Sacred Heart 3-7
St Mary’s 3-5
JOHN BOHANE REPORTS
IT’S no coincidence that just two days after Kilkenny hurler Henry Shefflin offered words of wisdom to Sacred Heart Secondary School’s senior camogie team that the Clon girls won the Munster senior title for the first time in 15 years, defeating Midleton at Ahamilla last Saturday afternoon.
The last time the Clonakilty school secured Munster glory was in 1999, and they went all the way to an All-Ireland title that season. That famed team included newly crowned West Cork Sports Star of the Year Jennifer O’Leary.
Sacred Heart now proceed to an All-Ireland semi-final against the Leinster champions, to be played on Valentine’s Day.
The West Cork ladies enjoyed a dream start as they notched two goals within the opening eight minutes.
Inter-county star and captain Claire Sexton underlined her potential with two super goals.
It took St Mary’s High School 15 minutes to open their scoring account as they struck two successive points. The impressive Ailbhe Dowling quickly reduced Sacred Heart’s lead to five points following a pointed free.
St Mary’s championship hopes received a major boost when they netted twice in a blistering two-minute period. Jill Butler and Rachel Fogarty scored for the East Cork oufit as they moved one point clear in the 24th minute.
The home side immediately restored parity when Chloe Sexton finished off good approach play by Rosemarie Dullea and Michelle Dullea, as the sides were level at half time.
St Mary’s started the second half brightly as Leah McEvoy quickly restored their one-point lead.
Sacred Heart, however, proceeded to enjoy a sustained period of dominance as they struck 1-3 in a five-minute spell. Alibhe Dowling, unerringly accurate from set pieces throughout, struck three points before Rosemarie Dullea netted following an ambitious drive.
The impressive Dowling converted another free which moved her side six points clear with a quarter of the game remaining.
Sacred Heart’s hopes of championship success received a setback when Dowling was forced off with a knee injury.
St Mary’s, aided by the strong breeze, dominated in the final quarter as they recorded 1-2 without reply. That reduced the deficit to one point as the game entered injury time.
But Sacred Heart possessed heroes in every sector of the pitch as they defended brilliantly which ensured they maintained their slender advantage.
Ace back Rebecca McCarthy clinched victory for Sacred Heart when she converted a 45.
There were jubiliant scenes following the game when triumphant captain Chloe Sexton was presented with the cup.
Sacred Heart, Clonakilty: Claire Sexton 2-1; Ailbhe Dowling 0-5f; Rosemarie Dullea 1-0; Rebecca McCarthy 0-1f.
St Mary’s High School, Midleton: Hannah Looney 1-2; Jill Butler 1-0; Rachel Fogarty 1-0; Leah McEvoy 0-2 (1 45, 1f); Chloe Sigerson 0-1.
Sacred Heart, Clonakilty: Meabhdh Sexton (Barryroe); Rebecca McCarthy (Barryroe), Katie Sexton (Timoleague), Caitlin Walsh (Timoleague); Orla Fahey (Timoleague), Kellie Scannell (Enniskeane), Lorraine Dineen (Timoleague); Ciara Crowley (Ballinascarthy), Rachel Sheehy (Barryroe); Orla Lowney (Clonakilty), Rosemarie Dullea (Clonakilty), Michelle Dullea (Ballinascarthy); Hannah Whelton (Barryroe), Claire Sexton (Barryroe), Ailbhe Dowling (Timoleague).
Subs used: Ciara Ryan (Clonakilty), Rochelle Scannell (Enniskeane).
St Mary’s High School, Midleton: Kate Mary Cullinane; Zoe McEvoy, Niamh O’Farrell, Emma Treacy; Sharon Murphy, Lucy Lawton, Ciara O’Neill; Leah McEvoy, Rachel Fogarty; Sinead Landers, Hannah Looney, Rachel Dunne; Sara Leahy, Chloe Sigerson, Jill Butler.
Sub used: Michelle Stafford.
Referee: Cathal Egan.