Former Allstar and Antrim hurler Paul McKillen was the mastermind behind Cross and Passion’s victory in the Junior A final as the Ballycastle outfit defeated St Brigid’s Loughrea of Galway 2-8 to 2-5.
McKillen’s daughter Samantha played a leading role for the Antrim side, who led 1-4 to 0-3 at half-time.
Louise McKeown bagged 1-3 for the winners, who were rocked back on their heels by a Rachel Monahan double in the second half.
But in the dying minutes, Orla O’Hara grabbed the vital goal to ensure victory for Cross and Passion in Blanchardstown.
Meanwhile, St Mary’s from Nenagh in Tipperary captured the Junior B title in Freshford with a comfortable 5-6 to 0-4 victory against outclassed Loreto of Wexford.
Gemma Grace helped herself to 2-3 and Amy Kennedy scored 2-2 for the winners, whose fifth goal was supplied by Siobhßn Peters.
Lisa Bolger was the pick of the bunch for outclassed Loreto, who were 2-2 to 0-3 in arrears at half-time but still battled gamely to the very end.
In the Junior C decider, which was also played at the home of St. Peregrines in Blanchardstown, St Mary’s of New Ross were too strong for Antrim’s St MacNissi’s from Garron Tower.
St Mary’s ran out 3-4 to 2-2 winners after the sides were deadlocked at 1-1 apiece at the break.
Patrice Lawlor (St Mary’s) and Ashling Ward traded first half goals before Eimear Murphy bagged a crucial goal for the Wexford girls midway through the second half.
Deirdre Meaney and Debbie O’Mahoney added points to push St Mary’s into the comfort zone but there was a kick in St MacNissi’s and Ward scored her second goal with nine minutes remaining.
However, O’Mahoney put the seal on a famous victory for St Mary’s with the final goal of the game right at the death after taking a pass from sidekick Meaney.
In the Gala Munster senior championship, Limerick defeated Clare 0-10 to 0-6 in last Saturday’s preliminary round to set up a meeting with reigning provincial champions Cork in next Sunday’s semi-final.
Niamh Mulcahy scored 0-4 for Limerick, Eileen O’Brien chipped in with 0-3 and Deirdre Fitzpatrick scored two crucial points from play for the Shannonsiders, who led 0-8 to 0-5 at half-time.
Limerick were more economical with the chances that came their way and in a low-scoring second half, the physically-stronger Clare forwards were crowded out by a hard-working defence.
Clare managed just two points from play during the entire game, a testament to Limerick’s defensive abilities, as Claire Commane whipped over four frees for the Banner County.
Clare will now regroup for the National League Division 2 final clash with Derry in three weeks time and before plotting an assault on the All-Ireland junior championship.
Meanwhile in the first round of the U16 B All Ireland Championship there were wins for Armagh, Derry, Offaly and Down.
Colleges All-Irl. Finals:
Junior A Final:
Cross and Passion, Ballycastle Antrim 2-8, L Mc Keown 1-3, O ‘Hara 1-0,A Mc Fadden 0-3, S Mc Killen 0-1, R Walsh 0-1’45
St.Brigid’s Loughrea 2-5, R Monahan 2-1,A Donoghue, T Murray, C Ryan, K Kennedy 0-1 each.
St.Mary’s Nenagh 5-6,A Kennedy 2-3, G Grace, 2-2, S Peters 1-0, E Bergin 0-1,
Loreto, Wexford 0-4, L Bolger 0-4, (0-1’45)
St.Mary’s New Ross 3-4, D O’Mahony 1-0, P Lawlor, E Murphy 1-0 each,D Meaney 0-4 (0-1’45, 0-1f)
St.Mac Nissi’s Garron Tower, Antrim 2-2, A Ward 2-0, C Campbell 0- 2f.
Munster sen. c’ship, 1st. rd.
Limerick 0-10, N Mulcahy 0-4f, EO’Brien 0-3, D Fitzpatrick 0-2’45. M Casey 0-1f.
Clare 0-6, C Commane 0-4f,S O’Loughlin, F Lafferty 0-1 each.
U16 B c’ship 1st rd:
Armagh 3-3, N Bradley, O Curry 1-1 each, E Murphy 1-0, F Kelly 0-1.
Meath 1-2, K King 1-1, A Fagan 0-1.
Derry 1-7,G Mc Nicholl 1-3, T Mc Elroy 0-2, M Glasgow, K Kilt 0-1 each.
Carlow 1-0, C Quirke 1-0.
Offaly 2-9,C Nevin 2-2, O Murray 0-3,(0-2’45, 0-1f) M Nevin, L Dooley, D Flynn, C Nevin 0-1 each.
Down 2-6, D Toner 1-1, S Johnson 1-0, A McCarthy, L Hughes 0-2 each, C Hynes 0-1.
Waterford 2-5. R Whelan 1-1, M Tobin 1-1 (0-1f), U Jackman, S Denton, S Kiernan 0-1 each.