Camogie: Loreto on target for famous double but Passion may prove their downfall
19 February 2017
Down ease to victory on their way to Ulster U21 final.
By Daragh Ó Conchúir
Loreto Kilkenny’s Junior A camogie team followed the example set by their Senior counterparts seven days earlier when beating Presentation Athenry in their O’Neills All-Ireland Post-Primary semi-final.
Indeed the younger representatives’ feat may have been even better, as they had to go into enemy territory and emerged from Gort with a comprehensively favourable result, 5-16 to 3-5.
It was no surprise that Rachel and Hannah Kelly played such major roles in the stunning victory, given that they are members of the senior squad and indeed played in last year’s All-Ireland Senior A final loss to St Brigid’s Loughrea.
The James Stephens duo were also stars of last year’s All-Ireland success at Junior level and they tormented the Pres defence, scoring 3-10 between them (2-4 for Rachel and 1-6 for Hannah). Maddy Lawson and Elizabeth Keher also weighed in with goals.
Remarkably, the semi-final pairings were identical to those at Senior A level but Cross & Passion prevented a repeat in the decider with a resounding victory over their own over Thurles’s Ursuline Convent, at Ballycastle.
Eimear Heffernan grabbed a brace of goals for the Munster champions and Eimear McGrath slotted four points but with the Antrim crowd roaring them on, C&P demonstrated that they had just too much artillery for them.
Róisín McCormack and Charley McCarry were the leading scorers for the Seniors last week and they led by example this time too, raising green flags along with Anna Connolly and Maeve Kelly en route to a 5-12 to 2-5 win.
This sets up a repeat of last year’s gripping semi-final that Loreto just squeezed by and if the Noresiders are to win a three-in-a-row and a sensational seventh title in eight season, they will need to be at their very best.
The Junior B final will be between Banagher College and St Angela’s Waterford. Chloe Reilly and Cathy Moran propelled Banagher to a 2-7 to 0-6 defeat of Claregalways Community College, who had Sinead Donovan providing five points. St Angela’s came out on top in a pulsating affair against Loreto Beaufort 4-12 to 4-6.
Abbey Community College booked their place in the Junior C decider last week and they will be joined by Borrisokane Community College, who were too strong for St Pius College Magherafelt. Aoibheann O’Meara had a field day, helping herself to four goals and adding a point for good measure. Laura Shinners was also a vital contributor to the 5-9 to 0-6 success, adding a goal and five points of her own.
The D final will be contested by Scoil Mhuire Trim and John The Baptist Community School. Rian Learns and Carrie Doyle shook the net as the Meath side beat Coláiste Cois Life 2-10 to 2-2, while John The Baptist overcame Loreto Cavan 8-11 to 2-3.