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ROUND-UP: Loreto thwart Niland heroics

Sat 22nd Feb


Compiled by Daragh Ó Conchúir
Loreto Kilkenny claimed the Tesco All-Ireland Senior Post Primary Schools Camogie title for the third time in four seasons and seventh in total when edging out Presentation Athenry by 1-15 to 2-10 in an exhibition in Banagher.
The Noresiders had to withstand a torrid second half, when they saw an 11-point lead whittled away but having been reeled in by their game opponents, they responded to being level with two late points, from a Rachel Kelly penalty and sub Claire Doheny, to ensure that Ciara O’Keeffe would receive the Corn Sceilge.
Emma Minogue was a leading light of the Loreto team that lost the Junior A decider by a point last year and made little of the step up when excelling to be named Player of the Match. The James Stephens tyro was a constant threat, scoring two points and playing a part in a number of other scores.
The Kelly twins, Rachel and Hannah were magnificent once more for the Leinster representatives, the latter striking for a goal after two minutes.
The sensational Niamh Niland had four points for Pres in the first half, half of them from play, but Loreto were dominant everywhere else, with Miriam Brennan and Tiffanie Fitzgerald in charge defensively, while the Kellys and Manogue contributing eight points between them to make it 1-10 to 0-4 at the break.
Emily Hughes and Rachel Kelly stretched the lead early in the second half but a Niland goal, followed by five points from the Clarinbridge talent made this a contest. A 58th minute goal by Sabina Rabbitte created a febrile atmosphere and Niland brought the teams level as she took her own tally to a goal and 10 points.
But it all proved for nought as Loreto responded to the gut check in the best possible fashion.
On Saturday, St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon became just the second Ulster school team to annex the All-Ireland C title, by virtue of a 1-10 to 0-7 victory over St Dominic’s Cabra at Kingspan Breffni Park.
The Academy had to withstand a rally from their Dublin rivals in the second half to emulate 2009 champions St Colm’s High School, Draperstown but some staunch defensive play allied to the foundation established in the opening period saw them join the Derry crew on the roll of honour.
They got off to a dream start, putting points from Fancine Farley and Reagan Fay (two frees) on the board before Lara Devlin found the net at the end of the opening quarter.
St Dominic’s settled into proceedings from there though and five points from the magnificent Jody Couch, two of which came from play kept them in touch, trailing 1-6 to 0-5 at the interval.
Couch added a quick brace after the resumption to halve the deficit but St Patrick’s responded in the style of champions, rattling off four points on the spin form Sian Fitzgerald, Devlin, Fay and Farley to cement a famous victory.
There was success for Cork over Kilkenny earlier in the day when Coláiste an Chroí Naofa Carrignavar defeated Scoil Mhuire from Johnstown by 1-12 to 2-3 in an enjoyable contest at the University of Limerick.
Last year’s All-Ireland Minor-winning captain with the Rebels, Emma Murphy led the way with 10 points, six of which came from play. Little wonder the Glen Rovers neophyte has already gotten a taste of National League Division 1 action this year.
Carrignavar had the better of proceedings with the wind in the first half, Murphy hitting seven points in that period. They were stunned by an Aoife Ryan goal in garbage time at the end of the opening period however and only led by 0-8 to 1-3 at the half-time.
The Leesiders were backboned by a superb defensive effort after the resumption however, with Lisa O’Riordan and Cliona Martin particularly effective and midfielder Jennifer Whelan also hugely industrious. Scoil Mhuire were unable to make the impact they would have imagined with the backing of the elements and were not helped by the sending off of a player with 12 minutes. By the time Mikaela Ryan goaled with a brilliant overhead strike on the hour, the verdict was assured.
O’Riordan and Murphy had points on the board when substitute Danielle Foley made no mistake from close range and that goal mean there was no way back for the Johnstown contingent.

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