St Patrick's, Maghera oust St Killian's, Garron Tower in Corn Uan Uladh final
Corn Uan Uladh final St Patrick's, Maghera 1-11 St Killian's, Garron Tower 0-4
ST PATRICK'S, Maghera stretched their record of Corn Uan Uladh titles to 18 yesterday in Ahoghill, beating first-time finalists St Killian's, Garron Tower fairly comfortably in the end.
Maghera controlled St Killian's wind-assisted early burst and, once they went in on level terms at the break, the game was at their mercy.
That isn't to say that the Tower girls made it easy for them, but five points in the 10 minutes after half-time, gave them a mountain to climb.
St Killian's will look back ruefully on the opening half when they accumulated seven wides, including four from frees.
Maghera's greater experience of finals told; their defence was sound throughout while Orlaith Hull and player-of-the-match Cara Donnelly did a lot of work around the middle of the pitch.
Donnelly was rewarded with a goal in the 54th minute, although the result was already in the bag for her team.
Garron Tower worked a good move in the left corner for Kady McNeill to open the scoring, but they had accumulated three wides by the time Cara O'Boyle popped over a second score six minutes later.
At the other end two frees from Carla Collins and a neat point from Orlaith Hull put Maghera ahead at the end of the first quarter.
Despite facing the breeze, St Patrick's were mounting as many attacks as their opponents and would have been happy enough on level terms at half-time.
Cara Donnelly pointed early in the second half, Caoimhe Kearney added another point and then Carla Collins with three scores made the game fairly safe for Maghera.
St Killian's battled hard and held their opponents scoreless over the next quarter of an hour. However, they only added a just single point to their total.
Then six minutes from time Cara Donnelly's effort at a point dipped at the last second and ended in the net and Eavanne Martin, Collins (free) and sub Marie-Therese McCullagh added points to put the cherry on top of the cake.
There is a quick turnaround for Maghera with an All-Ireland semi-final on Saturday against reigning champions Presentation, Athenry at a south Derry venue.
St Patrick's: C Donnelly 1-1; C Collins 0-6 (0-5f); O Hull, C Kearney, E Martin (f) & MT McCullagh 0-1 each
St Killian's: K McNeill, Cara O'Boyle, M O'Boyle & L Haughey (f) 0-1 each