Ulster Colleges Camogie – Corn Uan Uladh semi-final
St Louis Ballymena 1-9 Cross & Passion Ballycastle 1-5
ST Louis Ballymena ended Cross & Passion’s three year rein as Ulster Colleges Senior Camogie champions at Ahoghill on Friday evening when the battled back from a goal behind ten minutes into the second half to outscore their North Antrim rivals by 1-5 to no score in the final ten minutes to book their place in the final.
The holders held a slender 0-5 to 0-4 half time lead after a hard fought first half, but the Kentullagh girls were back on terms early in the second half. CPC hit back with a brilliant individual goal from Nuala Devlin and it appeared they had taken a grip on the game, but incredibly they would not raise another flag for the remaining twenty minutes, plus almost nine of injury time as the St Louis defence took control. The Ballymena school was soon level when Caoimhe Molloy blasted a twenty metre free low to the CPC net and they went on to add four more without reply to seal the win.
In bitterly cold conditions both teams struggled to put together any flowing passages of play and it was down to the free takers to step up the mark in a hard hitting contest. Riana McBride hit four for CPC while Maura Downey was on the mark for St Louis to keep things tied at 4 apiece and it took a point from Annie Lynn, the only score from play in the half, to give the Ballycastle school a 0-5 to 0-4 lead at the break.
After Caitlin Crawford brought St Louis level early in the second half Nuala Devlin’s goal gave CPC back the lead, and with the scores hard to come by they must have felt they were in a strong position. However they got no time to enjoy their advantage as less than two minutes later Caoimhe Molloy fired her free to the net. The momentum had now swung in St Louis favour and with midfielder Bronagh Laverty and centre forward Emma Louise McAreavey surging forward at every opportunity they challengers got on top. Caoimhe Molloy added two points to give them a cushion before Downey and Crawford added the insurance scores to see their team through to their third final in a row where they will meet the winners of next week’s second semi-final between St Pat’s Maghera and St Mary’s Magherafelt.
Cross and Passion : Nuala Devlin (1-0), Riana McBride (0-4 frees), Annie Lynn (0-1)
St Louis : Caoimhe Molloy (1-2 frees), Maura Downey (0-5, 0-4 frees), Caitlin Crawford (0-2)
Referee: Owen Elliott
St Louis – Orlagh Convery, Maeve Mulholland, Brigid Delargy, Laura McAleese, Katie Molloy, Eimear McMullan, Sarah McIlhatton, Bronagh Laverty, Aoibhinn McCluskey, Caitlin Crawford, Emma-Louise McAreavey, Caoimhe Molloy, Aimee Traynor, Maura Downey, Kyra Doherty
Subs – Mary McKillen for Aoibhinn McCloskey
CPC – Becky Ellis, Orlagh Laverty, Megan McGarry, Bríd Magill, Fiounnuala Toner, Katie Laverty, Enya McShane, Aine Magill, Ciara Laverty, Nuala Devlin, Caitlin Heggarty, Annie Lynn, Rianna McBride, Cassie McArthur, Clodagh O’Kane.
Subs – Aiobhann Donnelly for Becky Ellis; Faye McIntosh for Clodagh O’Kane; Bronagh Magill for Fionnuala Toner.
Referee – Owen Elliott (All Saints)