CAMOGIE: Loreto Kilkenny 6-10 Ursuline’s Thurles 7-7 (All-Ireland PPS Junior A Final)
by Séamas McAleenan (Loreto Kilkenny’s Emily Smith with Ursuline Thurles’ Kate Ferncombe ©INPHO/Ben Whitley)
A GOAL from Caoimhe Stakelum in the third minute of injury time in a frantic finish to this Tesco All-Ireland Junior A camogie final in Johnstown denied Loreto Kilkenny an 11th title since 2007 and means there will be a replay next week.
It was Ursuline’s substitute Ava Bevans that turned a game that looked like a stroll home for Loreto when they led by 6-10 to 3-6 at the three-quarters’ mark. Bevans fired up the comeback with two goals in the 50th minute and when Sarah Corcoran added another four minutes later, Loreto were on the back foot.
But it was a game that Kilkenny should have won and won easily after excellent starts to each half. They had 1-2 on the board inside the first two minutes of play, with Rachel Dowling pointing inside ten seconds and Caoimhe Keher-Murtagh adding a goal before the minute mark.
Even when Thurles managed scores to get a foothold in the game, Loreto responded immediately. Maria Ralph goaled in the 13th minute, only for Dowling to shoot a brilliant solo goal in the next attack. When Andrea Quirke bundled a second Ursuline goal in the 26th minute, Anna Doheny’s goal meant it was 3-7 to 2-4 at the break.
Dowling goaled again for Kilkenny in the first minute of the second half and when Keher-Murtagh completed her hat-trick in the 47th minute, Loreto looked home. It was their last score however and Thurles courageously pulled the teams to a replay.
Loreto scorers: C Keher-Murtagh 3-1, R Dowling 2-5 (0-2 frees), A Doheny 1-0, L Kirby 0-2, T McGrath 0-1, A Browne 0-1.
Ursuline’s scorers: A Bevans 2-0, S Corcoran 1-5 (0-4 frees), M Ralph 1-2, A Quirke 1-0, C Ryan 1-0, C Stakelum 1-0.
Loreto: E O’Neill, Á Dowling, A Carroll, O Kirwan, E Corr, M O’Keefe, A Doheny, E Smith, A Browne, T McGrath, R Dowling, L Kirby, J Lennon, C Keher-Murtagh capt, C Dunne.
Ursuline’s: O Ryan, M Bourke, A Fitzgerald, T Ryan, K Murnane, A Kavannagh, P Quirke, S Corcoran j-capt, K Ferncombe, M Ralph, A Bourke, L Purcell, C Stakelum, R Fitzgerald, A Quirke
Subs: C Fitzgibbon for K Murnane (28), C Ryan for R Fitzgerald (33), A Bevans for A Quirke (38), A Shealey for L Kirby (47)
Ref: E Morrissey (Waterford)