Presentation met super side in Leinster decider
The Lidl ladies' football Leinster Post Primary Schools Senior 'C' final was a step too far for Presentation (Wexford) as Gallen imposed their will in a scintillating showing at the Eire Óg G.A.A. club, Carlow.
Pres. (Wexford) 6-20 Gallen C.S. (Ferbane) 1-2
The Offaly girls were exceptional from the off, using an extremely powerful spine to perfection to bury the Wexford town girls under a barrage of top-quality scores. It was the end of a fine run for the Presentation school, having won a thrilling semi-final against St. Colmcille's (Knocklyon) earlier in the week.
However, they didn't stand a chance in this game against a side which probably has the quality to win the 'B' division, never mind the 'C' grade. Star of the show for Gallen was Ellee McEvoy with a stunning 1-8 from play, but she was ably assisted by an array of talented players.
There was plenty of pressure for the Presentation to deal with in the opening 14 minutes. However, they did it pretty well, conceding just 1-1 in that spell.
A Kate Kenny penalty was the only major on the board as the Wexford girls went close through Siobhán Doolan and registered a point from play from Sara Byrne, and a free by Rianna Cullen after Sarah Harding-Kenny was fouled.
A goal and point from Shauna Heffernan put her side further ahead, but the Grogan's Road girls almost raised a green flag after great inter-play between Eire Brennan and Sara Byrne ended with the former forcing Ava Flynn into a fine save.
Injury time goals from Kenny and Anna Grehan left Presentation deep in the mire at the break, trailing by 4-6 to 0-2. The last thing they needed was a slow start to the second-half, but further majors by Grehan and McEvoy increased the gap further after 32 minutes.
Gallen went on to add no more goals but 13 points in the remainder of the period. When Fiona Kinsella was fouled in the 37th minute, Kaitlyn Whelan-Kinsella kicked an inch-perfect free into the roof of the Offaly school's net.
Presentation also went close through Doolan in the second-half but there was no denying that Gallen were the superior side, who deserved the Leinster title and a place in the All-Ireland series.
Presentation: Caoimhe O'Sullivan; Chloe Roche, Aisling Byrne, Trudy Downey (capt.); Deirdre Byrne, Sarah Harding-Kenny, Maryanne Sheehan; Jessie Doyle, Kaitlyn Whelan-Kinsella (1-0 free); Siobhán Doolan, Rianna Cullen (0-1 free), Fiona Kinsella; Sara Byrne (0-1), Jamie Devereux, Eire Brennan. Subs. - Diúrí McDonald for Devereux (17), Rachel Campbell for Doyle (31), Jessica Sinnott for S. Byrne, inj. (41), Nicole Meyler for Sheehan (50), Sarah Murphy for Sinnott, inj. (53), Rachel Woodbyrne for Brennan (56), Sheehan for Downey, inj. (58), also Katie Banville, Hannah Sinnott, Amy Doyle.
Gallen: Ava Flynn; Amanda Keane, Emma Maher, Ciara Flynn; Avril Spain, Emer Nally (joint capt., 0-1 free), Eimear Flynn; Ellee McEvoy (1-8), Anna Grehan (2-0); Aoife Corbett (joint capt., 0-1), Róisín Egan, Rachel Seery; Shauna Heffernan (1-5, 0-1 free), Kate Kenny (2-3, 1-0 pen), Ffion Boland. Subs. - Sinéad Egan (0-2) for Boland (38), Aimee Kelly for Kenna (40), Tara Egan for C.Flynn (45), Róisín Cockram for Seery (48), Maria Egan for Heffernan (58).
Referee: Leah Mullins (Carlow).