LORETO Secondary School, Kilkenny returned to the summit of schools camogie when blasting their way to a 6-19 to 1-4 defeat of Ursuline Convent, Thurles in the O’Neills All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools Senior A Final at Conahy Shamrocks on Saturday.
The win moves Loreto to outright third in the roll of honour with five titles, just ahead of fellow Marble City school Presentation Secondary School (four) and only behind St Raphael’s of Loughrea (eight) and Charleville’s St Mary’s (seven).
It was a welcome return to the top spot on the rostrum, having lost last year’s final to another Loughrea school St Brigid’s.
It was notable that despite Loreto garnering their four previous titles in consecutive seasons (2010-2013), many astute local commentators were labelling this unit, which has Cork star Julia White as a member of their management team, as among the most talented every produced by the famed academy.
They certainly lived up to the billing and had this settled by half time, when they led by 3-11 to 0-3. Ursuline did manage a goal in the second half from Eimear McGrath and the junior starlet was responsible for the entire Thurles tally.
Scarily for those planning to topple Loreto in the future however, they have their own prodigious talents. The Kelly twins, Hannah and Rachel are integral members of the team that will compete in the junior A final next week and indeed, were part of the panel that reached the senior decider 12 months ago.
Hannah was named player of the match and it was impossible to argue with that decision, as the James Stephens neophyte plundered 3-5. She had 1-4 in the opening period, the goal coming from a penalty after a foul on Aoife O’Carroll.
O’Carroll and Eimear Keoghan also found the net before the short whistle and in the second half, it was more of the same as Kelly converted another penalty, awarded after Sophie O’Dwyer was illegally halted, and billowed the Ursuline net from play. All her five points came in open play as well. O’Dwyer registered the sixth goal.
On Friday, Castleknock Community School became only the fourth Dublin school after pioneers St John of God, Artane (1983), Maryfield College, Drumcondra (1984) and St Dominic’s College, Cabra (2015) to annex a senior Post-Primary crown when they found another gear in the second half to overcome St Patrick’s, Keady by 2-7 to 0-4 in the Senior C Final.
It was just 0-4 to 0-2 at the interval but goals from Aoife Whelan and Deirdre McCarthy broke the resistance of a Keady unit who had the game’s outstanding performer in player of the match, Leah McGoldrick.
The D Final took place this evening and saw John the Baptist Community School come out on top against Scoil Mhuire, Trim 3-10 to 1-8. The first half was quite an open affair with the Hospital side leading by 3-5 to 1-7. Defences got on top after the resumption but John the Baptist fared best in that regard too to prevail.