ALL-IRELAND SCHOOLS JUNIOR ‘B’ CAMOGIE CHAMPIONSHIP SEMI-FINAL
FOLLOWING a relentless effort at Fr O’Neill’s GAA in Ballymacoda on Saturday, Dominican College came up just short in the All-Ireland Schools Junior ‘B’ Camogie Championship semi-final.
Despite bringing a slender advantage into the break (3-1 to 1-6), the Griffith Avenue side were eventually reined in by the challenge of St Mary’s, Midleton. Given their Cork opponents are aiming for a second consecutive national crown in 2019, this was always likely to be a tough task for Dominicans.
Eoin Ryan’s squad progressed to the All-Ireland series as a consequence of their top-tier county title success against Loreto Beaufort at the end of January. Courtesy of powerful attacking displays by Eile O Ceallaigh, Aifric Mangan and Isabelle McGarry, they emerged with five points to spare (2-15 to 3-7) at Naomh Mearnog.
Their trip to the Leeside arrived just a fortnight on from their latest appearance in a national competition. Their U18s were narrowly defeated by St Mary’s, Nenagh in the penultimate round of the All-Ireland Senior ‘B’ Championship.
With a strong wind at their backs, Dominicans were largely on top of the possession in the opening period. O Ceallaigh, who was also a prominent feature of the senior side throughout the current term, once again impressed with her direct running style.
She grabbed a brace of goals and also played a key role in their third of the half. Following neat combination play between the dynamic attacker and Ailbhe Noonan, Ciara Kavanagh rattled the back of the Mary’s net.
Even though they displayed a clinical edge in front of the posts, a spirited Midleton outfit ensured the game remained finely balanced upon the resumption. Now that the elements were against them, Dominicans were forced to dig deep in their search for additional scores.
To their credit, the Metropolitans stuck to their task. Jenny Gleeson and Amie Trawally were outstanding in defence as Mary’s struggled to shake off the stubborn visitors.
On the stroke of 50 minutes, the teams remained deadlocked in a tense last-four affair. Nevertheless, the Rebelettes held their nerve under intense pressure – registering 1-1 without reply to ultimately prevail on a scoreline of 3-9 to 3-5.
They will now await the winners of the other semi-final between Colaiste Bride, Enniscorthy and Sacred Clonakilty. It was a tough way for Dominican College to bring their season to a close, but it has been another exceptional year for camogie within the school.