Loreto seek historic 'A' title
The Loreto (Wexford) Junior camogie team will be aiming to create history in New Ross at 12 noon on Saturday when they take on Loreto (Kilkenny) in the Leinster championship final.
The Wexford girls edged past Presentation College (Kilkenny) by 2-5 to 2-2 to qualify for their first-ever provincial 'A' grade camogie decider.
This team is unbeaten in this campaign, having seen off St. Mary's (New Ross) and St. Brendan's (Birr) before accounting for Presentation (Kilkenny).
Loreto started brightly in the semi-final and were a goal up inside five minutes when Rachel Bennett scored from close range after Anna Hennessy sent a long ball in. Clodagh Jackman, Ciara O'Conno and Ella O'Connor got on a lot of ball early on but the Loreto forwards couldn't find the scores that their dominance deserved, racking up five wides in the first 15 minutes.
Presentation then caught Loreto on the break for two goals in quick succession against the run of play. A Lettie Whelan free settled Loreto again and Ann-Marie Bennett scored a great point from the right wing to make it 2-0 to 1-2 at half-time to Presentation.
Loreto looked much sharper at the start of the second-half, with Megan Carty and Aisling Halligan beginning to dominate in the full- and half-back lines.
This dominance set a strong platform from which Loreto could attack and Emma Codd benefited from this, picking up a loose ball to score a great point after a long solo run. Lettie Whelan then added her second point from a free to put Loreto a point up.
Presentation equalised with a point before Rachel Bennett produced the score of the match; now playing at centre-forward, Bennett turned the centre-back, ran straight for goal and whizzed the shot past the goalkeeper into the top right corner of the net.
Lettie Whelan scored her third pointed free to put Loreto four ahead with five minutes to play after a great solo run by Ella O'Connor who was fouled going through on goal.
Presentation piled on the pressure but the Loreto defenders held firm to stop any goal chances, with important interventions from Sadbh McCarthy, Caitlin Carroll and Larah Campbell in the closing minutes.
Team: Hannah Quirke; Caitlin Carroll, Sadbh McCarthy, Megan Carty; Anna Hennessy, Larah Campbell (capt.), Aisling Halligan; Ciara O'Connor, Clodagh Jackman; Lettie Whelan, Emma Codd, Ella O'Connor; Ann-Marie Bennett, Rachel Bennett, Niamh O'Connor. Subs. - Ashling Alouf, Emma Rath, Eva Creane, Rebecca Banville, Anna Mulligan, Ciara Banville, Michelle Carthy, Amy O'Leary, Becky Hamilton (inj.), Mikaela Lanigan (inj.).