patricia Conlon in defence with Orla Brogan and captain Helen Davis in midfield. Then up front we had talented players like Cassie Cadden, Nuala Maguire and Sabrina Barrett. 
At half time it was slightly in Derrygonnelly’s favour but after a stern team talk we took the lead, one we weren’t giving up easy. 
I remember been substituted about five minutes from full time. Luckily, it was a quick five minutes and St Pat’s were very much in control at that stage! 
It’s hard to forget your first championship title, one I was lucky to contribute 1-06 to the scoresheet and pick up a player of the match which in my eyes is a team award as the forward is just the last kick of the ball. 
This was a team performance built on many long nights of sprints, long runs and team play back in Donagh. 
A true battle to the end and as a championship final it was full of pride and passion from both teams - that’s exactly what championship final days should be and this game didn’t disappoint.