Incredible comeback sees St John the Baptist draw with Loreto

Incredible comeback sees St John the Baptist draw with Loreto

Loreto 2-7 - 3-4 St John the Baptist

There were few people complaining in Bansha today after this Munster Post Primary Schools Ladies football final finished level.

For three-quarters of the action, holders Loreto looked to be heading for another title thanks to an early scoring burst.

Yet they will be more than happy for a second bite of the cherry after all their hard work was undone by an incredible comeback from St John the Baptist.

"We probably had a lot of the possession in the first half and the game was going our way," Loreto selector Sinead Grant said afterwards, "but you can't but admire St John the Baptist when they put the pressure on. We had to dig deep to get a draw out of it."

Such a scenario seemed improbable after the opening exchanges with the Clonmel girls pouncing for two goals: their first came within seconds of the throw-in when Saoirse Keating got on the end of a quickfire passing move and punched to the net. Seven minutes later Caoimhe Mulcahy converted a penalty after Keating was hauled down.

But their Limerick opponents received a lifeline in the 11th minute, thanks to another penalty - Anna-Rose Kennedy slotting home following a foul on Andrea O'Sullivan. They went on to boss long spells of that opening half but were let down time and again by wayward shooting.

"That's definitely something to work on," Hospital selector Michelle Buckley agreed.

But our girls showed a lot of heart at the end, heart and determination to come back. They never say die.

Clonmel led by 2-5 to 1-3 at the interval and looked set for glory when Eimear Quirke edged them six points ahead midway through the third quarter.

But St John the Baptist came surging back. An Anna-Rose Kennedy point sparked the revival before goals from Maeve Barry and Andrea O'Sullivan edged them into an unlikely lead.

Now it was Loreto who had to play catch-up and this they did when Carey finished off a move from defence to attack to point the equaliser and force a replay.

Scorers for Loreto: A Fennessy 0-3 (frees), S Keating 1-0, C Mulcahy 1-0 (p), E Quirke 0-2, K Hogan 0-1, A Carey 0-1.

Scorers for Hospital: A Kennedy 1-2 (1p, 1f), A O'Sullivan 1-1, M Barry 1-0, S McElliggott 0-1.

LORETO: E McKeown, S Hallinan, V Van Der Wall, G Nugent, N Martin, B Valuntaite, B McMaugh, K Hogan, O Winston, A Fitzgerald, A Carey, E Quirke, C Mulcahy, A Fennessy, S Keating.

Subs: C Ryan for S Keating (60m).

ST JOHN THE BAPTIST: A Kiely, C Hynes, E English, E Butler, M Barry, C O'Dwyer, L Ryan, C Kennedy, A O'Sullivan, R O'Carroll, E Morrissey, S McElliggott, A Ryan, A Kennedy, K Heelan.

Subs: I O'Rourke for R O'Carroll (40m), S Cooke for S McElliggott (57m).

Referee: John Murphy

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