Action from today's Halpenny Travel Louth LGFA SFC encounter between Stabannon Parnells and St. Fechin's in Stabannon. (Pic: St. Fechin's)
Halpenny Travel Louth LGFA SFC
Stabannon Parnells 2-13 St. Fechin's 4-8
St. Fechin's had to dig deep to secure a dramatic one-point victory and advance to the quarter-finals of the senior championship in sun drenched Stabannon on Sunday morning.
It took a goal deep in stoppage time from Catherine McGlew to eventually separate the sides after an extraordinary contest.
The game's first goal arrived when Louth half-back Ceire Nolan found Sharon McDermott in space and the midfielder drove to the net from 15 metres, with the intermediate champions assuming an early lead.
But, driven by the brilliance of Rachel McNally, the 2017 winners, Stabannon, dominated the remainder of the half, hitting eight points without reply with Ciara McNally (2), Ann-Marie Lynch, Orlagh Byrne, Jenny McGuinness and Danielle Sharkey all on target, as Fechin's struggled with their kick-outs
Sharkey added a goal on the stroke of half-time to extend her side's advantage.
But the Termonfeckin natives re-grouped and brought a higher work rate to their game after the interval, with a goal from Rebecca Howell proving to be their reward.
Ciara McNally nudged Parnells 1-11 to 2-4 in front before points from Fechins' Erin McDonagh, Sharon McDermott and sub Ciara Smith left just two in the difference 1-12 to 2-7 with six minutes to go.
A game simmering with excitement boiled over as the south Louth side went in front for the first time in near 40 minutes when substitute Smith crashed an unstoppable shot past Emma Barry.
Stabannon's response was to grab a goal of their own as Rachel McNally embarked on a sensational 50-yard run, which took her past a number of defenders, before finding Jenny McGuinness who won and converted a penalty.
Back came Fechin's, though, with Howell firing over to leave the minimum between them; 2-12 to 3-8
A further point from McGuinness in the seventh minute of added-on time seemed to have sealed the points, but the Green and White clad outfit had other ideas as a high centre from Howell was fielded by ex-county star McGlew who found space to turn and fire low to the net, earning her side victory.
"I'm really proud of our girls, we dug deep and it paid off in the end," said Fechin's midfielder Pamela Campbell at full-time.
Stabannon Parnells: Emma Barry; Emma Tuite, Andrea Carney, Clare Keenan; Bronagh McGrane, Anne Marie Lynch (0-1), Michelle McArdle; Ruth McNally, Orlagh Byrne (0-1); Jenny McGuinness (1-3), Rachel McNally (0-1), Ciara McNally (0-3); Marie Bannon (0-1), Caoimhe Wall, Danielle Sharkey (1-3)
Sub: Kim Lynch
St. Fechin's: Emma Dunne; Clodagh Ryan, Jenny Mulkey, Anna Redmond; Ciara Nolan, Rachel Beirth, Orla McEvoy; Pamela Campbell, Sharon McDermott (1-1); Catherine McGlew (1-0), Hayley McDonnell (0-1), Hazel Haughney (0-1); Erin McDonagh (0-1), Rebecca Howell (1-1), Louise McCullough (0-2)
Sub: Ciara Smith (1-1)
Referee: Declan Carolan