MICL qualified for the Purcell Cup semi-final in a hard fought encounter with 2008 champions Queen’s. A goal 3 minutes from time scored by full forward Carina Roseingrave put MICL ahead for the first time since the 10th minute of the match and they held out a valiant Queen’s onslaught for victory in a tense match
MICL started brightly and points from Carina Roseingrave and Sinead O’Loughlin gave them an early lead. After an exchange of points Queen’s then took command with crisp and clever play scoring 5 unanswered points. With half-time nearing manager Eamonn Cregan moved Paula Ralph to act as a third midfielder and it paid dividends instantly with 2 quick points, Paula scoring one and setting up Carina Roseingrave for the other. MICL went in at half-time fortunate to be down by just 2 points. Half-time Queen’s 0-07 MICL 0-05.
The second half proved to be a very evenly matched with one team gaining the initiative and the other team clawing their way back. The best score of the game came when Carina Roseingrave linked with Leah Weste and Sinead Quinlan to score on the run from 35 metres. Midway through the half Queen’s were still ahead by 2 points 0-10 to 0-08 and were pressing hard to get the score that would end the contest. The MICL defence again held them at bay and goalkeeper Teresa Burke produced some remarkable saves with captain Orna Neville clearing the danger. It was MICL that broke the impasse when on the 24th minute of the half Ashley Lovett was fouled when bearing down on goal. Carina Roseingrave put the free over the bar leaving just one-point between the teams, but now the initiative was with the girls from the Limerick college.
With 3 minutes left Carina Roseingrave found some space and delivered a long ball into the square. The sliotar may have been deflected or may have gone in directly through a forest of camans but the flight deceived the goalkeeper and the sliotar nestled in the net to give MICL the lead at the vital stage. In the last few minutes the MICL girls threw themselves at everything to prevent Queen’s from getting a chance to retake the lead and deservedly held on to the win. Final Score MICL 1-09 Queen’s Belfast 0-10.
Team: Teresa Burke, Niamh Curran, Orna Neville, Mairead Ryan, Leah Weste, Kate Lynch, Paula Ralph (0-2), Sineead Quinlan, Eimear Harrington, Ashley Lovett, Sinead O’Loughlin(0-1), Emma Dunne, Niamh Cooke, Carina Roseingrave (1-06), Magaret Howard. Sub. Triona Byrne