Hurling & Camogie

St Mary’s, Magherafelt edge local rivals to win St Clare cup

St Patrick’s, Maghera’s run of 10 titles in a row ended in thrilling contest

St Mary's, Magherafelt
St Mary's, Magherafelt captain Eva Forbes (11) brings the cup to the team as the celebrations get underway after beating St Patrick's, Maghera in the St Clare Cup final played at Castledawson on Wednesday Picture: Margaret McLaughlin (MARGARET MCLAUGHLIN PHOTOGRAPHY )

St Clare Cup final (camogie)

St Patrick’s, Maghera 1-9 St Mary’s, Magherafelt 0-15

ST Mary’s, Magherafelt captain Eva Forbes held her nerve over a couple of late frees in Castledawson to claim a first Ulster schools’ Grade A camogie title in a decade for her school after a quite brilliant derby final with St Patrick’s, Maghera

St Pat’s, who had claimed the last 10 Ulster titles on offer, started well with the wind behind them and edged ahead 0-3 to 0-2 after 10 minutes with two points from free-taker Éadaoin Bradley and another from Eva Diamond.

Over the next 10, Ríonach McNally (two) and Bradley added further points to open a gap that eventually stretched to 0-9 to 0-4 at the break, with Eva Forbes hitting the target for three of the Magherafelt points.

St Mary’s set the tone for the second half with a point from Rachel Gribbin inside 30 seconds and slowly they ate into Maghera’s lead with points from Forbes, Ella Rafferty and Gráinne Doherty, with Forbes landing a free to level the tie in the 47th minute. She and Emma McVey tagged on two quick points and it looked like Magherafelt’s game to lose.

However, Maghera hung in and eventually sub Saoirse McCullagh fired to the roof of the net in the 57th minute to edge them ahead.

However, Gráinne Doherty fired over an excellent equaliser in the next attack and St Mary’s pinned Maghera back into their own half for the remainder of the game.

There were four minutes of injury-time during which Eva Forbes sent over two long-range frees and Ella Rafferty added a third score to send the St Clare Cup to the Convent for the first time in over a decade.

The two schools are set to meet once more on Thursday, again at Castledawson, with the Davitt Cup up for grabs, while elsewhere in schools’ camogie, holders St Benedict’s, Randalstown are back in the Lily Spence Cup final after a 6-8 to 2-3 win over Coláiste Dhún a’ Rí from Cavan. They will face Dominican Fortwilliam in the final next week.

St Mary’s E Forbes 0-8, 7 frees, G Doherty, E rafferty and R Gribbin 0-2 each, E McVey 0-1

St Patrick’s S McCullagh 1-0, É Bradley 0-5, 4 frees, R McNally 0-2, E Diamond and R Quinn 0-1 each