CPC blown away by storm Loreto

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”

Aine Magill in action during the All Ireland Junior A Camogie Semi-Final game between Loreto, Kilkenny and Cross and Passion, Antrim at St James Park in Kilkenny Kilkenny Ireland Photo by: Mark Desmond © http://www.markdesmondphotography.com 2020

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.

Nuala Devlin in action during the All Ireland Junior A Camogie Semi-Final game between Loreto, Kilkenny and Cross and Passion, Antrim at St James Park in Kilkenny Kilkenny Ireland Photo by: Mark Desmond © http://www.markdesmondphotography.com 2020

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).

Aontroim Chumann na mBunscol launch newsletter

Not to be outdone by the clubs throughout the county who are currently putting in a massive effort to promote all our games in conjunction with the Gaelfast team, Aontroim Chumann na mBunscol have produced their inaugural Termly Newsletter.
Covering a full term of events (September-December) the first edition is packed full of photographs and contributions from each of the three regions in the county; South Antrim, South West Antrim and North Antrim.

Going forward the committee hope to have contributions from the pupils, school focuses as well as interviews with Antrim players past and present, finding out a little about their memories of primary school games.
To keep up to date with everything that’s happening throughout the county in relation to primary school games follow @AontroimCnamB on Twitter.

CPC girls face a tough task but they have the team to do the job

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.

Sarah McIlvenna (née O’Neill) RIP

The death has occurred of Sarah McIlvenna (née O’Neill)

On Sunday 14th May 1944 the first ever Geraldine’s Portglenone team took to the camogie pitch. They played a challenge game against neighbours Greenlough from across the Bann river in Derry and in goals that day was Sarah O’Neill. 

Sarah went on to represent Portglenone for many years although seldom confined to being between the posts.

She was a member of the Antrim teams that won the All-Ireland finals in 1946 and 1947 following on from the Saffrons’ initial success in the O’Duffy Cup in 1945.

She continued to represent Antrim and appeared in the forward line in the 1950, 1951 and 1952 all of which Antrim lost to Dublin.

The Antrim team in the pre-match parade before before winning the 1946 All Ireland final at the expense of Galway in Corrigan Park.

A few years ago, Sarah recalled her Antrim playing days mentioning how she cycled from her home in Lisnahuncheon to Ballymena to get the train to Belfast to training and the return journey was more than likely made in pitch darkness.

At club level Sarah also represented neighbouring club Ahoghill when there were not enough numbers to play in Portglenone and she won an Antrim championship title with her adopted club in 1949.

Once the Geraldine’s were up and running again Sarah was back with them and even after her playing days she remained a firm club and Antrim supporter, leaving on all the buses that departed Porglenone to go to finals in Croke Park and other venues.

Her daughters Brenda and Bronagh also played for the Geraldine’s and Bronagh was a member of the Antrim Under 16 team that lost narrowly to Galway in the 1981 All-Ireland final. 

Bean uasal atá anois ar shlí na fírinne. Ar dheis lámh Dé go raibh sí.

Seamus Callinan guest of honour at Cuchullains awards dinner

Tipperary All Star Seamus Callinan was the guest of honour as Dunloy Cuchullains celebrated another season of success at their annual dinner in Tullyglass Hotel on Saturday night. The big Drom & Inch clubman, who had played for his county earlier in the day at the opening of Davitt Park in Belfast, is a terrifc ambassador for his sport. After the game in Belfast he was the last man off the pitch after signing autographs and having photographs taken with fans of all agaes and he was equally accomdation for his hosts in the Tullyglass Hotel. After such a long day most people would have forgiven the 2019 Hurler of the Year for getting off-side after his official duties were over, but he again stayed to the bitter end, with not reguests refused. The big Tipperary man is a real superstar.