Post-Primary Schools Championships – Senior ‘A’ Final
St Pat’s, Maghera 1-2 Loreto (Kilkenny) 1-16
Saturday 18 February
Brendan McTaggart reports from Naomh Peregrines, Dublin
St Pat’s All Ireland dream came to an end on Saturday afternoon as they came up against a strong Loreto side. The Kilkenny school took advantage of a strong wind in the first half and always had a little extra in the second, to keep at bay any thoughts of a comeback from the Maghera school.
It was a disappointing end for St Pat’s who had a huge support at the Naomh Peregrine ground, easily outnumbering the Kilkenny support 10 to 1 with smoke bombs, face paints, flags and horns filling the air. That support never wavered as they watched a side go against a hugely talented Loreto team.
All six of Loretto’s starting forwards scored with Amy Clifford top scoring with 1-5, four from placed ball which was no mean fete given the blustery conditions. Their half forward line were excellent throughout with their ball retention and ability to find a player in space the main difference between the sides.
For St Pat’s, they were relentless in their pursuit during the game. At no stage did they drop their heads and gave everything they could possible have on the day. Captain Eavanne Martin was superb at centre half along with Abi McNeill and Ellen McCormick, all part of a defence that was incredibly overworked.
The Kilkenny side led by 11 points at half time, restricting St Pat’s to a solitary point, that coming from a Carla Collins free in the 12th minute. The Maghera school could have had the opening goal moments after Collins’ point, Caoimhe Chambers and Blathnaid McLaughlin both going close.
With the wind at their back after the restart, it was still going to take something special from St Pat’s to get back into the game, such was the running ability and strength of Loreto. The Maghera school did look more threatening in attack from the restart but Amy Clifford’s major in the 39th minute seemed to knock the wind out of their sails.
They hit back with a Collins free before finding the back of the net in the 45th minute. A break from Ellie Griffin creating the chance with Collins’ riffling the sliothar home but it was as close as they got to the Kilkenny school who finished strongly to run out convincing winners by the end of the hour and take the All Ireland honours yet again.
St Pat’s: Maria Hughes; Eimear Murray, Eimear Doherty, Abi McNeill; Ellen McCormick, Eavanne Martin (captain), Erin Kelly; Orlaith Hull, Cait Conway; Blathnaid McLaughlin, Carla Collins, Cara Donnelly; Ellie Griffin, Caoimhe Chambers, Caoimhe Kearney
Subs: Katie McCloskey for C Conway (34); MT McCullagh for O Hull (40); Branagh Brolly for C Donnelly (48)
Scorers: C Collins 1-2 (2fs)
Loreto: Ali Kennedy; Coimhe Carroll, Anna Doheny, Orlaith Kirwan; Emma Corr, Rachel Brennan, Aisling Browne; Lauren East, Rose Kelly; Emma Mulhall, Caoimhe Keher-Murtagh, Amy Clifford; Julie Lennon, Ciara Dunne, Claire Doheny
Scorers: A Clifford 1-5 (4f); E Mulhall 0-2; R Kelly 0-2; J Lennon 0-1; C Dunne 0-1; C Keher-Murtagh 0-1; L East 0-1; R Brennan 0-1 (1f); C Doheny 0-1; Niamh Holohan 0-1
Referee: Alan Lagrue (Kildare)