Sacred Heart, Newry aiming for final honours
Tesco All-Ireland Post-Primary Schools Junior D Championship semi-final: Friday 11am in St Loman's, Mullingar: St Michael's Loreto, Navan v Sacred Heart, Newry
IT SEEMS a long time ago since Sacred Heart won the Newry derby in Killeavy on a sunny November Sunday to collect Junior Medallion Shield.
With all derbies the game never really opened up and the team that got the first goal always looked the likelier team to go on and win it.
And that was how it worked out with goals from Orlaith McCusker, Catherine Gorman and Cara Crimmins good enough to see them over the line by 3-3 to 0-4.
However it will take a much improved performance if Sacred Heart are to achieve what Draperstown did at this grade last year and reach an All-Ireland final.
There would appear to be plenty of potential in this Newry squad and the Mayobridge half-back line looked fairly solid and protected well the full-back line in the Ulster final.
Both midfielders have huge potential and are key players for this team as both were starters in the senior half-forward line while Orlaith McCusker also worked her way into the Clonduff senior team for an All-Ireland semi-final last month.
And the other two goal-scorers from the Ulster final success are strong forceful players who can created problems for any defender.
St Michael's Navan are a new team through in Leinster, beating St Finian's, Mulligar in the final by 3-6 to 2-5 a few weeks ago.
Hard games in January will of course stand to them.
That and home venue makes them slight favourites, but if the Newry girls making the short journey south throw off the shackles and play to their potential, they can follow Draperstown into a final.