By Daragh Ó Conchúir
CROSS & PASSION BALLYCASTLE have made history by becoming the first Antrim school to reach the O’Neills All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Senior A Camogie Final as a result of a 4-8 to 2-3 victory over Presentation Thurles in Cushendun.
They will be joined by champions Loreto Kilkenny, who were far too strong for St Brigid’s Loughrea, advancing by 4-17 to 2-4 at the Conahy Shamrocks grounds.
C&P had home advantage but the visitors got off to a good start with a wind-assisted goal from a free. Charley McCarry and Róisín McCormack were showing well for Ballycastle though and the Ulster representatives led by 2-5 to 2-3 at half time.
They pulled away after the resumption, with their star operators making full use of the elements that were in their favour.
McCormack scored a brilliant goal after good work from Bronagh McKeague and grabbed her second soon after to put the issue beyond doubt. It wasn’t all positive for the victors though as McKeague was sent off in the dying minutes.
Loreto Kilkenny have a very strong recent record in this competition, having completed a famous four-in-a-row from 2010-2013. They are an hour away from a sixth title now and go into the decider in good form after making short work of St Brigid’s.
The victors led by 3-8 to 2-2 at the break but with a strong wind in their favour, the Saints would have been hoping to make some significant inroads into the deficit. It wasn’t to be however, as Loreto redoubled their efforts and cruised to a 19-point triumph.
The Senior B Final will be between St Angela’s Waterford and Coláiste Íosagáin Dublin, after the former beat Abbey CC Ferrbank in a Déise Derby by 2-8 t 2-4, while the girls from the capital accounted for Pres Wexford 3-2 to 1-7.
In the C championship, John The Baptist Hospital accounted for St Catherine’s Armagh 3-10 to 0-6, and Loreto Mullingar had too much firepower for Claregalway of Galway, prevailing by 4-12 to 0-10.
Coláiste Naomh Cormac booked their place in the Senior D decider by virtue of their 3-7 to 0-5 defeat of St Cuan’s Ballinasloe. They must wait until next week to find out who their opposition will be in the Final, with St Clare’s Ballyjamesduff facing the challenge of Loreto Fermoy on Saturday.