Callan and Laurel Hill to meet again after thrilling draw

by on the 13th of February 2023

All Ireland Post Primary Senior C Semi Final

Colaiste Abhainn Ri, Callan 2-8 Colaiste Laurel Hill, Limerick 1-11

Leaving John Locke Park last Saturday, the thought struck that if this was a standard bearer for Colleges Camogie Roinn C then the game is in great shape, because believe it or not this was a cracking game from wire to wire.

On a very good surface the ball flew from end to end. It was ferociously competitive with not the width of a hayseed between them.

Neither side deserved to lose, and it was the correct decision to bring it to a replay in a fortnight.

True, the Limerick College had probably four better hurlers wearing their colours, and they presented some challenge to the Callan girls who were not so enriched.

Orla Ni Riain at centre back was rock solid. Poppy Nic Giolla tSeannan, at midfield, Aobhin Ni Mhearain at 11 and Caoilfhionn Ni Fhiachain Ni Dhuibhir at full forward were very strong when travelling with the ball.

Their abilities to interchange without any noticeable change in their game plan was uncanny.

However, given the obvious challenge, the Callan girls were heroic. They had a superbly confident goalkeeper in Jenny Saunders, she had a tremendously drilled fullback line in front who collectively managed to keep a clean sheet until the 49th minute when Poppy Nic Giolla tSeannan managed to push a rebounded save over the line for their only goal.

Tullaroan’s Jessica Cuddy was outstanding on the edge of the square as she battled with O’Dhuibhir from start to finish. The all Windgap half back line of Orlaith O’Shea, Nathania Jackson and Caoimhe Power met challenges with great courage and determination.

Eimear Smith and Rachel O’Meara were warriors at midfield against Limerick’s two most outstanding players, while up front, the six forwards – if you were going to war in the morning, you couldn’t ask for a more courageous, battle-hardened sextet than Molly Conroy, Ava Brett, Aisling O’Sullivan, Chloe O’Donovan, Elly Holland and Aisling O’Shea.

O’Donovan couldn’t have done more for the cause. Throwing self-caution to the wind she showed a huge competitive work-ethic in every element of her game.

Another ‘little lady’ but a giant in her application to the necessities of the team’s demands at left corner forward, Aisling O’Shea grabbed the first goal in the eighth minute, with assistance from O’Donovan.

Another Aisling – O’Sullivan from John Locks – was outstanding all through, grabbing what most thought could have been the second goal to get them into the winner’s enclosure.

Alas it was not to be. Nine times the sides were level.

Sullivan’s goal gave Abhainn Ri a two-point lead in the ninth minute. They were caught by the 16th minute. A fantastic save by Saunders precluded a lead point for the Limerick visitors on the stroke of half time.

The second half roared on with neither side not for bending. And then we had the O’Sullivan goal.

There were 14 minutes left. The Callan defence were ferocious. But a Poppy Nic Giolla tSeannan goal in the 21st minute levelled matters once again.

With less than two minutes on the clock, inspirational centre forward, Ava Brett did a samba through the minefield that was the Laurel Hill defence to slip over a point that looked like getting Callan to an All-Ireland final. However, Limerick’s best player Poppy Nic Giolla tSeannan drilled over a free that brings the game to a replay.

Colaiste Abhainn Ri Scorers – Aisling O’Sullivan 1-2, Aisling O’Shea 1-1, Tara Cody 0-3 (2f, 1 45), Chloe O’Donovan, Ava Brett, 0-1 each

Colaiste Laurel Hill Limerick Scorers – Poppy Nic Giolla tSeanain 1-7 (2 45’s, 1f), Laura Southern 0-3, Sarah Ni Fhreaghaile 0-1

Colaiste Abhainn Ri – Jenny Saunders (Windgap), Aoife Power (St Brigid’s), Jessica Cuddy (Tullaroan), Eleanor Hayes (Windgap), Orlaith O’Shea (Windgap), Nathania Jackson (Captain) (Windgap), Caoimhe Power (Windgap), Eimear Smith (Windgap), Ciara O’Shea (Windgap), Molly Conroy (St Brigid’s), Ava Brett (St Brigid’s), Aisling O’Sullivan (John Lockes), Chloe O’Donovan (John Lockes), Elly Holland (Tullaroan), Aisling O’Shea (Windgap)

Subs – Tara Cody (St Brigid’s), Rachael O’Meara (Mullinahone), Rachel Hartley (John Lockes), Aileen Gleeson (Danesfort), Emer Barron (Windgap), Ciara Gleeson (Danesfort), Sal Ryan (John Lockes), Lauren Hartley (John Lockes), Emma Bibby (Tullaroan), Ruth Somers Saunders (John Lockes), Farrah Ryan (John Lockes), Lily Cronin (John Lockes), Chloe Bailey (John Lockes), Aoibhne Corcoran (John Lockes)

Colaiste Laurel Hill – Sinead de Brun (Crecora), Blaithlin Ni Lorcain (Captain) (Truagh Clonlara), Emily Nic an tSeaca (Adare), Sadhbh Ni Shiurtain (Parteen), Ella Schasser (Adare), Orla Ni Riain (St Ailbes), Aisling Ni Annain (Truagh Clonlara), Poppy Nic Giolla tSeanain (Adare), Eimear Ni Bheaglaoich (Truagh Clonlara), Sarah Ni Fhreaghaile (Croagh Kilfinny), Aoibhin Ni Mhearain (Truagh Clonlara), Laura Southern (Monaleen), Ciara Ni Naionain (Bruff), Caoilfhionn Ni Fhiachain Ni Dhuibhir (St Ailbes), Aeibhin Ni Uallachain (Adare)

Subs – Alannah Ni Chathalain (At Ailbes), Maeve de Brun (Crecora), Aobha Ni Ghadhra (Truagh Clonlara), Saoirse Ni Chathasaigh (Ahane), Rachel Ni Loinsigh (Mungret), Moya Ni Lorcain (Truagh Clonlara), Aisling Ni Chathail (Truagh Clonlara), Caithlin Ni Rian (Na Piarsaigh), Ava Nic Gabhann (Na Piarsaigh), Giselle Nic Eochaidh (Cratloe), Emily Nic Cormaic (Truagh Clonlara), Sinead Ni Riain (St Ailbes), Lucy Ni Mhuiri (Na Piarsaigh), Clodagh Nic an Adhastair (Mungret), Sally Ni Dhomhnaill (Adare), Aoibheann Ni Ghairneir (Na Piarsaigh), Ellie Ni Chonchuir (Murroe Boher), Eimear Ni Naionain (Bruff), Kathy Ni Chruadhlaioch (Adare), Aoife Ni Chiardha (Mungret)

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