Late goal sends Colaiste Phobal into All-Ireland final

Thursday, 22 February 2018

A CIARA Sammon goal on 60 minutes helped put Colaiste Phobal Ros Cre through to the All-Ireland final when they defeated Saint Mary's College Clady, Derry by a point in a very exciting and close fought game at sunny Saint Cronan's Park, Roscrea last Saturday.

Colaiste Phobal Ros Cre ...2-4
St Mary's College Clady, Derry ...1-6

The Roscrea goal was the Tipp school's only second score of the second half and it put Roscrea two points in front as play entered added time.

It made an anxious time for the home support as another three minutes ensued as Saint Mary's fought back and posed a threat in the 62nd minute when their corner forward Sian O'Neill went for goal but Roscrea keeper Emily Doughan was equal to the task. More pressure followed from the Derry school but all they could manage was a point from their star player and team captain Roisin Gallagher.

Gallagher was the pick of the 30 players. She finished top scorer with 0-6 and while she scored just one from play, it was her free taking that was par excellence. In addition her skill level aided her ability to cover every blade of grass in the middle third of the field.

In the second half she was employed on a roving commission and one feels that the Derry school missed her influence up front.

Apart from Gallagher there was much to admire in the efforts of Eimear Convery at corner back and at Teresa McErlean at six. Both Sharon O'Neill and Maria Mullan had their moments at midfield but were over shadowed by the Roscrea midfield pairing of Eilish Gleeson and Kate Hogan who kept Roscrea in the game while Sharon Shanahan, Alice Maher, Jane Cleary, Kayleigh O'Meara, Leah Ryan and Aisling Ryan played their part.

Up front it was Roscrea's all round play as they appeared to gain scores more easily. However they had a slow start.

After Ciara Sammon opened the scoring with a free after 70 seconds, the pendulum swung towards Saint Mary's who had Roisin Gallagher to thank as she posted three unanswered frees from all distances inside 12 minutes.

But Colaiste Phobal had their moments too and eventually their efforts began to pay off. Fiona Scully at full forward forced a '45' which Eilish Gleeson struck wide in the 15th minute.

A minute later the pair were involved again. This time Gleeson commenced a run down the right wing. Her high ball across the edge of the large square bobbed around the place before Fiona Scully powered her way past the Saint Mary's defence before sending a rocket to the Derry net.

Saint Mary's responded but great defending by Sharon Shanahan saved the day, However the concession of far too many frees curbed Roscrea's efforts and Gallagher added another free to level matters with 12 minutes to half time. But by now, Colaiste Phobal had found a route to goal and a Caoimhe Flannery point plus another Ciara Sammon free helped open a two point lead with two minutes to the break.

But one last attack saw Saint Mary's force a '45' which as expected by that girl Gallagher again found the target to leave the minimum between the sides at the turnover.

The second half was just thirty seconds old when the game was turned on its head when right corner forward Bronagh O'Neill steered the ball past the Roscrea keeper from close in when she followed up on a shot by full forward Roisin O'Loughlin which was saved by Emily Doughan.

The goal seemed the perfect tonic for the visiting Derry school. In the 11th minute Orla Phelan pointed for Roscrea. However the rest of the half was keenly fought and it appeared that neither side would give in terms of scores until - that was until Sammon got the match winning goal when she stroked the ball over the line from very close in after Saint Mary's goalkeeper Emma Harkin had saved a rocket from substitute Kelsey Wing.

Leading 2-4 to 1-5, we wondered what additional time would be available. Gallagher's point was the sole reply but time ran out and Colaiste Phobal had earned a place on the All-Ireland final on March 10.


Colaiste Phobal; C Sammon (1-2, 0-2 frees); F Scully (1-0); C Flannery and O Phelan (0-1 each).

Saint Mary's Clady; R Gallagher (0-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1 '45'); B O'Neill (1-0).

COLAISTE PHOBAL ROS CRE: Emily Doughan (Shinrone); Alice Maher (Moneygall), Jane Cleary (Shinrone), Kayleigh O'Meara (Moneygall); Leah Ryan (Shinrone), Sharon Shanahan (Shinrone), Aisling Ryan (Coolderry); Eilish Gleeson (Shinrone), Kate Hogan (Roscrea); Reanne Conlon (Roscrea), Orlagh Phelan (Coolderry), Caoimhe Flannery (Roscrea); Andrea Scully (Camross), Fiona Scully (Camross), Ciara Sammon (Shinrone). Subs: Kelsey Wing (for Conlon, 39 mins, inj.); Kellie Seacy (Roscrea) (for A Scully, 54 mins).

SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE CLADY: Emma Harkin (Lavey); Eimear Convery (Portglenone), Maria Mooney (Portglenone), Sinead McAtamney (Portglenone); Emma Graham (Greenlough), Teresa McErlean (Bellaghy), Meabh McIlvar (Greenlough); Shannon O'Neill (Belaghy), Maria Mullan (Greenlough); Anna Marron (Greenlough), Roisin Gallagher (Belaghy), Aoife Cartmill (Belaghy); Bronagh O'Neill (Greenlough), Roisin Loughlin (Bellaghy), Sian O'Neill (Bellaghy). Sub: Caitlin O'Neill (for B O'Neill, 58 mins).

REFEREE: Alan Doheny (Laois).


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