St Pat’s too strong for wasteful St Killian’s

Corn Uan Uladh Final

St Patrick’s, Maghera 1-11 St Killian’s, Garron Tower 0-4

Sunday 29th January

Brendan McTaggart reports from Fr McGinn Park, Ahoghill

St Pat’s were crowned queens of Ulster on Sunday morning as they saw off the spirited challenge of St Killian’s in Ahoghill.  10 points separated the sides at the end of the hour, thanks largely to a strong second half performance from the Maghera side.

St Pat’s Erin Kelly is challenged by St Killian’s Ellie Jo Butler during the Ulster Schools Camogie final in Ahoghill. Pic by Sean Paul McKillop

In a quality game where both sides made light of the elements blowing from the lough, it was the St Pat’s girls who proved to be more economical and clinical with the wind at their back.  In a first half where The Tower played the majority of the camogie, they will rue not going into the half time interval ahead.  They missed a number of frees and but for some superb goalkeeping from Maria Hughes, they could and probably should have been going into the break with a healthy advantage.

As it was however, St Pat’s were a different animal in the second half.  With Carla Collins accuracy from frees and Cara Donnelly outstanding on the three-quarter line, they turned the screw and opened a lead that would prove to be unassailable for St Killian’s.

In the balance of play overall, St Pat’s proved to have that little bit more about them than St Killian’s and were well worthy of their victory.  Eavanne Martin, Orlaith Hull, Eimear Doherty, Ellen McCormick and Caoimhe Chambers all with eye catching performances while Carla Collins was the attacking heartbeat of the side.

St Killian’s defensively were overworked for large periods of the second half.  Abi McNeill was instrumental in the first half, dictating play from the heart of her defence while Orlaith McAllister and Monique O’Boyle were always in the thick of the action for The Tower.

In a low scoring first half, St Killian’s showed their early intent with a point from Kady McNeill.  Showing great ball retention despite pressure from the St Pat’s defence before McNeill found the yard she needed to fire over.

Collins responded for St Pat’s, splitting the uprights from a place ball from distance and bringing the sides level but even at that early stage St Killian’s had registered a number of wides.

Cara O’Boyle edged St Killian’s ahead despite coming in for some attention from Erin Kelly but another Collins score (free) and superb point from Orlaith Hull gave St Pat’s the lead for the first time in the game.

Neither side really played with much fluency in the half but St Killian’s were mostly on the front foot.  The St Pat’s defence were being well worked but were closing space for the Tower to exploit and limiting St Killian’s time on the ball.  Chances came and went for the Tower and in the last ten minutes of the half despite constant pressure, they managed just one point, that coming from captain Monique O’Boyle leaving the sides tied at 0-3 each as the referee blew the short whistle.

It was going to take something special in the second half for St Killian’s to claim their maiden ‘A’ senior camogie title and while they started with all the intensity and desire needed, St Pat’s found another gear.

Scores from Cara Donnelly and Caoimhe Kearney put the Maghera side into a two point lead for the first time but like St Killian’s in the first half, they were having their own problems with their radar in front of the posts.

St Killian’s Clodagh McPeake comes under pressure as she strikes the ball.

Carla Collins fired over for her third point of the final, first from play, splitting the posts with an instinctive effort that rivalled any scores that came before or after in the game.  Collins would follow that up with a brace of frees as St Pat’s opened a five point lead going into the final quarter.

In truth, St Pat’s could have been further ahead but struggled with the elements.  St Killian’s were living off scraps in attack for large periods of the second half and only managed their first score after half time in the 51st minute, a free from Lara Haughey.  They did carve open the St Pat’s defence with Ellie Jo Butler and Orlaith McAllister going close in search for a major but the St Pat’s defence were immense.

With five minutes to go and just four between the sides, St Pat’s all but sealed the victory with the only goal of the game.  St Killian’s looked to clear the danger from their full back line but Cara Donnelly gathered possession.  Breaking free from any tackles, she looked to split the uprights but her effort dropped into the back of the net.

The Maghera side continued to add to their score with Eavanna Martin (free), Collins (free) and substitute MT McCullagh adding gloss to the final score as St Pat’s progress to the All Ireland series.

Catherine McGourty of Ulster Schools Camogie presents the trophy to St Pat’s captain Eavanne Martin after her team’s win over St Killian’s in Sunday’s final in Ahoghill. Pic by Sean Paul McKillop.

TEAMS

St Killians: Louise Mulholland; Maeve McAllister, Catherine O’Boyle, Eimhear McMullan; Aisling Mulholland, Abi McNeill, Laura Black; Cara O’Boyle, Lara Haughey; Kady McNeill, Orlaith McAllister, Ellie Jo Butler; Clodagh McPeake, Monique O’Boyle, Orlaith McCurry

Subs: Niamh Graham for EJ Butler (42); Erin McCambridge for E McMullan (59)

Scorers: C O’Boyle 0-1; K McNeill 0-1; M O’Boyle 0-1; L Haughey 0-1 (f)

St Pat’s: Maria Hughes; Eimear Murray, Eimear Doherty, Abi McNeill; Ellen McCormick, Cait Conway, Erin Kelly; Orlaith Hull, Eavanne Martin; Blathnaid McLaughlin, Carla Collins, Cara Donnelly; Ellie Griffin, Caoimhe Chambers, Caoimhe Kearney

Subs: MT McCullagh for B McLaughlin (26)

Scorers: C Collins 0-6 (5f); C Donnelly 1-1; O Hull 0-1; C Kearney 0-1; E Martin 0-1 (f); MT McCullagh 0-1

St Pat’s Captain, Eavanne Martin with Creggan club mates, Kaitlyn McNally and twins Caoimhe and Alannah Hampsey

St Louis hold off late CPC rally

All Ireland Camogie qualifier  

St Louis Ballymena v CPC

St Louis Ballymena booked a place in the All Ireland B quarter final when they beat CPC in Tuesday’s qualifying round at Ulster University Coleraine.

In a game which neither side appeared to be too interested in winning in the early stages this built into a highly competitive contest with St Louis good start standing them in good stead in the end as they went through with five points to spare.

The Ballymena school started the stronger and were 0-5 to 0-0 ahead by the sixth minutes with the points coming from Ciara O’Boyle, Anna McKillop (2), Eimear Johnston and Katie Molloy.

CPC’s Elen McIntosh runs at the St Louis defence

It was ten minutes before CPC raised their first flag, a great score from a narrow angle on the left by Eimear McKinley. Two points from Shannagh Heggarty frees cut the gap to two and when Edbha McAlister got the first goal of the game the Ballycastle girls were in front. Heggarty added a third soon after to put her team two clear, but St Louis came back to level with points from Katie Molly and Ciara O’Boyle and a goal from O’Boyle and a point by Molloy had them 1-11 to 1-7 in front at half time.

St Louis got the first two points of the second half but CPC hit back with a point from Shannagh Heggarty and goal from substitute Mary McArthur. Play swung from one end to the other but when Erin Coulter got St Louis second goal they appeared to be safe, but Cross & Passion hit back again and with just five minutes left to play the gap was back to just three. Another Heggarty free left two between the sides but St Louis produced a strong finish to seal the win and now face the winners of this weekend’s Munster B final in the middle of next week.

St Louis full forward Maria Gately solos up from beyond midfield to send over a point in their win over CPC at UU Coleraine

Allianz Ireland South West Indoor Camogie 5-a-Sides

A successful month for camogie in Glenravel continued at the Allianz Ireland South West Antrim Cumann na nBunscol indoor 5 asides, held in the Antrim Forum as the girls from Mary Queen of Peace emerged victorious after an excellent day of camogie.

Despite the awful conditions for travel nine schools were in attendance namely, Millquarter, Moneynick x 2 teams, Creggan, St Mary’s Portglenone x 2 teams, Mount St Michael’s Randalstown, Mary Queen of Peace, St Brigid’s Ballymena, St Paul’s Ahoghill and St Joseph’s Crumlin. 

An extremely busy day of camogie lay ahead for all the girls involved with each team playing 10 games. At the conclusion of the group games four schools entered the Semi-finals, Mount St Michael’s, Mary Queen of Peace, St Mary’s and Creggan. Two tight semi-finals saw the Randalstown and Glenravel girls qualify for the final.

Mary Queen of Peace, Glenravel winners of the Allianz Ireland Indoor 5-a-Side Camogie at Antrim Forum on Thursday

A tough, tense final followed with Mary Queen of Peace crowned champions in a day that displayed everything that is good about Camogie in the South West.

Well done to Mary Queen of Peace and to all the teams involved.

A special mention is also reserved for young whistler Maeve O’Donnell, a past pupil of Millquarter and member of the Ahoghill club, who refereed superbly all day.

Runners Up, Mount St. Michael’s, Randalstown

St. Patrick’s advance on cold night in Ahoghill

Corn Uan Uladh semi-final

Corn Uan Uladh senior camogie semi-final

St Louis Ballymena 1-4 St Patrick’s Maghera 2-8

ST PATRICK’S Maghera are back in Ulster schools’ Corn Uan Uladh camogie final after avenging defeat by St Louis Ballymena in last year’s semi-final on Monday evening in Ahoghill.

Overall Maghera were probably the better balanced team with players capable of striking scores when under pressure. During the second half, after St Louis scored their goal to bring the game down to three points, they closed down the Ballymena midfield area not allowing them to run at their defence.

They also worked the ball better into an inside forward line that carried a little more threat than their Ballymena counter-parts.

However no-one could fault the effort from either team in very trying conditions in Ahoghill. A coating of snow lay on the pitch and with the temperature around or just under zero it very much resembled the conditions that Loughgiel excelled in for their All-Ireland club semi-final before Christmas. Both sets of players rose above those conditions to produce a rip-roaring performance.

Maghera’s two first half goals were crucial to the final result. Those were the difference between the teams at the break, 2-4 to 0-4, and meant that St Louis were always chasing a result.

Ballymena started brightest and camped out in their opponents half for the first six minutes. But they couldn’t register a score for all the pressure. Then Maghera captain, Eavanne Martin, drove a free from just inside her own half down to the left corner where Caoimhe Chambers took possession, rounded her marker and buried the sliotar in the net.

With the help of two fine points from Katie Molloy and another from Maria Gately, St Louis fought their way back to 1-1 to 0-3 after 12 minutes. However their failure to score over the next 15 minutes, left them with a mountain to climb.

Lavey’s Carla Collins pointed a long range free and Caoimhe Kearney added a third Maghera point before the second Maghera goal arrived in the 18th minute. Caoimhe Kearney’s cross from close to the corner flag was fed through by Ellie Griffin for Cara Donnelly to force into the net from close range.

The teams exchanged points before the break but the Derry school were now in charge and on their way to a final meeting with first time finalists St Killian’s.

Ballymena though gave themselves a lift at the start of the second half. They could have had a goal within 40 seconds when Aisling O’Donnell’s shot was deflected for a 45. Anna McKillop sent that 45 into the Maghera goal area where it broke and Eimear Johnstone found the net.

However the leaders showed composure to close the game down and Ballymena failed to score for the rest of the half while Maghera tagged on enough scores to pull themselves clear.

Sub Mary Therese McCullagh made it a four points’ gap in the 38th minute and four minutes later the sliotar was fed out for Carla Collins to post her side’s sixth point.

Collins added the final nails in Ballymena’s coffin with points in the 55th and 56th minutes to keep St Patrick’s, already the record title holders, on track for an 18th crown.

St Louis: E McGivern, S Shannon, A McKillen, L McGarry, E Coulter, D Dobbin, C Crawford, K Molloy 0-2, A O’Donnell, C Griffin, S Fyfe 0-1 capt, A McKillop, M Gately 0-1, C O’Boyle, E Johnstone 1-0

Subs: C Henderson for C O’Boyle (40)

St Patrick’s: M Hughes, E Murray, E Doherty, A McNeill, E McCormack, C Conway, E Kelly, O Hull, E Martin capt 0-1 pen, B McLaughlin, C Collins 0-5, 4 frees, C Donnelly 1-0, E Griffin, C Chambers 1-0, C Kearney 0-1

Subs: MT McCullagh 0-1 for B McLaughlin (30), B Brolly for E Kelly (55)

Referee: Paul O’Neill (Creggan)

Cushendall Ruairi Og awards dinner

The Minor and Junior Camogs had most reason to celebrate as Cushendall Ruairi Og held their first awards dinner for three years in the Golf Club on Saturday night. The girls in the club had a great year with the minors winning the A championship and resevere team winning the Junior Championship and the Bridie McMenamon Shield.

Saffron Gael went along to grab some photographs.

The Ruairi Og team who won the Minor Camogie Championship with team managment Conor McNeill and John Haughey at the Ruairi Og dinner in Cushendall Golf Club.
Sisters Cara & Catherine O Boyle, who shared the Minor Camogie Player of the year award, are seen here with Collette Birt.
The Ruairi Og team who won the Antrim Junior Championship and Bridie McMenamin Shield
Senior Camogie Player of the Year Clodagh McKillop receives her award from Brian McNaughton at the Ruairi Og dinner in Cushendall Golf Club
Dervla Cosgrove, who scored a hat-trick inside 84 second during Antrim’s All Ireland junior Camogie final win over Armagh receives a Special Merit Award from Ruairi Og vice chairperson Colette Birt
Outstanding Juvenile Hurler Callagh Mooney receives the Pat Connolly Memorial Cup from committee member Adrian McNaughton
Senior Hurler of the Year Eoghan Campbell receives the John McKillop Perpetual Cup from Senior team manager Brian Delargy
Aidan McNaughton received the Senior Feis Cup from team manager Brian Delargy and club chairman Ferus McAlister at the Ruairi Og dinner
Conor and Ciaran McCambridge, who along with Kevin McNaughton were manager of the Ruairi Og All Ireland Feile winning team, receive the Donal McNaughton Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to the Club, from club chairman Fergus McAlister at the Ruairi Og dinner
Clubman of the Year John McKillop was unable to attend the Ruairi Og dinner so Terence McNaughton called at John’s house to hand over the award.
Flower girls. Club secreatry Clodgh McAllister and Camogie secretary Eimear O’Hara with the flowers they received at the Ruairi Og dinner.