Hurling and camogie

St Colm's, Draperstown and Sacred Heart, Newry bid for camogie final honours

Séamas McAleenan

Senior Camogie Medallion Shield final: Tuesday 1.30pm in Middletown: St Colm’s, Draperstown v Sacred Heart, Newry

MANY of the players taking the field this afternoon for the Senior Medallion Shield final already have an Ulster Schools’ medal from their endeavours in the first term – and both St Colm’s, Draperstown and Sacred Heart, Newry are hoping to reach a second All-Ireland semi-final next month.

St Colm’s fought out a really hard Liatroim Fontenoys’ Cup final with St Killian’s, Garron Tower to record a 2-6 to 1-7 victory with forwards Sinead McGuigan and Aoife Doyle playing key roles in that victory.

Both will wear the same jerseys, 11 and 14 respectively, as the south Derry school now chase a senior title.

Indeed a further six juniors will also step up although Mary Jo McEldowney who scored a goal against St Killian’s will find herself in a completely different role.

Mary Jo is the senior net-minder, a position she is already familiar with as she was in goals when the school lost last year’s All-Ireland Junior final to Scoil Pól Kilfinane from Limerick.

Nearly all the starting team today played in that final and the confidence gained from playing at that level should be useful going into this afternoon’s senior final against Sacred Heart who lost last year’s decider narrowly in Páirc Esler to St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon.

Around ten of the Newry team will start in a senior final for the second year in a row, while they are boosted by the presence of the Junior Medallion Shield winning team from November pushing for places.

Two junior players, Anna Mulholland and Aoibheann Barrett, have pushed themselves into the senior forward line where they will be the perfect foil for Caitlin Armstrong and Faye Fitzpatrick both of whom have picked up Schools’ All-stars as have captain Aislinn Mcmahon and defender Grace Cunningham.

Another forward Orlaith McCusker has made strides with her club during the autumn and is close to getting a starting jersey in Clonduff’s All-Ireland semi-final on Sunday.

When they met in the group game, St Colm’s won by 2-5 to 0-9 points but Sacred Heart look to have really improved and they really impressed in last week’s semi-final against Assumption, Ballynahinch when Fitzpatrick and Armstrong both registered 1-4.

St Colm’s depended heavily on goals from Aoife Doyle to see off the other Newry school, Our Lady’s, the following day.

It will take a huge effort from the Draperstown team to stop Sacred Heart making it through to a second All-Ireland semi-final next month.

St Colm’s: MJ McEldowney, E Gray, S Scullion, C Madden, R McCullagh, C Hickson, L McBride, E Kelly, C Donnelly, S Kelly, S McGuigan, A Doyle, C Kelly, A Doyle, S Lagan

Subs: E Connolly, N Hamill, C Scullion, A McDaid, S Burns, L McCullagh, H Scullion, G Kelly, R Kelly

Sacred Heart: S Barr, A Woods, H Duffy, E Gribben, G Cunningham, R McConville, L Greenan, A McMahon Capt, G McShane, F Fitzpatrick, A Mulholland, O McCusker, M Smyth, C Armstrong, A Barrett

Subs: A Lundy, C Campbell, J Barr, A Magee, E Mullan, S Quinn, M McQuaid, R Bohan, E Fitzpatrick, C McDonnell, C Gorman

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Hurling and camogie