Sacred Heart, Newry camogs can deny St Colm's, Draperstown
Senior Medallion Shield Camogie semi-final: Tuesday December 18 at 1pm in Derrytresk: St Colm's, Draperstown v Sacred Heart, Newry
TEN of the players that will start this senior Medallion Shield semi-final for St Colm's, Draperstown in Derrytresk today have already collected Ulster medals with the school this term.
They won the Junior Shield derby final with Gleann na Ró at the start of November and this game will keep them ticking over as they prepare for an All-Ireland semi-final in February.
That is not to say that they don't have a chance of completing the Junior / Senior double of course but today's semi-final will be a huge test for them.
St Colm's draw their players from the local Ballinascreen club, who also supply players to St Patrick's, Maghera and St Mary's, Magherafelt.
The only non-Ballinascreen player is captain and half-back Méabh Glass a member of the Slaughtneil club.
Goalie Mary Jo McEldowney is an example of a poacher turned game-keeper as she was corner forward for the Junior success and right through spine of the team junior players are to be found – Shannon Scullion, Cliodhna Hickson, Aoife Doyle and Sara Kelly – all of them with county under-age experience.
St Colm's are unbeaten through their group, but the other group did look stronger and St Patrick's Academy are already into the final from there.
Sacred Heart lost by a point to the Academy in their final group game, but impressed in all the other games.
On paper they look very strong with three Schools' All-stars although one of them, 2017/8 recipient and Down senior player Clara Cowan, didn't play in the group stages as she picked up an injury while playing in the Ulster club championship with Clonduff.
The arrival of Aislinn McMahon and Faye Fitzpatrick into the school for Sixth Form studies has boosted the camogie stock and both claimed All-stars recently and played on the winning Ulster inter-provincial team.
Others to impress in the absence of Cowan have been Hannah Duffy, Caoimhinn O'Neill, Ella Gribben, Grace McShane and Niamh Burns.
There is a chance that Cowan will play some part in the game and that would really boost the team's chances.
On balance though Sacred Heart look strong enough without the Clonduff player and should clear this hurdle.
St Colm's: MJ McEldowney, C Rafferty, S Scullion, E Kelly, R McCullagh, C Hickson, M Glass capt., Aoife Doyle, S Kelly, S McGuigan, L McBride, C Kelly, S Lagan, Aine Doyle, L Scullion
Subs: C Madden, E Gray, N Hamill, C Donnelly, M McElhinney, E Connolly, C McGuigan, O O'Neill, M O'Neill, A McDaid, C Heaney, KE Conway, C Scullion
Sacred Heart: E Reilly, S Barr, H Duffy, A Woods, C O'Neill, R McConville, E Gribben, A McMahon, G McShane, G Cunningham, F Fitzpatrick, N Burns, M Brown, C Armstrong, M Smyth
Subs: A O'Hanlon, N Fitzgerald, A Mulholland, O McCusker, A Barrett, S McAvoy, E Mullen, C Cowan
Other camogie game this week
Senior Development final: Thursday 7pm in Kingspan Breffni Park: Breffni College v Bailieborough Community School