An injury-time goal from hat-trick heroine Caoimhe Keher Murtagh snatched a 4-9 to 2-12 victory for Loreto College Kilkenny over Presentation Athenry in the Tesco All-Ireland Post Primary Schools’ Junior A Championship Final at St Rynagh’s in Banagher.
Keher Murtagh finished with 3-1 to her credit, the match winner actually putting Loreto ahead for the very first time in the game, having fallen behind to a goal after just 25 seconds from Olwen Rabbitte.
It was sweet for the Noresiders, and especially the survivors from 12 months ago, when they were denied by a goal in stoppage time from St Brigid’s Loughrea’s Kate Gilchrist.
Their 10th triumph at this level – all recorded in the past 13 years – also marked a famous double, following the Senior A triumph a fortnight ago in which Ali Kennedy, Kate McCluskey, Asha McHardy and Senior player of the match Emma Manogue were also involved.
Athenry were the unlucky opposition on that occasion too but this will be particularly hard to take, not least for joint captain Sabrina Rabbitte, who contributed 1-8 of her side’s tally.
Loreto did well to be level 20 minutes into proceedings, playing into the teeth of a strong wind. They recovered from the concession of a first-minute goal with two in six minutes from Keher Murtagh. But a goal and two points from Sabrina Rabbitte helped Pres lead at the interval by 2-7 to 2-3.
The margin was the same 10 minutes in the second half, the teams sharing four points, but the Galwegians could thank goalie Laura Freeney for making three superb saves. She was beaten eventually though and then Loreto clawed themselves level.
A replay looked on the cards but Keher Murtagh had one last chance and the goal queen made no mistake.