St Mary’s, Naas 4-13
Virginia College 3-3
By Aisling Clery
Leah McGovern kicked 1-8 as St Mary’s Secondary School from Naas were crowned Lidl PPS All Ireland Senior C Champions, defeating Virginia College in a wet and windy GAA National Games Development Centre in Abbotstown.
The opening quarter was a tight affair but St Mary’s dominated possession and two goals before half time ensured them a ten point lead at the break. Tenacious defending across the St. Mary’s back line, in particular from Player of the Match Eimear Glancy, helped to ease them to what was a comfortable victory in the end.
Leah McGovern kicked all three of St. Mary’s opening scores, drawing her side level after Emma Tolan found the net for Virginia College. The Cavan side briefly went ahead with Ciara Brady’s free, but St. Mary’s soon upped the gears and a brace of points from Eimear Reilly and a Sarah McGovern goal put daylight between the sides.
The action was end to end, but St. Mary’s passing and movement was swift and accurate and they found the net again through Leah McGovern.
Sarah McGovern’s second goal of the game just before the break left St Mary’s 3-6 to 1-2 in front at the interval.
Leah McGovern kicked four unanswered points early in the second half for St Mary’s as Virginia College tried diligently to get a foothold on the game. However, Laura Dunlea and Eimear Glancy were resolute in defence and Dunlea’s well timed pass to Aoife Kenny saw the substitute finish to the net after a terrific run.
Virginia College did find the net twice in the closing stages with Emma Tolan converting a penalty and Ellen Murray hitting the net with the last kick of the game, but St Mary’s had done enough and they become the second Kildare school in a week to annex an All Ireland Schools title.
SCORERS: St Mary’s, Naas: L McGovern 1-8 (3f), S McGovern 2-0, A Kenny 1-0, E Reilly 0-3, S Lawlor 0-1, D Hanifin 0-1.
Virginia College: E Tolan 2-0 (1pen), E Murray 1-1, C Brady 0-2 (2f).
St Mary’s, Naas: A McGuire; A Mernagh, E Glancy, L Cahill; L Byrne, L Dunlea, A Coburn; C Gray, S McGovern; A Carpenter (c), L McGovern, E Reilly; E Owens, S O’Gorman, S Lawlor. Subs: A Kenny for Lawlor (40), E Tobin for Mernagh (48), A McGilloway for Coburn (52), D Hanifin for Carpenter (52), E Dempsey for Owens (52).
Virginia College: S McGeoghan; C Hegarty, K Grigorenko, M Kelly; A O’Dowd, S Kelly, S Gregg; N Tolan (c), K Noble; C Brady, C Brady, M Fitzsimons; L Maher, E Tolan, A O’Reilly. Subs: E Smith for Kelly (26), M Farrelly for Maher (38), E Murray for C Brady (50), K McCabe for Noble (50).
Referee: David Hurson (Monaghan)Tweet