Cork Ladies Football news, whether it’s club or county
29th, Mar, 2013
Loreto reach the summit with sizzling performance to take their first title
Loreto Fermoy 4-11 Presentation College Athenry 1-7Photos and Match Report Courtesy Jame Aherne
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Emotional scenes were witnessed at the Eire Og G.A.A. Grounds, Nenagh on Wednesday 20th March as Loreto Fermoy reached the pinnacle of Ladies Football to see them capture the Tesco HomeGrown Post Primary Schools All-Ireland Senior “A” title. This was the schools’ first success at this level and it was a case of third time lucky having reached the finals in 2007 and 2009. Tears of joy flowed freely at the end of a magnificent performance on the excellent sod of MacDonagh Park when referee Keith Delahunty sounded the final whistle of what can only be described as Loreto’s greatest ever performance on the National stage. The Fermoy football stronghold are only the third ever Cork School to capture the top prize in Ladies football, previously awarded to Ballingeary Vocational School in 1985 and more recently to St. Mary’s of Mallow in 2008.
After a tense opening half the teams were all square at the interval, 1-5 a piece. Fermoy made the running in the early minutes of the game when Aoife Heffernan pointed inside the opening 3 minutes after been put through by Jennifer Barry. Barry was again on hand when she did all the hard work to set up Abbie Scannell for a great goal to put Fermoy 1-1 to the good, Athenry reacted immediately with 3 unanswered points. The Galway school responded with a goal when a ball was kicked from out the field, it looked like it was heading for the end line as the Loreto defence pulled up but Athenry corner forward Keara Cormican got a touch to it and turned inside to fire home from an acute angle as excellent Loreto keeper Anne Brennan got her finger tips to it. All of a sudden Athenry were in control but a succession of pointed frees from Loreto, two from Jennifer Cahill and one from Barry helped the North Cork school back into the lead. A brace of points from Athenry put the minimum between the teams as they entered injury time. Jennifer Barry who was having a powerful game was fowled going through and her free went straight between the uprights to send the teams to the dressing rooms all square. The opening minute of the second half was a tight affair but bit by bit the Loreto school edged their way in the lead 3 points from Jennifer Barry put the Fermoy school in front before the same girl was pulled down in the square after great work by Saoirse Moore and Abbie Scannell. Barry blasted home the resultant penalty. Within a minute Saoirse Moore was at the end of a great move and she dually obliged with a peach of a goal to put her school in a commanding position by the 46th minute. Abbie Scannell won a perfect pass from Cahill as she headed goal bound, was fouled in the square and Barry added a point from the penalty. This was Fermoy at their brilliant best as they had raced into a lead of 3-9 to 1-5 by the 50th minute. Athenry managed to get 0-1 back before Loreto’s first half substitute Grace Culloty raced through to rifle home from 20 meters, it was Loreto’s 4th goal and it put the game out of reach for Athenry. Barry and Cormican swapped points before Saoirse Moore had the last say with a great individual point when she dissected the uprights to put Fermoy 4-11 to 1-7 to the good. Fermoy were a completely transformed team in the second half and totally outshone their opponents during this magnificent thirty minutes of football, excellent team work, brilliant individual displays and some marvellous scores saw them reach the top table of ladies football in Ireland. Seconds later referee Keith Delahunty blew the final whistle and the scenes witnessed were a joy to behold after previous heart break for the school where at last the pressure was over, the school had conquered the ultimate prize and the celebrations began. Pat Quill, the President of the Ladies Gaelic Football association presented the Senior “A” cup to Loreto Fermoy’s Captain Julie Buckley to rapturous applause.
Scorers for Loreto: Jennifer Barry 1-7, Saoirse Moore 1-1, Abbie Scannell and Grace Culloty 1-0 each, Jennifer Cahill 0-2, Aoife Heffernan 0-1
Loreto Panel Profile
Anne Brennan (Fermoy), Anne had a fantastic year in goal for her school and was again excellent in the final, last year’s Cork U14 net minder is one of the best in the country
Gill Blackburne (Glanworth), another marvellous year for the talented Glanworth footballer who made the number 2 position her own through out the year
Claire Murphy (Bride Rovers), Claire a member of last year’s Cork U16 team is very versatile and could play in a number of positions but was a tower of strength at full back
Julie Buckley (Fermoy), Julie who captained the team completed a strong full back line and lead by example with some great display through out the championship
Joanne O’Keeffe (Inch Rovers), Joanne had a fantastic year in the Loreto jersey with her excellent football skills, powerful play and her amazing running going forward
Jessica Tonks (Fermoy), the Cork U16 player, is the power house of the team at centre back and this whole hearted player is a huge asset to the squad
Una Blackburne (Glanworth) completes the brilliant half back line, twin sister of Gill, the former Cork U14 centre back links up well with Joanne and Jessica
Trisha O’Sullivan (Bride Rovers) delivered sublime performances throughout the campaign and is often seen back supporting the defence with some excellent play
Aoife Heffernan (Watergrasshill), Aoife would be in line for player of the year as she had great balance in her play throughout, scored a great 0-1 in the final and has great pace and power going forward
Jennifer Cahill (Bride Rovers), an inter County Cork player, Jennifer had a brilliant campaign and was excellent in the final, links up well with the other Jennifer and got some fabulous scores through out the year
Jennifer Barry (Bride Rovers), Cork Senior panellist, truly a magnificent year, great strength, high fielding, excellent football brain and had her greatest ever hour in the All-Ireland final
Susan Gleeson (Ballyduff), another superb year for Susan who covers a lot of ground, she is an tremendous link player, with great football skills.
Abbie Scannell (Fermoy), Abbie a member of last year’s Cork U14 All-Ireland winning team had a great year in the Loreto jersey and was the schools’ top scorer
Saoirse Moore (Fermoy), a club mate of Scannell, on her day she has few equals with her exceptional pace, powerful play and superlative scores
Mairead Cronin (Watergrasshill), another great year for Mairead who is a quality footballer with a great work ethic and brings other players into the game with her clever passing
Aine Cashman (Bride Rovers), Aine was razor sharp in goals through out the year with some excellent football, also an accomplished out the field player
Grace Kelly (Fermoy) a defender of high quality was excellent throughout the Munster campaign and when introduced in the final maintained her high standard
Isobel Pyne (Fermoy), Isobel was first-rate through out with some excellent scores and had a fantastic run in the All-Ireland series and kept her high standard for the All-Ireland Senior final
Grainne Collins (Fermoy), Grainne plays most of her football at corner back where she was again outstanding and will be a huge asset to the senior team going forward
Karen Sheehan (Bride Rovers) an excellent wing forward who covers a multitude of ground, with a huge work ethic she too has a lot to offer in the years ahead
Katie Connor (Bride Rovers) plays most of her football as wing forward, had an exceptional year, links up well with her team mates and picks up her first All-Ireland medal
Laura Quirke (Bride Rovers) a real tower of strength, a very versatile player with a great eye for the posts, she is also an outstanding half back
Kathryn Buckley (Fermoy) an industrious wing back who has quick attacking skills and has got some excellent scores through out he year
Michelle Condon (Ballylanders), a young player with a great future in the Loreto jersey, Michelle is an excellent forward
Grace Culloty (Bride Rovers), what a year for this 13 year old when introduced in the final scored one of the goals of the year, a magnificent week for the Bride Rovers club player as she was also selected Captain of the Cork U14 team
Niamh Sexton (Fermoy) a very versatile player with great speed and strength, could play in a number of positions from half back to half forward
Teresa O’Donoghue (Fermoy) a superb full forward with great strength and skill and has delivered some marvellous scores
Teresa Murphy (Fermoy) a corner forward of high quality, has great positioning skills and an immense score getter. Teresa will be a huge part for the School team going forward
Maire Bailey (Fermoy), lightning pace, a very versatile player, could play in many positions, will have a huge role in the school’s teams in the coming years
Ellen Condon (Fermoy) a highly rated defender and is a great one to one marker, will be a prominent member of the School’s teams into the future
Three reasons why Loreto won1. Superb defence the Loreto defence once again showed what a magnificent outfit they are and totally swallowed up their opposition in the second half only conceding two goals in the whole campaign.
2. The influence of the 3 J’s cannot be under estimated, Julie Buckley, Jennifer Cahill and Jennifer Barry, the three Leaving Cert students on the team have given huge service to the school over the years and it was only fitting that this trio led the way for Loreto to capture the top prize in School’s ladies football.
3. Team work this is one of the hallmarks of this team as they worked hard for each other and had a business like attitude throughout. They reached their peak in the All-Ireland final with magnificent team work in what was truly their greatest hour in the Loreto jersey.
Player of the match; while this was an exceptional team presentation from Loreto with top performance from Joanne O’Keeffe, Jessica Tonks and Jennifer Cahill, the accolades goes to Jennifer Barry who gave an awesome performance in the number 11 jersey in the final and is a well deserved winner of the award
Turning Point the game swung on its head for Loreto in a two minute spell mid way through the 2nd half with a two goal blast when Jennifer Barry was fowled in the Athenry square and slotted home the penalty, a minute later it was the turn of full forward Saoirse Moore when she bagged goal number three for her school to finish the game as a contest
Score of the match – while all four goals were expertly taken by Scannell, Barry and Moore, the accolade goes to Grace Culloty for her excellent individual effort in the 53rd minute when she tore the Athenry defence to shreds before rifling to the roof of the net from 20 meters
Loreto Path to the final
Tesco Munster Quarter final Loreto 4-12 Abbyfeale 0-02
Tesco Musnter Semifinal Loreto 4-05 Cahir 0-09
Tesco Munster Final Loreto 3-04 Mallow 1-09
Tesco All-Ireland semi final Loreto 3-05 Loreto Omagh 0-13
Tesco All-Ireland final Loreto 4-11 Presentation Athenry 1-07
Loreto scored 18-37 and conceded 2-40 in their five games
The Number Three
This number keeps cropping up in different aspects of the Loreto win, it was Loreto’s 3rd final at this level, it was 3rd time lucky, the Fermoy school were the 3rd Cork team to capture the ultimate prize in the 28 years of the competition at Senior “A” level, Loreto had 3 leaving cert students on the team, who knows 3 in a row could well be in the grasp for the school
Loreto Role of Honour
2006 – Pat the Baker Munster Senior “B” champions, All-Ireland Senior “B” champions
2007 – Pat the Baker Munster Senior “A” champions and All-Ireland runners up
2008 – Pat the Baker Munster Junior “A” champions, Munster Senior A Champions runners up
2009 – Pat the Baker Munster Senior “A” champions, All-Ireland runners up
2012 – Pat the Baker Munster Junior “A” and Munster Senior “A” runners up
2013 – Tesco HomeGrown Munster Junior “A” and Senior “A” champions
2013 - All-Ireland Senior “A” Champions
Munster 1st Year Blitz A champions in 2006 and 2012
A huge thank you to all the supporters who travelled to Nenagh on Wednesday 20th to support the girls on this historic occasion. The support was very much appreciated by the team and management as the team bus departed Fermoy for Nenagh a guard of honour was formed by the pupils and staff in front of the school, in all six coaches travelled to the Tipperary venue with a huge number of parents and club personnel also in attendance.
Mrs Marie Ring, Principal, Mrs. Marie Holt, Deputy Principal and all the staff at LoretoSecondary School are to be thanked for all their help and cooperation as football can disrupt class time on occasions. Your support for the players is very much appreciated.
A big thank you to the parents who supported the girls financially through out the year and all those who helped to fund raise on the lead up to the All-Ireland final, to any one who was generous in sponsorship to the team was very much appreciated and once again thanks for all your help.
The team were treated with a magnificent reception as they came home to Fermoy where they were led by a piper through the town to a reception at Pearse Square where the team were introduced to the large crowd by Colette Moore, Chairperson of Fermoy’s Ladies Football Club, Loreto School Principal Mrs. Marie Ring, welcomed the All-Ireland Champions home and mentioned what a marvellous honour it was for the girls to win the top prize for school football at national level. Deputy Principal Mrs. Marie Holt was also in attendance. The men who master minded this great result Ger Murphy and James Ahern also addressed the crowd as did team Captain Julie Buckley. In her closing remarks Colette thanked the huge crowd of supporters that were in attendance and also thanked them for their great support in Nenagh to help the girls to their ultimate dream.
In what has been an extraordinary year for ladies football at the school with the Munster Junior “A” and Senior “A” titles on the banks of the Blackwater and with history completed by capturing the Tesco HomeGrown All-Ireland Senior “A” football title for the first time in the school’s history. All-Irelands don’t come easy and after all the hours of training and commitment by the panel since last September this is truly an awarding finale for a group of players who failed to yield as the pressure mounted in the Munster final and the All-Ireland series, you have to be applauded for your honesty and whole hearted effort, you can now enjoy the rewards and the honour of being the number one Senior Schools Football Team in Ireland, take a bow!