Tesco All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools Junior A semi-final
Loreto Kilkenny 7-13 Cross and Passion Ballycastle 2-4
Cross & Passion’s bid for a place in the All Ireland Collges Junior Camogie final were blown away in Kilkenny on Saturday, not by Storm Dennis, but by a devastating Loreto side who put the Ulster champions to the sword with a brilliant display of all that is good in the game.
“They were just super yesterday and we were beaten by a much better team on the day” is how CPC selector Una Kelly summed it up when I spoke to her this morning. “ They got off to a great start and we never really recovered”
Despite playing with the aid of the wind in the opening half CPC were 2-2 down within a few minutes, Claire Doheny opening the scoring for Loreto with a goal, midfielder Asha McHardy added the first of her eight points, before a fortunate long-range goal for Amy Clifford really set the Ballycastle girls back on their heels.
The Ulster champions were struggling but when Aine Magill added two points and Cassie McArthur grabbed a goal there was a glimmer of hope. It was to prove a brief respite however as the Leinster champions came back strongly and by the time the referee sounded the half time whistle they were back in total command with a 3-7 to 1-2 lead, their third goal coming from Caoimhe Keher-Murtagh just before the break.
To have any chance of getting back into the game CPC needed to start the second half strongly, but it was the Kilkenny girls who were quick out of the traps and they fired in three more goals to kill off any lingering hopes the Ulster champions may have had. Two of those goals came from the ever dangerous Doheny and the other from Keher-Murtagh as they pulled clear to secure yet another final place and now go forward to meet Presentation Athenry in the final on March 7th.
Knowing the great effort the Cross & Passion girls have put in during their preparations for this game you have to feel for them.
Orlagh Laverty, Faye McIntosh, Aine Magill, Aoibheann Donnelly and Cassie McArthur and Broanch Magill all gave their best and Magill’s second half goal proved a small consolation, but Loreto were on a different level and nobody can deny they are well worthy of their place in the final.
Loreto : Caoimhe Keher-Murtagh (3-1), Claire Doheny (3-0), Amy Clifford (1-0), Asha McHardy (0-9, 0-8 frees), Moya O’Brien (0-2), Emma Mulhall (0-1)
Cross and Passion : Niamh McCaughan, Fay McIntosh, Bríd Magill, Eve Graham, Aoibheann Donnelly, Orlagh Laverty, Noelle McAuley, Áine Magill (0-3 frees), Janey McIntosh, Nuala Devlin, Bronach Magill (1-0), Ciara Connolly, Caoimhe McMullan, Cassie McArthur (1-1, 0-1 free), Shannagh Heggarty.
Subs : Charley McQuillan for E Graham (HT), Zoe Cassley for S Heggarty (36).