Hurling and camogie

Cross and Passion, Ballycastle back in All-Ireland camogie final

Cross and Passion forward Aine Magill on the attack in the 2019 All-Ireland semi-final. Picture by Veronica McGreevey

There will be a new name on Corn Sceilge the All-Ireland Schools’ Senior camogie Cup after semi-final victories for St Angela’s, Waterford and last year’s beaten finalists Cross and Passion, Ballycastle on Saturday.

Cross and Passion had four points to spare against St Brigid’s, Loughrea in Kilnadeema and just down the road in Ballinasloe, St Pius X, Magherafelt had the same margin of victory in defeating the other Loughrea school St Raphael’s in the C semi-final. St Pius X will now play Cashel Community School in the final.

Meanwhile St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon were also in Galway and they completed an Ulster treble by beating Calasanctus College, Oranmore on a 1-10 to 0-3 scoreline. Their All-Ireland final opponents will be Coláiste Mhuire from Ennis.

The All-Ireland senior finals are scheduled for March 2 with venues to be confirmed closer to the date.

Ulster are at home for the All-Ireland Junior semi-finals a week earlier.

All-Ireland Schools’ Senior A semi-final

St Brigid's, Loughrea 1-9 Cross and Passion, Ballycastle 2-10

BALLYCASTLE’S Cross and Passion Senior camogie team are back in the All-Ireland final after holding off a determined second half fight back from St Brigid’s, Loughrea in Kilnadeema on Saturday.

The three-in-a-row Ulster champions played into the elements during the first half and emerged at the break with a 2-5 to 0-5 lead. But Loughrea, All-Ireland winners three seasons ago, came back strongly to narrow the gap to three points early in the second half and then down to just two points with ten minutes on the clock.

But CPC were able to survive by drawing on their experience from last season when they came within a couple of points of a national title. Maeve Kelly and Roisin McCormick led with their work-rate and Roisin’s score-taking under pressure, while Ruairí Óg’s Aoife McClafferty was brilliant at the back and Áine Magill and Anna Connolly repeatedly took the pressure off defence with their strong running.

Roisin McCormick opened the scoring with a free in the 4th minute, but then had to step into goals for a penalty. Between them Shauna McKillop and McCormick stopped Sarah Healy’s effort but Katie Gilchrist followed up to grab a point.

Healy then shot three frees in succession before a 10th minute goal from Roisin McCormick tied the teams on 1-1 to 0-4. Áine Magill popped over two excellent points before Aoife Toner snapped up a half-chance with a ground pull to the Loughrea net in the 22nd minute.

Points from Anna Connolly and Ciara Laverty left the Ulster champions with a healthy two-goal lead at the break.

That was cut on the re-start with two frees from Healy and a point from Niamh McInerney on the wing as CPC failed to raise a flag during the third quarter. Eventually Riana McBride got them going again after good interplay from Áine Magill and Ciara Laverty and within a mi-nute Roisin McCormick tapped over another.

With ten minutes to go a goal from Katie Gilchrist left just two points between the sides but Ballycastle recovered with McCormick delivering an inspirational score on the run from 45 metres and then a second from a free.

Again Healy closed the gap with a free, but McCormick replied with another free, an insurance point that seemed to frustrate their opponents with full back Joanne Daly picking up a straight red card for an off the ball incident with sub Charley McCarry.

There will now be a new name on the All-Ireland trophy with St Angela’s of Waterford surprising Loreto Wexford 3-9 to 2-8 in the other semi-final in Waterford. That final is scheduled to take place on March 2nd.

Cross and Passion: S McKillop, A McClafferty, M McGarry, E McShane, A O’Mullan, M O’Neill, K Laverty, M Kelly, A Lynn, A Magill (0-2), C Laverty (0-1), R McCormick capt (1-5, 0-4 frees), A Connolly (0-1), A Toner (1-0), C Laverty (0-1), R McBride (0-1)

Subs: C McCarry for A Toner

St Brigid’s: E Kelly, C Gilligan, J Daly, R Starr, S Broderick, K Manning, C Starr, A Bren-nan, A Earls, S Healy (0-7 frees), T Canning, C Farragher, N McInerney (0-1), K Gilchrist (1-1), C Blake

All-Ireland Schools’ Senior C semi-final

St Raphael's, Loughrea 1-6 St Pius X, Magherafelt 2-7

ST PIUS X Magherafelt built on their first victory in Ulster Schools’ Fr Davies’ Cup by tak-ing out St Raphael’s, Loughrea in Duggan Park Ballinasloe on Saturday afternoon.

The home side had an enviable record in A grade camogie with eight successive All-Ireland titles – but that was more than a quarter of a century ago and the Magherafelt girls reproduced their Ulster championship form to take control from the start.

Bellaghy club player Anna Cassidy was immense in midfield and scored four of the first half points that gave her side a 0-5 to 0-3 interval lead; Erin Doherty picked off the other point with Erin O’Neill cancelling out Loughrea’s dangerous centre-forward Ciara Kyne who failed to make the score-board after a strong Connacht campaign.

Cliodhna McNabb was secure in goals for St Pius X while Nicole Nugent and Clare McCartney were solid in defence and the aggressive tackling and bursts forward of Erin Doherty, Dervla Stinson and Aoife McGlone that put pressure on Loughrea forcing mistakes.

Dervla Stinson fired in a goal for St Pius X at the start of the second half to open a 1-5 to 0-5 lead and Stinson’s second goal midway through the half gave the visitors a 2-6 to 0-5 lead.

However for the final ten minutes the Ulster side was soaking up pressure from St Raphael’s who got a lifeline when Sheena Warde’s point was followed by a goal from Aisling Headd six minutes from time.

There was now just one score in the game, 1-6 to 2-6, but Anna Cassidy steadied nerves with a point from a free and the final whistle brought relief to the large travelling support who will now prepare for the final against Cashel Community School who defeated Our Lady of Lourdes New Ross by 5-12 to 0-10 in their semi-final in Cashel

St Pius X: C Martin, S McGrath, C McCartney capt., K Letters, G Mulholland, N Nugent, E O’Neill, A Cassidy (0-5), C Traynor, D Stinson (2-0), A McGlone, E Doherty (0-1), C Kearns, A Conlon (0-1), R Rocks

Sub: E McToal for C Kearns (26)

St Raphael’s: Y Lyons, S Maher, G McCarthy, C Connor, C Cahalan capt., P Finnerty (0-1), C Lawless, T Lawless (0-3), S Dempsey, A Head (1-0), C Kyne, S Warde (0-1), H Shalvey, N Spellman, L Flannery

All-Ireland Schools’ Senior D semi-final

Calasanctus, Oranmore 0-3 St Patrick's Academy, Dungannon 1-10

ST PATRICK’S Academy, Dungannon are through to their first ever All Ireland camogie final after battling out a richly deserved 10 points victory on Saturday.

The key moment came eight minutes into the second half with Eglish's Francine Farley fired home the only goal of the game to put the Academy into a 1-4 to 0-3 lead. And they pushed on.

The opening half was cagey enough, the Academy looking a little nervous, but their defence in good shape to cope with anything Calasanctus threw at them.

Shannon Keady, daughter of former Allstar hurler Tony who died in 2017, opened the scoring from a long range free, but the excellent Reagan Fay responded with two points in reply.

Then came a 19th minute penalty for the Tyrone school. Reagan Fay took it but her shot blazed over the bar. Nevertheless it was enough to give the Academy a lead of 0-3 to 0-2 at the change of ends.

Amy Connolly pointed a free for Oranmore on the re-start and Reagan Fay responded with a 45 before the goal.

After it the home side's challenge was broken. They failed to add to their total and only Keady and Sarah Duffy presented any difficulty for the Academy who had serious performances from Reagan Fay, Sinead McGeary, Sian Fitzgerald and Áine McNulty with Emma Donnelly very confident in goals.

Young Lara Quinn posted three fine points in the last quarter with Reagan Fay capping a fine individual performance with a late free to bring her total to 0-5.

St Patrick's will face Coláiste Mhuire, Ennis in their All Ireland final on March 2 after the Munster champions also scored a 10 points' victory over St Feargal's, Rathdowney in their semi-final (3-12 to 3-2).

St Patrick's Academy: E Donnelly, A Forker, A McLaughlin, C Nelis, R Cunningham, Á McNulty, A McAteer, J Hamill capt.0-1, R Fay 0-5, 0-2 frees, S Fitzgerald 0-1, S McGeary, L Devlin 0-3, F Farley 1-0, E Girvan, R O’Neill

Sub: B Jones for C Nelis

Calasanctus: T Holland, M Carr, T Lawrence, F Leenane, T Scully, Shannon Keady 0-1 free, K Scully, J Fallon, A Connolly 0-2, 0-1 free, S Duffy, S Boland, L Ahearne, A Ross, M Shaughnessy, L Stevens.

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