Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
St Catherine’s College (Armagh) 3-4
Coláiste Bhaile Chláir (Galway) 2-3
By AISLING CLERY
An unbeaten season was capped off brilliantly by Armagh side St Catherine’s as they captured the Lidl All-Ireland PPS Junior A crown in a sunny Mohill.
After the Armagh side raced into an early lead thanks to goals from Eva Lamb and Hannah Duffy, Coláiste Bhaile Chláir got back on level terms after the break, but it was the Ulster champions that ground out the result in a low scoring second-half.
St Catherine’s were quick out of the blocks, registering an unanswered 2-1 in the opening seven minutes. Lamb and Duffy found the back of the net before Casey Mullan split the posts as the Armagh side led by seven early on. Mullan was a constant threat and her inspired performance deservedly earned her the Player of the Match award.
It was all St Catherine’s in the opening action with pressure from Coláiste Bhaile Chláir dealt with efficiently by the Armagh rearguard. Ciara Hegarty got her side’s scoring underway on eight minutes before a sublime free from the ground from Sara Cogley gave life to their attack.
The sides were evenly matched and Claregalway were given a life line when Cogley found the net midway through the half to put two points between the sides.
The teams traded scores before the break with Ella Reid on target for St Catherine’s from a free. As half time approached, Éabha Brennan split the posts to leave the Armagh girls two points ahead at the interval, 2-2 to 1-3.
Coláiste Bhaile Chláir took the lead for the first time immediately on the resumption when Chellene Trill brilliantly found the net.
Captain Lucy McAlary led the way for St Catherine’s as she levelled the game two minutes later before Casey Mullan sent St Catherine’s into the lead once more. It was a lead they were not to relinquish.
The killer blow came on 44 minutes as Hannah Duffy raised her second green flag with a low shot into the corner of the net, to extend her side’s lead to four.
The final quarter was a tight tussle with the game hanging in the balance. Coláiste Bhaile Chláir were unlucky as they spurned numerous chances to get back into contention but with Casey Mullan in defiant form, the result was not in doubt.
Scorers: St Catherine’s College: H Duffy 2-0, E Lambe 1-0, C Mullan 0-2, L McAlary 0-1, E Reid 0-1 (1f).
Coláiste Bhaile Chláir; S Cogley 1-1 (1f), C Trill 1-0, C Hegarty 0-1, É Brennan 0-1.
St Catherine’s College: C Kelly; A Mallon, A Boyle, M Hughes; C Campbell, E Druse, C McCormick; C Creaney, M Ferguson; E Reid, C Mullan, L McAlary (c); E Conroy, H Duffy, E Lambe.
Sub: A McGleenan for Campbell (42).
Coláiste Bhaile Chláir: A Griffin; L Tunney, M Flaherty (c), A O’Flynn; S Lawless, C Trill, M McGarry; K Kearney, B Naughton; C Hegarty, L Scanlon, É Brennan; S Cogley, H Walsh, É O’Riordan.
Sub: I. Claffey for Hegarty (47).
Referee: K Corcoran (Mayo).