by Séamas McAleenan
The GAAStore.com Ulster Schools’ Corn Eimhear final
Greenlough, 2pm Monday
St Patrick’s Maghera v St Louis Ballymena
Just short of a fortnight ago, St Patrick’s Maghera halted Cross & Passion Ballycastle’s bid for a clean sweep of Ulster schools’ camogie titles when they came back from the concession of a goal in the opening 30 seconds to beat their north Antrim rivals by 6-2 to 4-0 in Ballycastle.
However on the same afternoon, another north Antrim school, St Louis Ballymena had a convincing 8-5 to 0-0 win over St Mary’s Magherafelt in the other semi-final and they will present a serious obstacle to Maghera in today’s (MONDAY) final in Greenlough (2pm).
When the pair met in the league section of the competition, Maghera edged home by just two points, Ballymena’s only defeat of the campaign, but not enough to deny them top seed for the semi-finals.
Maghera had lost to Ballycastle, but were able to turn that situation around in the semi-final and they look to be coming with a strong late surge for the title.
In those last few games the midfield partnership of Evanne Martin and Blathnaid McLaughlin has played a key role, scoring 5-1 themselves against Ballycastle along with some excellent groundwork around the middle.
The half-back line of Gracie McLaughlin, Michaela Doherty and Leah McPeake has also settled into a solid unit.
St Louis also have used their half-back line of Sarah Fyfe, Eimear Johnson and Erin Donnelly as the spring board for attacks. Cliona Griffen and Katie Molloy will give Maghera their fill at midfield, while Cliodnaid O’Kane’s three goals in the semi-final will mark her out as one to watch.
A number of the Ballymena side featured for Dunloy and Portglenone over the weekend in the All-Ireland Féile only arriving late last night and that could well impact on their bid to make the breakthrough and take a first A grade title in over six decades.
Maghera look to have the favourites’ tag in this one.
St Patrick’s : R McGoldrick, AM Laverty, A McNeill, M Murray, G McLaughlin, M Doherty, L McPeake, E martin, B McLaughlin, A Strathern, A Madden, C Kearney, N McAllster, M McIlvar, N Cassidy.
Subs: A McWilliams, A McCartney, A Diamond, A Mullan, B Convery, C McCloskey, C McMaster, C McAtamney, C Deighan, C Winton, C McMullan, C McElhinney, E McSwiggan, E McEldowney, G Lynch, H O’Donnell, K McNally, L Kelly, M McElhennon, O McFlynn, S Nic Giolla Fhiondáin, T O’Kane.
St Louis : E Garside, E O’Neill, S Shannon, A Bryson, S Fyfe, E Johnson, E Donnelly, C Griffin, K Molloy, C Higgins, E Gould, F McErlain, C O ‘Kane, G McVeigh, A McKillen.