Hurling and camogie

Cross and Passion, Ballycastle cruise to Ulster Schools' Corn Eimhear title

Corn Eimhear final: Cross and Passion, Ballycastle 6-13 Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s, Knock 1-5

IT WASN’T as easy as the final score-line suggests, but Cross and Passion, Ballycastle were comfortable enough in winning their fourth successive Ulster Schools’ Corn Eimhear title in Ballymena at the weekend.

First time finalists Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s Knock were with them, score for score, until the 22nd minute when Áine Magill picked up a loose ball, ran 15 metres around the right side of the Knock defence and found the net for the opening goal and a 1-5 to 0-4 lead.

That score probably summed up the game in that Knock defended well and policed well Ballycastle’s roving full-forward Riana McBride, but danger then surfaced from other players, while at the other end, only Beth Coulter carried any threat to the four-in-a-row aspirations.

Tara Monan was an immense presence in the centre of the Knock defence and after a quiet first half, Niamh Dempster worked hard at midfield, but their lack of variation up front meant that as the game wore on it tended to be played in their half of the field.

Ballycastle’s defence was up to the task with Erin Kyle and Enya McShane controlling the centre.

Apart from the older Magill and Riana McBride, Annie Lynn bursting forward, Fionnuala Kelly and Nuala Devlin all needed plenty of attention from their opponents.

Tara Monan burst through from centre-half back to take the opening point after just 35 seconds, and after 15 minutes it was 0-4 each, with Beth Coulter and Riana McBride both hitting the target three times, twice from frees.

Riana pointed a free from around 45 metres in the 17th minute and both defences held out until Aine Magill rounded the right flank for the opening goal.

Nuala Devlin scored a second goal a minute before the break, a brilliant solo effort, and the result was more or less secured when the holders turned over with a 2-6 to 0-4 lead.

Things got a lot worse for the challengers with three more goals between the 35th and 38th minutes, captain Annie Lynn starting the run, Riana McBride picking up a short poc out for their fourth and Bronach Magill forcing the sliotar over the line from close range for an unassailable 5-9 to 0-4 advantage.

To their credit Knock dug in for the last quarter and Annie Lynn’s final goal for the winners came deep into injury time and a few minutes after Beth Coulter had sweetly struck a free to the roof of the Ballycastle net for a consolation goal

Cross and Passion: B Ellis, E Graham, E Kyle, Bríd Magill, C Heggarty, E McShane, F McIntosh, A Lynn (2-1), O Laverty, F Kelly, A Magill (1-2), N Devlin (1-1), R McBride (1-9, 0-6 frees), Bronach Magill (1-0), Caoimhe McMullan.

Subs: N McCaughan for E Graham (46), C McQuillan for F McIntosh (51), C O’Hara for Bronach Magill (51), C Hamilton for F Kelly (55).

Knock: E McDermott, E Clancy, S Clancy, O Wilson, A Coulter, T Monan (0-2), A Kane, O McCarville, N Dempster, A Dorrian, B Coulter (1-3, 1-2 frees), C Gilmore, S Savage, M O’Keefe, K Taggart.

Subs: A Smyth for K Taggart, E McCarthy for S Savage, M McCrory for M O’Keefe (all 57).

Referee: Sean McGuigan (Slaughtneil)

Senior camogie: Fr Davies’ Cup

St Killian’s, Garron Tower 4-12 Loreto, Coleraine 2-7

Our Lady's and St Patrick's, Knock 5-11 Assumption, Ballinahinch 1-8

St Pius X, Magherafelt 3-12 St Patrick’s, Keady 2-2

THERE were three games on Friday to kick-start senior schools’ camogie – all three of them in the Fr Davies’ Cup.

Last year’s beaten finalists St Killian’s, Garron Tower hit a number of wides in the first half but still led by 2-4 to 1-3 at the break, Molly O’Hara and Eimear Quinn forcing a goal each right at the end of the half.

Caite McAtamney scored the Loreto goal after 10 minutes.

A Hannah McCann point on the re-start got St Killian’s off to a good start for the second half and they hit three more points before Caoimhe McNaughton’s fortunate goal from distance killed off the game and sub Aoife Delargy and Courtney McKeague exchanged late goals as Garron Tower picked up their second win.

In the same group, Our Lady’s and St Patrick’s, Knock had a comfortable enough victory in the Down derby with Assumption, Ballinahinch for whom senior county player Saoirse Sands was in excellent form.

So too was Knock’s Blanaid Savage who also played for Down in Croke Park last month.

Knock went into a 2-7 to 0-5 interval lead with goals from Aoibhinn Brentnall and Beth Coulter.

Although Savage hit back with a goal at the start of the second half, both Brentnall and Coulter hit a second goal each and Bredagh’s Anna McKee finished off a good day for Knock with a fifth goal four minutes from time.

In the other section, St Pius X, Magherafelt were easier than expected winners over St Patrick’s, Keady.

Newbridge’s Dervla Stinson got their opening goal and, despite a goal in reply from Corrina Doyle, the south Derry team led by 1-7 to 1-1 at the interval.

Second half goals from Claire Kearns and Rochelle Rocks sealed the points for St Pius X who play St Clare’s, Ballyjamesduff early next week. Keady will play Loreto, Cavan.

Knock: Aoibhinn Brentnall (2-3), Beth Coulter (2-1), Anna McKee (1-1), Aoife McCamphill (0-3), Aoife Bell (0-1), Cliodhna Kane ( 0-1), Blanaid Savage (0-1)

Assumption: Saoirse Sands (1-3), Mia Fitzsimons (0-2), Ciara Doran (0-2), Colleen McConnell (0-1)

St Killian’s: Molly O’Hara (1-2), Eimear Quinn (1-1), Caoimhe McNaughton (1-0), Aoife Delargy (1-0), Ellen Leech (0-3), Méabh Allen (0-2), Hannah McCann (0-2), Shauna McDonnell (0-1), Maeve Gillan (0-1)

Loreto Coleraine: Caite McAtamney (1-0), Courtney McKeague (1-0), Eimear Maguire (0-3), Claire White (0-2), Dearbhla McCrossan (0-2).

St Pius X: Claire Kearns (1-5), Dervla Stinson (1-1), Rochelle Rocks (1-1), Tieghan Rocks (0-2), Anna Cassidy (0-1)

Keady: Ellie McKee (1-1), Corrina Doyle (1-1).

THOMASTOWN, the team Slaughtneil defeated after extra time in last season’s All-Ireland semi-final, have set up a Leinster final meeting with Wexford champions St Martin’s after they beat new Dublin champions St Jude’s by 1-14 to 0-5 on Sunday.

They led by 0-7 to 0-2 at the break and were eight points ahead when Shelly Farrell scored their goal in the 53rd minute.

However there was a bit of a shock in the Munster senior club championship where Tipperary champions Burghess/Duharra, winners of the past two titles down south, fell to Inagh/Kilnamona of Clare by 1-12 to 0-12.

The key score was the Inagh goal right before half-time when they were trailing by five points.

Aoibhin Ryan was the goal-scorer and it left the minimum between them at the break, 0-8 to 1-4.

Inagh scored the first three points of the second half and were able to remain ahead to reach their second successive provincial final.

In the other semi-final Inniscarra from Cork beat Limerick champions Ahane 1-15 to 1-8 and they will play Inagh/Kilnamona in a fortnight’s time.

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