Attack has a goal-den touch
Leinster Schools Senior 'C' camogie championship: Our Lady of Lourdes 5-5 S. Mhuire (Trim) 1-10
The goal-den touch of their forwards, and in particular poacher Sophie Mullally, ensured Our Lady of Lourdes comfortably saw off Trim to take the Leinster Schools Senior 'C' camogie championship title in Heywood Community College, Ballinakill, Co. Laois, on Saturday.
It's rare enough to register fewer scores than an opponent and win pulling up, but the Rosbercon school were full value for a strong lead, after showing quality all over the field against a gallant Scoil Mhuire team.
There was a know-how about the O.L.O.L. girls, an ability to limit the damage around their own goalmouth, soak up pressure for decent chunks of both halves, and spring forward to nab scores on the counter.
In attack they were superb at picking off second chance scores, the opportunities that arise immediately after an initial shot is repelled. Not only was their quick anticipation key to that success, but their hunger and desire to turn every opportunity into a score was unrelenting.
The scoresheet will say that the Trim full-forward line registered all but one of their points. It suggests that they bossed the match-up inside but that doesn't tally with how this game played out.
The O.L.O.L. full-back line were protected well by Darcy Bolger and team-mates in front, but they themselves repelled danger countless times as their opponents continually tested them with nippy runners from deep.
It took Sophie Mullally just three minutes to net the first of her hat-trick of majors. Ella Dollard switched play to her fellow corner-forward on the right, with Mullally cutting in and firing low past Caitlin Gorman.
Trim owned much of the next 15 minutes and got back on level terms with points from their Leahs, Devine (two) and Dennehy. However, the Meath school failed to score again in the first-half as their opponents took control.
Annie Kirwan pointed in the twelfth minute before Elizabeth Phelan made a critical save from Devine. When shots from Sinéad Lanigan and Kirwan didn't find the net, Mullally didn't panic and fired home her second major in the follow-up.
With Sarah O'Sullivan and Aimee Hanrahan getting on top in midfield, Kirwan did get her goal after great work from Lanigan. She also pointed twice as Our Lady of Lourdes went in leading by 3-3 to 0-3 at half-time.
The O.L.O.L. management team of Andrea Rath, Maeve McManus and Eddie Teehan must have delivered the perfect half-time team-talk as their side put the foot down after the resumption, netting twice more in four minutes.
Mullally completed her treble after Kate Lyng's shot came down off the upright, and Lanigan pulled home moments later to put five goals between the sides.
Trim chipped away with nice points but overs from Hanrahan and Lyng ensured there was still twelve between the teams with seven minutes left.
To their credit, Scoil Mhuire battled away and got a consolation goal through Carrie Doyle, but it was Our Lady of Lourdes who advance to the All-Ireland semi-final in three weeks' time, looking to move within a single step of a famous second Senior national title in three years.
Our Lady of Lourdes: Elizabeth Phelan (Glenmore); Lauren Dollard (Glenmore), Leah Hanrahan (Tullogher-Rosbercon), Siobhán Cummins (Tullogher-Rosbercon); Katie Bookle (Tullogher-Rosbercon), Darcy Bolger (Graiguenamanagh), Chloe Mullally (Glenmore); Sarah O'Sullivan (Tullogher-Rosbercon), Aimee Hanrahan (Tullogher-Rosbercon, joint capt., 0-1); Sinéad Lanigan (Graiguenamanagh, 1-0), Kate Lyng (Tullogher-Rosbercon, joint capt., 0-1), Marie-Claire O'Dwyer (Glenmore); Sophie Mullally (Glenmore, 3-0), Annie Kirwan (Graiguenamanagh, 1-3, 0-1 free, 0-1 '45), Ella Dollard (Glenmore). Subs. - Ellie Kehoe (Cloughbawn) for Cummins (50), Aoife Woods (Mullinavat) for E. Dollard (50), Erin Foskin (Mullinavat) for Lanigan (60+5), also Ciara Woods (Mullinavat), Katie Codd (Rathnure), Kitty O'Driscoll (Graiguenamanagh), Emma Barron, Aoife Cullen (Fethard), Eimear O'Shea (Graiguenamanagh), Áine McDonald (Tullogher-Rosbercon), Grace Donovan (Rathgarogue-Cushinstown).
Scoil Mhuire (Trim): Caitlin Gorman; Ella O'Hara, Abbye Donnelly, Andrea McBride; Niamh Mulvihill, Hannah Guy, Eimear Fagan; Sarah Ennis, Sophie Payne (capt.); Ciara Foley, Emma Regan (0-1 free), Jessica Potterton; Carrie Doyle (1-1), Leah Devine (0-5, 4 frees), Leah Dennehy (0-3). Subs. - Maeve Lally for Fagan (31), Katie Smith for Gorman (34), Emer Clarke for Ennis (41).
Referee: Simon Whelahan (Offaly).