All-Ireland Colleges’ Senior B camogie semi-final :
St Killian’s GarronTower 1-4 Our Lady’s Templemore 2-5
A huge effort from St Killian’s GarronTower to reach the All-Ireland Colleges’ Senior B camogie final came up just short at Armoy on Saturday.
Just the break of the ball on a couple of occasions probably cost them a place in the decider next month.
There were the two goal opportunities when they were on top during the opening half.
The first one came from a great move down the centre with captain Sinead Cosgove leaving her marker in her wake and crossing to Sinead Convery who cut inside and blasted from 10 metres out. Somehow the shot came off someone’s stick to go out for a 45, which Dervla Cosgrove pointed.
The second opportunity came as a result of a blistering run from Siobhan McKillop down the left wing. Her cross was moved on to Sinead Convery once more and this time Templemore goalie Sarah Buckley courageously threw herself on the Cushendun girl’s hurl to deny her.
St Killian’s still led by 0-4 to 0-1 at the break, three of their scores coming from long-range frees from midfielder Dervla Cosgrove. The other was the opening score and an excellent solo effort from Tierna Carson.
Templemore got a blistering start to the second half with their captain Ann Eviston firing over a point in the opening minute and in the next minute the dangerous Niamh Tracey blasting a close-range effort that Sarah Kane got to but couldn’t prevent hitting the net.
Both these players added points before St Killian’s got going again with captain Sinead Cosgrove forcing her way along the end-line and hand-passing the equaliser in the 41st minute.
That score lifted the Tower and they kept pressing forward looking for the lead score. However a couple of harsh calls from Dublin referee Gerry McGough went against St Killian’s, putting their defence back under pressure and from one of those frees Niamh Tracey blasted her second goal in the 48th minute.
Again the north Antrim girls dug in and the final 10 minutes were played in their opponents’ half, but they just could not break down the Templemore defence with Emer and Orla Cahill very effective and Kate Cashman operating as a sweeper.
3 minutes from time St Killian’s had a cast-iron penalty call when Niamh McKendry in possession was upended a couple of metres from the line.
Amazingly the referee waved play on and with that went the Tower’s last chance.
In defeat though, the courage of the girls gained them many admirers in the sizeable north Antrim support. It was a huge effort from everyone.
The full-back line was outstanding, particularly in the opening half, when they cut out any threat on Sarah Kane between the posts.
The stylish Claire Kearney got in some great clearances throughout. She was under a bit more pressure when following the dangerous Treacy to full-back in the second half, but again rose to the occasion and could not be blamed for either of Treacy’s majors.
Further out, it was a very physical battle and, despite the youth of some of the Tower players, they rose to the challenge, with midfielders Dervla Cosgrove and Laoise McKenna running themselves into the ground.
Siobhan McKillop dropped back as a third midfielder in the second half and moved a lot of ball. Each of the forwards got little room, indeed there was some of the ball holding, but each had their moments and on another day, could have put the game to bed before the break.
With St Killian’s now moving up into the top grade, they only lose three players in the process, with Sinead Cosgrove, Clare Diamond and Oonagh Ward moving to Higher Education.
The remainder should form a firm base to hold their own against teams such as Maghera, Bagherafelt and Ballycastle. That was clear from their performance on Saturday.
St Killian’s : Sarah Kane, Leah Cosgrove, Oonagh Ward, Annie Leech, Ellen Hynds, Claire Kearney, Clodagh McKillop, Dervla Cosgrove 0-3 frees, Laoise McKenna, Mary Kane, Tierna Carson 0-1, Niamh McKendry, Sinead Convery, Sinead Cosgrove 1-0, Siobhán McKillop.
Sub : Dara Martin for N McKillop (57).
Subs unused : Cliodhna McManus, Aimee McDonnell, Molly McLaughlin, Orla McNaughton, Hannah McLoughlin, Claire Diamond, Sian McNeill, Áine Duffin, Clodagh McCann.