Ulster Senior final
Corn Uan Uladh final :
Cross & Passion College Ballycastle 3-9 St Mary’s Magherafelt 2-7
Cross & Passion Ballycastle bridged a 44 year gap to collect only their third Ulster Colleges’ Senior A camogie title in a tremendous camogie spectacle in Ballycastle on Saturday.
St Mary’s – with many of last year’s All-Ireland medallists on show – failed to get to grips with the home side in the first half and the challengers turned over 2-8 to a single Roisin O’Boyle point at the break despite the heroics of Aileen McCusker at the back.
Louise McKeown fired in an early goal, while Rebecca Walsh was able to gather a clearance from her own mis-hit free and find the net after 22 minutes.
Crucially Cross & Passion picked off points throughout the half with the wind at their backs, scores that kept the momentum with them.
At the start of the second half, points from Keelin Bradley and Claire Laverty were followed by a rather fortuitous 37th minute goal from Sinead McLaughlin and it looked like St Mary’s were going to get back into contention.
However Ballycastle hit back almost immediately with a goal from the excellent Emma McMullan, who had moved to midfield releasing Emma Connor to a sweeper role.
The Magherafelt score was cancelled and Ballycastle regained their composure all over the pitch. The three Connolly sisters and Emma Connor excelled at the back, soaking up plenty of pressure, while midfield and Louise McKeown up front chased everything.
As the game entered injury-time, Sinead McLaughlin batted home a second Magherafelt goal narrowing the gap to 3-8 to 2-7, but again Ballycastle found the reserves to hit back and Louise McKeown’ point could easily have hit the net.
Five more minutes of added time couldn’t didn’t deliver any more scores and couldn’t deny Ballycastle a famous victory.
Within the space of five days 10 of the team completed the Ulster Junior / Senior double in an impressive manner and both teams will take on Munster champions St Mary’s Charleville in the All-Ireland series.
Cross & Passion College : Louise Watt, Ciara McCarry, Aine Connolly, Laura Connolly, Catherine McAuley, Emma Connolly (capt), Rebecca Mooney, Emma Connor 0-2, Rebecca Walsh 1-3, 0-2 frees, Emma McMullan 1-0, Kerrie Smyth, Samantha McKillen 0-2, Grainne McShane, Louise McKeown 1-1, Aisling McFadden 0-1.
Subs : Aoife Laverty for G McShane.
St Mary’s Magherafelt : Eimear Murphy, Shauneen Donaghy, Aileen McCusker, Danielle McCrystal, Eleanor Mallon, Christine McKenna, Ailin Quinn, Cathy Carey, Claire Laverty 0-3 frees, Roisin O’Boyle 0-1, Keelin Bradley 0-2, Eimear McKenna, Rachael Kelly, Sinead McLaughlin 2-1, Leanne McCrystal.
Referee : Colm Cunning (Dunloy)
Senior Medallion Shield final :
St MacNissi’s Garron Tower 1-3 St Colm’s Draperstown 0-4
St MacNissi’s made it third time lucky with a narrow but deserved 2 point victory over St Colm’s Draperstown in the Senior Medallion Shield final at windy Ballycastle on Saturday.
St Colm’s had first use of the breeze and Mary Jo McCullagh popped over the first of her three first half points inside 30 seconds.
The Tower settled though and closed them out for most of the first half with Maria McManus, Ciara Campbell and Aoife Connolly outstanding in their defence.
An Alex McLaughlin free on 22 minutes eased the pressure on the back line at 0-3 to 0-1, but Michaela McBride pushed forward for a point to leave three points the margin at the break.
Although facing the stiff breeze, Draperstown carried the game to Garron Tower in the second period, despite suffering the setback in the 36th minute of a brilliant ground strike from the excellent Maeve Connolly hitting the roof of their net to tie the scores.
St Colm’s were always dangerous on the break, but the strength of the breeze, meant that the momentum was with Garron Tower and eventually points from Mairi Mulvenna and Bronagh Heggarty secured the Shield for the first time.
It was a disappointing result for Draperstown in their first final, but Joni McEldowney, Michaela McBride, Fiona Breen and Mary Jo up front almost pulled it off for them.
St MacNissi’s had big performances from a number of players and now look forward to hosting Lismore from Waterford in the All-Ireland series on February 23rd.
St MacNissi’s Garron Tower : Noleen Cosgrove, Fionnuala McDonnell, Ciara Campbell, Anne Burke, Aoife Connolly, Maria McManus, Colleen Patterson, Br¾nagh Heggarty 0-1, Alex McLaughlin 0-1 free, Siobhßn McAlister, Maeve Connolly 1-0, Tessa McDonnell, Mairi Mulvenna 0-1, Ashling Ward, Terri-Marie McNaughton capt.
Subs : Emma McCambridge for F McDonnell, Bernadette Convery, Ruth Haughey, Danielle Scally, CßitrÝona McKay, Sarah Lynas.
St Colm’s Draperstown : Kathyrn McNamee, Kelly Marie Hegarty, Joni McEldowney, Gemma Conway, Grace Kelly, Michaela McBride 0-1, Charlene Scullion, Fiona Breen, Roisin Conway, Mary Jo McCullagh 0-3, 0-2 free, Cathy Convery, Teresa Bradley, Michelle McIvor, Patricia McNamee, Bronagh McGillian.
Subs : Mary McCullagh for M McIvor, Louise Murphy for P McNamee.
Referee : Sean Brogan (Dunloy)
Photos : St MacNissi’s Garron Tower (white with Purple and Gold stripes),
Cross & Passion : Orange and black