St Angela’s beat Loreto Wexford in A.I. semi-final

All Ireland Colleges A Camogie final preview

All Ireland Colleges A semi-final – Played on Feb 16th at De La Salle

St Angela’s Waterford 3-8 Loreto Wexford 2-9

St Angela’s booked their place in the All Ireland final when they held off a stern second half challenge from Loreto Wexford in the semi-final on February 16th at De La Salle, Waterford.

After winning their first Leinster title against camogie stronghold Loreto Kilkenny a few weeks earlier, the Wexford girls’ hopes were high that they could push on and make a national decider.

However, they came up against a St Angela’s side loaded with quality and struggled to keep in the contest in the first half.

Eleven of the Ursuline starters come for the Gailltír club, (fwho were beaten by Clonduff in Sunday’s All-Ireland Intermediate final in Corke Park), and their familiarity with each other was obvious throughout.

There was an impressive crispness about their play, a trait rarely seen at this level of the game. Ursuline were full value for their 2-7 to 2-3 interval lead and, in truth, it could have been more.

However, it was all change the longer the game went on. An athletic Loreto were spending more and more time in the hosts half, they ploughed forward in numbers, were winning all the 50/50 battles and chipping away at the advantage.

Ursuline’s best player, Annie Fitzgerald, had two points on the board before the tricky Rachel Bennett opened the Loreto account. Lara O’Brien had earlier been tested by Abby Flynn but she could do nothing to deny Fitzgerald a 6th minute major.

Still, with Lettie Whelan knocking over a couple of points and sending in the ball that Amy O’Leary scrambled over the line, Loreto took their first lead of the tie in the 13th minute (1-3 to 1-2).

Three points in a row were meagre rewards for a strong Ursuline ten minutes but Loreto nipped back up the field in the 27th minute Ciara Butler was on hand to turn another rebound from a Whelan shot into the net to make it 2-3 to 1-5.

The last few minutes of the half did not go well for the travelling side however as Aoife Fitzgerald got in for her team’s second goal and further points were added by the two Flynn’s, Abby and Alisha, as the home school went in four points ahead.

When Abby Flynn’s shot from distance found the rigging just two minutes into the second half, Loreto had a mountain to climb (3-7 to 2-3), and though a Whelan free halted the slide, Annie Fitzgerald responded for St Angela’s to leave seven between the schools with nineteen minutes left.

It appeared to be plain sailing at this stage for the Waterford team, but Loreto upped the pace and gained the upper hand all over the field.

The introduction of substitute Ciara Banville certainly helped the Loreto cause as she added extra bite in the attacking third and quickly got on the scoresheet.

Loreto had a great opportunity to close the game when they were awarded a penalty in the 43rd minute but Whelan’s dead-ball was comfortable enough for St Angela’s goalkeeper Leah O’Donoghue. Still Loreto remained positive and Whelan and Bennett pointed to narrow the gap to just four heading into the last ten minutes.

It always felt like Loreto would need another goal, yet they struggled to create a clear opening. Ciara O’Connor knocked over two frees, the second in added-time but the pressure was just about repelled by Ursuline as they advanced to the final.

ST ANGELA’S: Leah O’Donoghue; Sorcha Cantwell, Lucy Hogan, Emma Flynn; Shauna Farrell, Leah Sheridan, Hannah Flynn; Clodagh Carroll, Kate Lynch; Rachael Walsh, Jodie Tuohy, Abby Flynn (1-1); Annie Fitzgerald (1-5, 0-4 frees, capt.), Aoife Fitzgerald (1-1), Alisha Flynn (0-1). Subs. – Alannah O’Sullivan for Tuohy (46).

LORETO: Lara O’Shea (Glynn-Barntown); Caitlin Carroll (St Ibar’s), Anna Hennessy (St Martin’s, joint-capt., 0-2 frees), Mikaela Lanigan (St Ibar’s); Ciara Banville (Taghmon-Camross), Ciara O’Connor (St Martin’s, joint-capt.), Aoife O’Connor (St Martin’s); Ella O’Connor (St Martin’s), Ann Marie Bennett (St Anne’s); Amy O’Leary (St Martin’s, 1-0), Rachel Bennett (St Anne’s, 0-2), Sarah Harding Kenny (St Ibar’s); Ciara Butler (Glynn-Barntown, 1-0), Lettie Whelan (St Martin’s, 0-4, 3 frees), Amy Cousins (Kilmore). Subs. – Ciara Banville (St Ibar’s, 0-1) for O’Leary (38), Aoife Dempsey (St Martin’s) for Cousins (58).

REFEREE: Conor Quinlan (Galway).

St Angela’s Ursuline crowned Munster champions

All Ireland Colleges A Camogie final preview

As part of the build up to Saturday’s final we look back at St Angela’s Munster final win in January

St Angela’s 1-11 Scoil na Tríonóide Naofa Doon (Limerick) 0-5

St Angela’s Ursuline Waterford won the Munster Post Primary Schools Senior A Camogie championship title when they beat Scoil na Tríonóide Naofa Doon by 1-11 to 0-5 in the final in Cappamore.

The Waterford school dominated from the early stages and raced into a 0-5 to 0-0 lead thanks to the brilliance of Annie Fitzgerald and Abby Flynn.

The dynamic duo hit all of St Angela’s scores in the nine-point win and Doon struggled to contain them throughout the 60 minutes.

Doon did brilliantly to only be trailing by four points at the break with Leah Heffernan and Karen Cunningham frees.

However, St Angela’s were not to be denied and sealed a well-deserved win when Fitzgerald buried the game’s only goal five minutes from time.

Scorers: St Angela’s Ursuline Waterford: Annie  Fitzgerald 1-6 (2f), Abby Flynn 0-5.

Scoil na Tríonóide Naofa Doon: K Cunningham 0-3 (1f, 2 ‘45s), L Heffernan 0-2 (2fs).

St Angela’s Ursuline Waterford: L O’Donoghue; S Cantwell, L Hogan, E Flynn; S Farrell, L Sheridan, H Flynn; J Tuohy, K Lynch; C Carroll, C O’Sullivan, A Fitzgerald; R Walsh, Al Flynn, Ab Flynn.

Subs: S Maher for E Flynn (44), L McLoughlin for Al Flynn (59), H Ryan for Farrell (60).

Classy Cats too strong for Antrim

Littlewoods Ireland National League Division 2

Antrim 2-6 Kilkenny 5-17

WHEN Lucia McNaughton caught a high pass from Amy Boyle and burst forward to tap home a fifth minute goal, it looked as if Antrim were up for this top of the table clash in Division 2.

Steffi Fitzgerald immediately levelled with a fine point and then gave Kilkenny the lead. Chloe Drain finished a point at the other end and there was only a point between the teams after 20 minutes, Kilkenny 0-5, Antrim 1-1, when the floodgates opened.

The visitors fired home three goals between the 21st and 24th minutes, from Katie Nolan, Kelly Hamilton and Steffi Fitzgerald, and the game was well out of Antrim’s reach as Kilkenny pushed on to a 3-10 to 1-3 interval lead.

The Cats were slowed a little during the third quarter by the Saffrons’ defence, but they could not add a score until Chloe Drain fired over from 40 metres in the 45th minute. By that stage Kilkenny were 3-15 to 1-4 ahead.

Antrim added 1-2 in the last ten minutes, the goal from a long range free from Katie McAleese, but Kilkenny finished with two late goals, both also rather fortunate scores – one coming off the post and falling nicely for Michelle Kenneally to stab home and the other coming off Caitriona Graham’s stick and into the corner.

Kathryn Donnelly had to go off injured after ten minutes and that had an impact on the Antrim defence, but in truth the visitors’ stick-work and movement was superior to them and they can have little complaint about the overall result. But they should be disappointed by the gap that developed fairly quickly after the first Kilkenny goal.

Antrim’s next game is in a fortnight’s time against a Derry side that got their campaign off to a good start with a 3-13 to 1-8 win in Swatragh over Laois.

Antrim : C Graham, M Lynn, K Donnelly, C Patterson, B Orcchin, L McKenna, M Connolly, N Donnelly (0-1), A Boyle, L McNaughton (1-0), K McAleese (1-0 free), C Draine (0-2), N O’Neill (0-2, 0-1 free), S Cosgrove, A Donnelly.

Subs : C Boyle for K Donnelly (inj., 14), C Kearney for M Lynn (36), C Conlon for A Donnelly (36), F McVeigh (0-1) for S Cogrove (40), E Hynds for B Orchin (46), D Cosgrove for A Boyle (46), C Duffin for N O’Neill (50).

Kilkenny : C Foley, N Sweeney, C O’Shea, N carter, N Leahy, L Murphy, A Predergast, C Phelan, A Curtis, K Nolan (1-8, 0-3 frees), A Nolan (0-1), K Hamilton (1-0), S Fitzgerald (1-5), M Kinneally (1-1), E Murphy (0-1).

Subs : A O’Gorman for A Prendergash (40), E Coonan (1-1) for A Nolan (40), C Lyng for E Murphy (40), C Nollan for N Leahy (52), C Murphy for N Carter (53), A Carey for K Nolan (53).

Referee : Gavin Donaghy (Dublin)

Great start for Antrim minor camogs

All-Ireland Minor A championship

Offaly 1-8 Antrim 1-16

AFTER winning the last two All-Ireland minor B title, Antrim moved up to the minor A championship this year for the first time and made a seamless transition by picking up their opening points from the group with a doubls-scores win over Offaly in Kilcomrmac on Saturday.

The half back trio of Eimear McMullan, Megan McGarry and Aoife O’Mullan were outstanding turning attack after attack and keeping the pressure off the full-backs. Caoimhe McNaughton and Maeve Kelly bossed the middle third while up front the forward unit tackled, hooked and blocked and kept the home team under pressure for the full game.

Antrim captain Roisin McCormick and her Offaly counterpart Amy Byrne with the match referee before the game

The Saffrons started brightly with early points from Roisin McCormick and Maeve Kelly before Becky Bryant responded with a point.

Erin Traynor and Maura Downey tagged on further points for Antrim to stretch the lead to 0-6 to 0-1. Indeed there was a lot of unselfish play from the visitors with players laying good ball off for players better-placed.

Offaly then brought their corner forward Jane Lowry out to play as an extra midfielder and got a foothold in the game when a long free was finished to the net by Orla Maher but Antrim responded with a series of points from Maeve Kelly and just before the break a goal from team captain Roisin McCormick who broke clear and lifted the net.

And that put the visitors ahead by 1-10 to 1-4 at half-time

Antrim started the second period where they finished the first with another major this time off the stick of Maeve Kelly. Brigid Delargy and Eimear Matthews also got on the score-sheet but Eilis Kearns and Emma McAreavey had to be on their toes as Offaly came back strongly and Aine Graham pulled off a couple f saves before sub Shauna McDonnell and Roisin McCormick finished off the scoring for the visitors.

This was a great start for the young Saffrons and they now have a short break during which Cross and Passion play their All-Ireland schools’ final, before the next group game against Kilkenny on the 16th March in Antrim.

Antrim : Aine Graham, Anna McNeill, Eilis Kearns, Emma McAreavey, Eimear McMullan, Megan McGarry, Aoife O’Mullan, Maeve Kelly 1-5, 0-1 free, Caoimhe McNaughton, Maura Downey 0-1, Roisin McCormick capt. 1-6, 0-2 frees, Erin Traynor 0-1, Mary McKillen, Brigid Delargy 0-1, Ceara Carleton

Subs : Eimear Matthews 0-1 for C Carlton (15), Shauna McDonnell for M McKillen 0-1 (45), Maria Mooney for B Delargy (50), C Carlton for M Kelly (55)

Offaly : M Horan, A Kieran, B Whelehan, L Clancy, J Cleary, A Byrne capt., S Shanahan 0-1 f