Banagher College Camogie Girls Through To All-Ireland Final

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Banagher College Camogie Girls Through To All-Ireland Final thumbnailBanagher captain Louise Mannion was hugely influential at midfield and here she avoids the challenge of Caitlyn Quinn, Orla Fenton and Aoife Lyons (Claregalway).

THE young Banagher College Colaiste na Sionna girls are through to an All-Ireland final after they beat Connacht champions Claregalway on Friday last in a very windy, bleak and cold Carnmore pitch in Galway.

Banagher College Colaiste Na Sionna ...2-7
Claregalway Community College ...0-6

Banagher had a comfortable win over Wexford in the Leinster final, a game they never expected to come through, and now that they were playing in bonus territory, they admitted they were nervous going into such an important game and didn't seem to be very confident about going through to the All Ireland final stage.

As for Claregalway however, they were totally the opposite, up for the challenge, were bursting with energy and very enthusiastic about going all the way. Maintaining a 100% record, Banagher were the better team all over the pitch.

They did have moments throughout the game, in particular the opening half, where they were in and out of play, but once Chloe Reilly's mighty goal in the 48th minute deceived the Claregalway defenders, Banagher never looked back and totally overwhelmed their opponents to the end.

Claregalway raced into a two point lead over the opening seven minutes, both coming from Sinead Donovan frees. Playing into a very strong wind, Banagher captain Louise Mannion split the uprights from a tenth minute free about 40m out, after she herself was fouled, to open the Banagher account.

Aine Doorley sent a line ball across the half forward line where Cathy Moran came under huge pressure but eventually the ball was scrambled out for a '45' which the tireless worker, Louise Mannion dropped over to bring the sides level as the first quarter faded.

Banagher were finding it hard to settle down and allowing Claregalway to win far too much ball but yet they were unable to make good use of the possession due to great hooking and blocking. They should have made a lot more use of the strong wind too but instead, due to fantastic defending from the Banagher rearguard, Abi Fox was forced out wide on two successive occasions as she raced in searching for a score which both found hard to come by.

Sinead Donovan took off on a long solo run, dropped the ball to Niamh Heffernan who was dead straight in front of goal but as she gathered, she was forced off course with a high challenge from Dearbhla Kelly and Claregalway lost a perfect chance to goal.

Banagher took the lead for the first time with nine minutes remaining in the half when Louise Mannion was fouled and took a heavy fall with Anna Larkin sending the ball sailing between the uprights, but one minute later, Sinead Donovan brought the sides level for the second time from a placed ball and just seconds before the minute was up, Donovan had her side back in front from a second free dead straight in front of goals.

Claregalway were applying huge pressure once again on the Banagher backs, pushing for a goal before the break but Kaitlyn Kennedy, Katie Ryan, Nessa Dolan and Louise Mannion had the ball back down field where after a huge struggle wing forward Cathy Moran dropped the ball over the cross bar and from over her shoulder and the sides were level on 0-4 apiece at the break.

With the ball up and down the field with neither side yielding, Jessica Donlon and Chloe Reilly swapped early points on resumption and within minutes Sinead Donovan and Chloe Reilly traded to bring the sides level for the fifth time after forty minutes.

Banagher had come more into the game and closing down every Claregalway attack which frustrated their forwards.

Chloe Reilly had Banagher back in front for the second time when she dropped over a '45' but the score of the game was soon to follow when Banagher captain Louise Mannion landed a free to the forwards where Aine Doorley was fouled in possession and Chloe Reilly's free deceived the Claregalway defenders as it looked as if it was going over, but instead it dipped into the top of the net and Banagher shot into a four point lead with twelve minutes remaining.

Claregalway were stunned and the confidence deserted them knowing they couldn't answer the call because of the heavy Colaiste na Sionna defending which they has already tested and failed to get through. It was game over for the Galway girls though when Ellie Hickey, Louise Mannion and Nessa Dolan worked the ball forward where Cathy Moran rounded Emily Duggan and whipped to the back of the Claregalway net with seven minutes of normal time remaining.

Three attempts to salvage something from play over the remainder of the game, failed to produce any results for the Claregalway side as the Banagher backs, in particular the full back line, and keeper, stood the test and denied any chances their opponents were trying to create sending the ball back out of danger and into space in a wonderful exhibition of camogie.

Banagher will now play Ursulines of Waterford in the final on Saturday March 18th. This will be a huge ask for the girls given that they were beaten well last year in the under 16 final with many of the same panel of players. However, if they can repeat the same style of play like they have produced throughout the campaign, there should be a cup coming to the Shannonside school in Banagher come March 18th.

Player of the match: Banagher Captain Louise Mannion who worked tirelessly throughout and covered a lot of ground, keeping a plenty full supply of ball to the forwards.


Banagher: Chloe Reilly (1-3, 1-2 frees, 0-1 '45'), Cathy Moran (1-1), Louise Mannion (0-2, 0-1 free, 0-1 '45'), Anna Larkin (0-1, free).

Claregalway: Sinead Donovan (0-5, frees), Jessica Donlon (0-1).

BANAGHER COLLEGE: Ellen Gilligan (St Rynagh's), Dearbhla Kelly (St Rynagh's), Amy Byrne (Lusmagh), Laura Clancy (St Rynagh's), Lauren Temple (Lusmagh), Kaitlyn Kennedy (Drumcullen), Ellie Hickey (St Rynagh's), Katie Ryan (St Rynagh's), Louise Mannion (St Rynagh's) Captain, Chloe Reilly (Kiltormer), Nessa Dolan (Meelick/Eyrecourt), Cathy Moran (Meelick/Eyrecourt), Rebecca McGarry (Lusmagh), Anna Larkin (Meelick/Eyrecourt), Aine Doorley (St Rynagh's).

CLAREGALWAY: Laoise Byrne, Emily Duggan, Aisling Killilea, Jane Glynn, Niamh McGrath, Caitlin Quinn (captain), Orla Fenton, Aoife Lyons, Abi Fox, Sinead Donovan, Valerie Coleman, Rachel Hughes, Jessica Donlon, Amy Walsh, Niamh Heffernan. Subs: Meaghann Wall (for A. Walsh, 42 mins), Jennifer Hughes (for V. Coleman, 42 mins).

REFEREE: Mike Ryan (Nenagh).


Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete