Tesco All-Ireland schools’ Junior A semi-final
Saturday 1pm in Dicksboro, Kilkenny
Loreto Kilkenny v Cross and Passion Ballycastle
Cross & Passion College bid for a place in their first All Ireland Junior final since 2009 when they take on the Leinster champions Loreto from Kilkenny in Saturday’s semi-final at Dicksboro. The Ulster champions face a formidable task against the star studded Kilkenny side who beat their city rivals Presentation College in the Leinster decider a few weeks ago.
Four of the school’s senior team who two weeks ago had a runaway win over St Pat’s Maghera in the senior semi-final, will be in action again on Saturday with goalkeeper Alie Kennedy, full back Hannah Larkin, corner forwards Emma Manogue and Asha McHardy all lining out, though the two up front are likely to be further out the field tomorrow.
CPC completed five in a row of Ulster Junior titles back in November when they beat Knock in the final on a dreadful night in Bellaghy. They were dominant throughout the Ulster campaign and have plenty of stars throughout the field. Bríd Magill at full back and Fay McIntosh at centre back are tough as teak defenders who can mix it with the best. Both of them have two sisters each on the team with Bríd being joined by midfielder Áine, who won a Colleges All Star this season and Bronach . Fay takes her place alongside sisters Janey, who is in the half forward line, and Elen who starred at corner forward in the Ulster final.
Throw into the mix players of the calibre of Orlagh Laverty, Nuala Devlin and Cassie McArthur and you have a very competitive team. The fact that they haven’t played a competitive game since winning the Corn Eimear back in mid-November is not exactly ideal but they have been training hard and have played a series of challenge games and are in tip-top shape.
Playing any Kilkenny team in their own back yard it a tough test but CPC are capable of matching them. With storm Dennis scheduled to hit Leinster on Saturday conditions at the Dicksboro ground will most likely not be ideal. However it will be the same for both sides and if they can repeat the performance they turned-in in the Ulster final against Knock then CPC can upset the odds and book a final spot.
The CPC team who won the Ulster title back in November was
1 – Niamh McCaughan
2 – Eva Graham
3 – Brid Magill
4 – Charley McQuillan
5 – Aoibheann Donnelly,
6 – Fay McIntosh
7 – Noelle McAuley
8 – Aine Magill
9 – Orlagh Laverty
10 – Janey McIntosh
11 – Bronach Magill
12 – Nuala Devlin
13 – Caoimhe McIntosh
14 – Cassie McArthur
15 – Elen McIntosh
Subs – Cara Connolly, Caoihme O’Hara, Orla McIlroy, Katie Glackin, Aoibhe Mullan, Erin McFetridge, Alanna McKendry, Olivia Connolly, Alanna McKendry, Olivia Connolly, Eimear McKinley, Zoe Cassley, Shannagh Heggarty, Cira Connolly, Fionnuala Kelly, Caitie Connolly.