By Daragh Ó Conchúir
LORETO Kilkenny are back in the final of the O’Neills Post Primary Senior A Camogie Championship and will be hoping to go one better than last year, when they were defeated in the decider by St Brigid’s Loughrea.
Loreto booked their place as a result of a 1-14 to 1-8 victory over Presentation Athenry in Dunmore and will play Ursuline, Thurles after they triumphed against Cross & Passion, Ballycastle in Raharney by 4-5 to 0-8.
The Noresiders have won this competition four times, following a golden run from 2010-2013 and the manner of this success suggests that they will take some stopping in a bid to add to their tally.
A few early points from Eimear Keoghan put them on the front foot early and while Leanne Freaney pointed a 45, after Hannah Brennan had saved from Niamh Niland, Pres struggled to make inroads on a defensive unit led superbly by Michelle Teehan.
Instead, Sophie O’Dwyer registered three points before Keoghan, who finished with a goal and three points, found the Athenry side’s net just before half time to give Loreto a 1-7 to 0-3 lead.
Freaney had provided all the Pres scores and she added to her tally soon after the resumption, but Athenry were overly-reliant on her and she finished with seven points.
O’Dwyer did the same at the other end but had more support and crucially, Loreto had opened up a significant gap before Eimear Keane goaled in injury time for Pres.
Ursuline’s goal threat was the key in the other semi-final, Sarah Stakelum and Caoimhe Perdue raising green flags to open up a 2-4 to 0-4 interval lead. Róisín McCormack and Charlie McCarry were keeping Cross & Passion in the game but having drawn the Ulster Final after extra time the previous Sunday before finally prevailing in the replay on Tuesday, they could not find the extra edge to topple their opponents.
Instead, the Thurles outfit made the big plays, with goals from Maria Ryan and Jill Sheridan ensuring their progression.
The B final will be contested by St Joseph’s, Rochfortbridge and Coláiste Íosagáin, Dublin after the former prevailed by 2-8 to 0-5 in Raharney while the latter edged Limerick’s Hazelwood College by 3-11 to 3-8 at the UL Sport Campus.
Castleknock Community School recovered from a two-point deficit at the change of ends to overcome Presentation Wexford 2-8 to 1-8 in the first of the C semi-finals, with St Patrick’s, Keady to provide the opposition in the decider, having been brought to extra time by Borrisokane Community College before prevailing 1-8 to 2-1.
The D final will be between Scoil Mhuire, Trim and John The Baptist Community School. All finals will be played on March 4.
In the Junior grade, Abbey Community College defeated St Wolstan’s in a C semi-final by 2-8 to 0-4.
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