DORSEY EMMETTS 2-6 SHANE O’NEILLS 5-23
Richard Bullick at the Athletic Grounds
A youthful Shane O’Neill’s side not only won the Mackin’s Junior Championship final on Sunday but laid down a marker for future years with an impressive rout of Dorsey Emmetts.
The multi-talented Mackin sisters ran riot for the Camlough club, who were 14 points up at the interval and never looked like losing to last season’s beaten finalists, though Dorsey have the Division Three title as consolation.
The Emmetts actually took an early lead with a point from Maria Murphy, a player who caught the eye throughout for her team, though the opposition’s Aimee Mackin and her younger sister Blaithin were undoubtedly the stars of the show.
The two Northern Ireland underage international soccer stars produced dazzling displays for their team and rattled up an astonishing tally of 3-19 between them while Aoibheann Jones scored two of Shane’s five goals.
From Aimee Mackin’s equalising point in the second minute, the favourites were on the front foot and although her second shot was turned behind for a 45, another budding soccer star Moya Feehan soon nudged the Division Two team ahead.
Aimee Mackin pointed again and although Niamh Cunningham and Maria Murphy quickly drew Dorsey level, it was Blaithin Mackin’s turn now to get in on the act with a goal and two points.
Captain Louise Kenny, who made her Armagh senior debut against Cork earlier this month, got her only point of the afternoon and the unstoppable Aimee Mackin kicked a hat-trick of scores in the space of 90 seconds before Blaithin put Shane’s 10 clear by the quarter-hour mark.
Maria Murphy lifted Dorsey spirits with a good run culminating in a point and although Aimee Mackin scored again, her point was cancelled out by one from Emmetts’ full forward Aoibheann Moley.
Aimee Mackin and Maria Murphy exchanged frees as Dorsey hung in there but Jessica Watters got on the board for Shane’s and Jones hit the back of the net with Blaithin Mackin raising the white flag again for good measure.
A big breakout by Maria Murphy resulted in a goal for Lauren Murphy but Dorsey’s joy was shortlived as Aimee Mackin finished to the net after a long run of her own within a minute just before the half-time whistle went.
It all looked ominous for Dorsey though they were reprieved at the start of the second half by both Mackin sisters getting greedy and shooting straight at the keeper after threatening runs and Blaithin also stabbed a banana kick past the far post.
However Aimee Mackin chipped over with her left foot in the 36th minute after a lovely run to open her team’s second half account, Watters got her second point and the Mackins kicked the next five between them in the middle of the half.
Maria Murphy hammered home Dorsey’s second goal after the keeper parried the initial shot but, as in the first half, Shane’s replied in kind with Jones netting her second.
Aimee Mackin scored her second goal and the sisters finished with another point apiece to end with tallies of 2-13 and 1-6 respectively as the referee mercifully brought the match to a close without adding any injury-time.
The Player of the Match award unsurprisingly went to Armagh Under 16 captain Aimee Mackin, who seems set to break into the senior county set-up in the coming seasons as well as spearheading her club’s impressive progress.
Dorsey showed spirit in not throwing the towel in but it was disappointing that their joint captain and county star Claire O’Callaghan was on holidays rather than leading the charge for her team.
DORSEY EMMETTS: T Kelly; M Boyle, S McGee, C Mackin; L Quinn, S McQuillan, K Reel; M O’Callaghan, F Kennon; N Cunningham, L Murphy, M Murphy; C-A Murphy, A Moley, A Davidson. Subs: O Gibney, K Quinn, C Cunningham, K Davidson, M Campbell, E Kennon, C Gibney, B Donnelly, N Reichenburg, A McGeown.
SHANE O’NEILLS: A Tavey; C Sloan, M Marron, Y Mackin; E Kenny, L Kenny, E Rafferty;T Byrne, M McGuire; B Mackin, M Feehan, J Watters; A Jones, A Mackin, S Doyle. Subs: E Hannaway, C Jones, C McCrave, C Garvey, N McFadden.
Referee: Barney Henry (Eire Og).
DORSEY EMMETTS 2-6 SHANE O’NEILLS 5-23