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Tesco All-Ireland Schools’ Senior D semi-final

St Aloysius Carrigtwohill (Cork) 0-9 St Colm’s Draperstown (Derry) 1-4

SO close and yet so far for St Colm’s Draperstown in the windswept east Cork venue of Carrigtwohill in Saturday’s Tesco All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final.

While scoring was no problem to the Ulster Senior Medallion Shield champions the previous Saturday, it proved a major issue in this game, although credit must be paid to the home defence and to the skill of midfielder and free-taker Cliona Lynch and Aoibhinn O’Neill who made an early impression until Leanne McCullough moved across to mark her.

Draperstown’s defence was dogged throughout, tied together by Shannon Scullion and Cliodhna Hickson. Aoife Doyle got little room to manoeuvre, but she managed to win frees that Hickson converted. Elsewhere Shona Fullerton caused the Cork team some problems and linked well with Grace Kelly.

Carrigtwohill had first use of the elements and despite early points from Aoibhinn O’Neill and Amy Doyle, were only 0-3 to 0-1 ahead after 25 minutes with Cliodhna Hickson converting a 12th minute free for St Colm’s only score.

The visitors arguably should have had more scores, but they couldn’t convert the possession they enjoyed in general play into something substantial on the score-board.

Then in the ten minutes remaining in the half (there were five added minutes), Carrigtwohill expanded their lead to 0-7 to 0-1 with a point from Amy Doyle and three from Cliona Lynch, the last two scores coming from frees.

Again at the start of the second half, St Colm’s had plenty of pressure but no scores and Lynch converted the opening score in the 39th minute to make it 8-2.

St Colm’s only managed two Hickson frees in response and time looked to have run out on them when Lynch converted yet another free.

However there was a final kick in St Colm’s with Cliodhna Hickson shooting another point from a dead ball and then Grace Kelly found the net in the 58th minute.

It brought the victory within touching distance, but sadly it remained out of reach over the five minutes remaining and St Aloysius’ Carrigtwohill will go forward to meet Mercy Roscommon in the final on Saturday week.

It has been an eventful three and a half weeks for Fiona Devlin and the Draperstown girls with wins over both newly schools, Sacred Heart and Our Lady’s, bringing them a provincial title at this level 11 years after their last. Then of course there have been those two Saturday trip away in Dublin and east Cork. In the end no more silverware but memories that will live for ever.

St Colm’s : T Kelly, O Henry, S Scullion, N Hamill, L McCullagh, C Hickson 0-4 (fs), R McCullagh, S McGuigan, A McDaid, G Kelly 1-0, A Doyle, S Burns, H Scullion, MJ McEldowney, S Fullerton.

St Aloysius: L Lynch, A Montgomery, T Elliott, A Smiddy, M Collins, G Cashman, M de Burca, C Lynch 0-5 (4fs), A Corcoran, J O’Donovan, A O’Neill 0-2, A Ring, A Doyle 0-2, A O’Callaghan, M Horgan.


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