FOOTBALL: St. Mary’s High School Midleton 1-12 Moate Community School 0-7 (Lidl All-Ireland PPS Senior A Final)
By AISLING CLERY (Aoife Healy of St Mary’s Midleton in action against Megan Clinton of Moate Community School. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile)
Áine Hallahan kicked five points as St Mary’s were crowned Lidl PPS Senior A Champions at Bruff GAA.
The game was a tight and tense affair and it was Moate Community School that were just a single point ahead, 0-4 to 0-3, at half time. However, a number of scores early in the third quarter pushed St Mary’s into a lead they did not relinquish, no matter how much pressure Moate CS levelled at their opponents. A late goal from substitute Ava McAuliffe ensured victory for the Midleton outfit.
Played in front of a boisterous crowd, the opening quarter was a scoreless affair. Both sides had their chances with Hallahan and Rachel Quirke spurning chances for the Cork side while their full back line kept Moate’s attack at bay.
It was St Mary’s who struck first with Rachel Leahy finally getting a score in the 15th minute. Aoife Healy doubled their lead before Shannon Mulvihill’s first attack reduced the deficit to one on 20 minutes.
Megan Clinton was unlucky to see her shot saved by Shauna Cashman but the sides were level when Mulvihill doubled her personal tally. Hallahan pushed St Mary’s back in front on 26 minutes but this was cancelled out by Ava Cornally a minute later. On the resumption, Anna Sheerin found her scoring range and gave Moate CS a 0-4 to 0-3 half-time advantage.
Hallahan, Leahy, Kaitlin Smith, Brianna Smith and player of the match Aoife Healy all scored in the third quarter to push St Mary’s into an 0-8 to 0-5 lead with Moate’s only score of the quarter coming just before the water break, Kate Whyte getting on the end of a team move to score.
While Moate CS had their chances in the final quarter and took them through frees from Áine Gaynor and Shannon Mulvihill, it was St Mary’s who made the most of their chances and McAuliffe’s goal ensured the All-Ireland title heads to Cork for the first time since 2013.
Scorers: St Mary’s High School: Á Hallahan 0-5, R Leahy 0-3, A McAuliffe 1-0, A Healy 0-2, B Smith 0-1 (1f), K Smith 0-1.
Moate Community School: S Mulvihill 0-3 (1f), A Sheerin 0-1, A Cornally 0-1, K Whyte 0-1, A Gaynor 0-1 (1f).
ST MARY’S: S Cashman; A Cooper, S McAllister, D Kiniry; G Rooney, R Keane, E Brenner; B Smith, K Smith; L O’Sullivan, R Quirke, A Healy; Á Hallinan, R Leahy, A McCarthy.
Subs: A McAuliffe for Quirke (31), A Savage for Keane (50)
MOATE CS: E Quigley; J Conway, A Murphy, C McCormack; H Doolan, C Moran, H Keenan; M Clinton, A Sheerin; S McGuinness, Á Gaynor, H Kelly; A Cornally, S Mulvihill, K Whyte.
Subs: C Conlon for Keenan (49).
Referee: Kevin Phelan (Laois).