Ulster Colleges Camogie – Corn Eimhear final
Cross and Passion Ballycastle 6-13 Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Knock 1-5
It wasn’t as easy as the final score-line suggests, but Cross and Passion Ballycastle were comfortable enough in winning their fourth successive Ulster Schools’ Corn Eimhear title in Ballymena on Saturday.
First time finalists Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Knock were with them, score for score, until the 22nd minute when Áine Magill picked up a loose ball, ran 15 metres around the right side of the Knock defence and found the net for the opening goal and a 1-5 to 0-4 lead.
A game for all seasons. CPC and Knock players battle for posession as the snow falls during the second half of Saturday’s Corn Eimhear final in Ballymena. Pic by John McIlwaine
That score probably summed up the game in that Knock defended well as a unit and policed fairly well Ballycastle’s roving full-forward Riana McBride, but danger then surfaced from other players, while at the other end, only Beth Coulter carried any threat to the four-in-a-row aspirations.
Tara Monan was an immense presence in the centre of the Knock defence and after a quiet first half, Niamh Dempster worked hard at midfield, but their lack of variation up front meant that as the game wore on it tended to be played in their half of the field.
Ballycastle’s defence was up to the task with Erin Kyle and Enya McShane controlling the centre. Apart from the older Magill and Riana McBride, Annie Lynn bursting forward, Fionnuala Kelly and Nuala Devlin all needed plenty of attention from their opponents.
Tara Monan burst through from centre-half back to take the opening point after just 35 seconds, and after 15 minutes it was 0-4 each, with Beth Coulter and Riana McBride both hitting the target three times, twice from frees.
Áine Magill celebrates after scoring her team’s opening goal in Saturday’s Corn Eimhear final win over Our Lady & St Patrick’s Knock at Slemish Park, Ballymena. Pic by John McIlwaine
Riana pointed a free from around 45 metres in the 17th minute and both defences held out until Aine Magill rounded the right flank for the opening goal. Nuala Devlin scored a second goal a minute before the break, a brilliant solo effort, and the result was more or less secured when the holders turned over with a 2-6 to 0-4 lead.
Things got a lot worse for the challengers with three more goals between the 35th and 38th minutes, captain Annie Lynn starting the run, Riana McBride picking up a short poc out for their fourth and Bronach Magill forcing the sliotar over the line from close range for an unassailable 5-9 to 0-4 advantage.
To their credit Knock dug in for the last quarter and Annie Lynn’s final goal for the winners came deep into injury time and a few minutes after Beth Coulter had sweetly struck a free to the roof of the Ballycastle net for a consolation goal
Our Lady & St Patricks Knock centre back Tara Monan in action during the Corn Eimhear final in Ballymena.
Cross and Passion : Becky Ellis, Eva Graham, Erin Kyle, Bríd Magill, Caitlin Heggarty, Enya McShane, Fay McIntosh, Annie Lynn (2-1), Orlagh Laverty, Fionnuala Kelly, Aine Magill (1-2), Nuala Devlin (1-1), Riana McBride (1-9, 0-6 frees), Bronach Magill (1-0), Caoimhe McMullan.
Subs : Nuala McCaughan for E Graham (46), Charley McQuillan for F McIntosh (51), Caoimhe O’Hara for Bronach Magill (51), Christina Hamilton for F Kelly (55), Cara Connolly, Shauna Huey, Maille Donnelly, Naomi Williams, Cassie McArthur, Aoife McCurry, Grainne O’Neill, Aoibheann Donnelly.
Knock : Ellen McDermott, Emily Clancy, Sarah Clancy, Orla Wilson, Alice Coulter, Tara Monan (0-2), Ailbhe Kane, Orla McCarvill, Niamh Dempster, Aine Dorrian, Beth Coulter (1-3, 1-2 frees), Ciara Gilmore, Kerry Taggart, Saerlaith Savage, Maeve O’Keefe.