O’Connor inspires Belmullet to final

Our Lady’s Secondary School from Belmullet in Mayo snatched victory in the dying minutes to knock reigning champions Coláiste Íosaef, Kilmallock out of the All-Ireland.

The westerners came from two goals down to snatch the winner and cause a genuine upset in the competition, thanks to a match-winning performance by captain Tamara O’Connor.

Kilmallock’s Shannon Lewis provided the first of the afternoon with only three minutes gone thanks to excellent work by Laura Lynns. Lewis doubled their advantage when Celie Corbett turned supplier and the game looked finished.

However Belmullet’s Ciara Ginty got one back for the Connacht qualifiers just before the break as she finished well under pressure from Shannon Meehan.

Kilmallock should have got a third goal but couldn’t find the right finish, and they were punished when Shannon Lewis went off injured. The goalscorer was a major coil in the heart of the Kilmallock attack and this was badly missed with her withdrawal from proceedings.

Belmullet made several attempts on McCarthy’s goal and then the crucial moment came when Our Lady’s star Rebecca O’Sullivan was taken down in the box. Up stepped Tamara O’Connor to convert the spot kick, 2-2 with all to play for.

The final 10 minutes were exhilarating and another well executed set piece from O’Connor was placed over the head of an outstretched Kilmallock keeper for the winner.

Our Lady’s Secondary School, Belmullet will now face Ulster’s Mulroy College, Milford in the All-Ireland final on Wednesday, February 22 at the Showgrounds, Sligo.

COLÁISTE ÍOSAEF, KILMALLOCK: S McCarthy, N Ryan (capt), S Meehan, S Maguire, N McCormack, L Lynns, S O’Gorman, S Finn, S Lewis, R McGowan, C Corbett.

Subs: M O’Rourke, J Kelly, T Leary, A Finn, Z Ryan, J Farrell.

OUR LADY’S SECONDARY SCHOOL, BELMULLET: C Cavley, C Healy, A Barrett, K Duffy, M O’Sullivan, M Doran, D Doherty, T O’Connor (capt), A Ruddy, R O’Sullivan, C Ginty.

Subs: A Kilker, L O’Donoghue, S Healy, C McDonnell, K Heffernan.

Referee: M Lynch (Galway)

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