Loreto recorded three-in-a-row Lidl Munster Ladies football PPS senior A titles at Mallow today. First half goals from leading scorer Kellyann Hogan and Avril Geoghegan put the Clonmel school into a strong position having secured a seven-point interval lead.
Hogan was outstanding for the winners as they opened up a nine-point gap with 10 minutes remaining. Yet, and full credit to St Mary’s HS who despite being reduced to 14 players after Áine O’Driscoll was sent to the sin bin, came with a strong finish to close the gap to three points.
Loreto laid the groundwork for the victory in a wind-assisted opening half and demonstrated their intent from the off when Keri Tarleton was fouled in the fourth minute and Hogan made no mistake in slotting the resultant penalty. At the end of the first quarter, they had increased their advantage to 2-2 to 0-1 after Geoghegan netted in the 13th minute.
Scores were harder to come by at the other end, Kaitlin Smith opening St Mary’s account after six minutes. Sadhbh Beausang sent over a free but a similar score from Hogan left the half time score, 2-3 to 0-2.
Beausang and Mary Leahy cut the gap after the break, but Loreto’s third goal from Geoghegan after Hogan’s effort from a penalty came off the post pushed them three goals clear.
However, St Mary’s weren’t done and came with a flurry of late scores that made for an exciting finish. Leahy registered the goal after a brilliant run through the centre which was matched by an equally superb finish and there were points from Ali Smith, Leahy and Aoife Healy.
Loreto lost Orla Winston to the sin bin with two minutes left to play but they had done enough to hold on for the victory.
An All Ireland semi-final against Coláiste Bhaile Chláir of Galway awaits on March 15.
K Hogan (1-4, 1-0 pen, 0-4 frees), A Geoghegan (2-0).
M Leahy (1-2), S Beausang (0-2, 0-1 free), K Smith, A Smith and A Healy (0-1 each).
A Morrissey (Fethard); A O’Meara (Ballymacarbry), S Hallinan (do, Capt), G Nugent (do); N Martin (Slievenamon), B McMaugh (Ballymacarbry), V Van der Wal (Clonmel Commercials); K Hogan (Ballymacarbry), O Winston (Clonmel Commercials); B Valuntaite (Ballymacarbry), A Geoghegan (Slievenamon), E Quirke (Ballymacarbry); C Mulcahy (Clerihan), K Tarleton (Ballymacarbry), C Ryan (Ballymacabry).
C Corbett (Clonmel Commercials) for K Tarleton (58), A Morris (Clonmel Commercials) for C Mulcahy (62), N Martin (Slievenamon) for C Ryan (63).
B Wall (Aghada, Joint-Capt); E Murphy (Lisgoold), S McAllister (Aghada), L Wallace (Midleton, Joint-Capt), R Keane (Cloyne), D Kiniry (Lisgoold), A O’Driscoll (Inch Rovers); C Walsh (Aghada), K Smith (do); A Smith (Midleton) M Leahy (Aghada), A Healy (do); L McAllister (do), S Beausang (Midleton), R Leahy (Aghada).
G Rooney (Inch Rovers) for R Keane (half time), A Hallahan (Lisgoold) for S Beausang (38), A McCarthy (Midleton) for L McAllister (56).
Eamonn Moran (Kerry).