By Shaun Casey
2022 has been a year to remember for Donaghmoyne ladies, and they’re not finished yet with an All-Ireland semi-final against Kilmacud Croke’s coming up in the coming weeks. But for now, they’ll bask in the celebrations of another Ulster titles.
It was fitting that their winning margin over Moneyglass was four points as it marked their fourth Ulster title on the trot and their 14th in all. The Antrim champions offered a serious test, but a late goal from substitute Grace Cumiskey made history.
“That’s the first time we’ve won four in a row of Ulster titles. It’s special after winning the county, we’ve won 20 county titles in a row now as well so it’s special,” said long-time manager Francie Coleman.
“We got a real test, a big test against Moneyglass. It was in the melting pot up until the last five minutes of the game. It was tense and tough, Moneyglass are a very good team, and we knew that going in, it really could have gone either way.”
The defending champions faced an uphill battle early on as they were reduced to 14 players when half-back Hazel Kingham received her marching orders during the opening quarter.
“We got a player sent off in the first 15 minutes of the game with a red card which really put the pressure on us,” added Coleman. “And then we lost another player to a yellow card (sin bin) in the second half, so we had to play the game with 14 girls on the field for the majority of the hour.
“It left that the rest of the girls on the field had to fight very hard, especially for that period that we were down to 13 players against 15. They worked very hard to stay in the game and eventually come up on top, it wasn’t easy.
“The celebrations, they were brilliant, it was like winning the first one. We knew it was going to be such a tough game and just the way things worked out in the end, it was a wild day as well, the wind didn’t really do us any favours either and made shooting very difficult.
“It really was in the melting pot right up to the end and fair play to Moneyglass, they really came back at us. I thought we were going well in the second half but then they got a penalty with about ten minutes to go which brought it back level.
“There was only a point in it then when we got the goal, it really good have gone either way. Our goalie made a great save in the last couple of minutes, if they had of got in for that goal then anything could have happened.
“There’s a lot of the girls that have got the four in a row and there’s a lot of girls with 14 Ulster medals as well. We have some young players, but the majority of the team is around a young time. They’re experienced players and it’s a brilliant achievement for the club.”