John The Baptist Bring TESCO PPS Junior B Title to Limerick

St Michael's Lurgan, Armagh v John the Baptist, Limerick - TESCO All Ireland PPS Junior B Final

John the Baptist (Limerick) 2-14

St. Michael’s Lurgan (Armagh) 4-06

Armagh’s St. Michael’s and John the Baptist from Limerick arrived at Coralstown Kinnegad in bright sunshine but by the time the ball was thrown in for the TESCO All Ireland PPS Junior B Final the weather had deteriorated with a stiff wind blowing down the field making conditions difficult for both sides. Despite this the two sides produced some scintillating football that saw John the Baptist hold a strong lead coming into the final few minutes only for St. Michael’s come back to within two points but fall just short as the Limerick school claimed the title.

John the Baptist played with the advantage of a strong wind in the first half but some wayward shooting some them kick 12 wides. Andrea O’Sullivan and Eimear Kirby kicked the first two points of the match and these two were to have a huge say in John the Baptist’s victory. Michaela Doyle scored the first point for St. Michael’s into a very strong wind but a brilliant move involving 6 different players saw Aoibhinn Henderson feed the ball to Dearbhla Coleman who netted from close range. Eimear Kirby’s second point was the score of the match as the young forward collected the ball inside her own 45 and ran straight through the St. Michael’s defence to point and lift her whole college. John the Baptist went in at half time leading by 8 points to 1-01 after having the wind in the first half and one felt that it was not going to be enough of a lead.

Kirby got the second half underway with her third point but they suffered a hammer blow as Elisha Donnelly was on the end of another lovely move from St. Michael’s and she made no mistake as she rolled the ball into the net. Michaela Doyle and Meabh McCambridge added further points as St. Michael’s pulled within one point and had all the momentum. However, Andrea O’Sullivan in the middle of the field for John the Baptist began to take control and her run and shot was brilliantly saved by Niamh McSherry but the ball fell to O’Sullivan who volleyed to the net. Aoibhinn Henderson scored two points in reply for St. Michael’s making it 2-05 to 1-10 but Caitlin Kennedy ran through the St. Michael’s defence and her shot, which was saved by McSherry, spun back off the keepers leg only to go into the net. Michael’s needed a goal to get back into the game and when Aoibhinn Henderson shot from distance and saw her point come back off the crossbar and rebound narrowly wide off the corner back they must have thought their chance was gone. John the Baptist continued to keep the score board ticking over with points from Andrea O’Sullivan and Anna Rose Kennedy which was to prove vital as St. Michael’s rallied late on with goals from Elisha Donnelly and Michaela Doyle leaving just two between the sides with time running out. A last desperate attack was launched by St. Michael’s but they could not find the last score they needed as the whistle sounded.

Both teams had some excellent performances with Elisha Donnelly, Dearbhla Coleman, Michaela Doyle and Aoibhinn Henderson particularly good for St. Michael’s. There were stars all over the field for the champions with Lucy Clarke Ryan and Grainne Condon especially strong in defence whilst Anna Rose Kennedy and  Eimear Kirby proving to both be superb on the wings and Caitlin Kennedy was a constant threat. However, there can be little doubt that it was Andrea O’Sullivan who was the most outstanding performer on the day as the midfielder, whose every touch was greeted with huge cheers from her team’s supporters, controlled proceedings throughout and lifted her team with some driving runs and a personal tally of 1-03.

John the Baptist

C. O’Brien, C. Byrne, C. Ryan, L.R. Ryan, K. Heelan, G. Condon (0-01) M. Barry, G. Ryan (capt), A O’Sullivan (1-03, 1 free), E. Kirby (0-04), K. Baggott, A.R. Kelly (0-05, 3 Frees), C. Clancy, S. Morrissey, C. Kennedy(1-01)

St. Michael’s

N. McSherry, A. McGibbin, C. Towe, A. Catney, G. French, S. Campbell, C. Phillips, M. McCann, D. Coleman (1-00), E. Donnelly (2-00), A. Doran, M. Doyle (1-02), M. McCambridge (0-01), A. Henderson (0-03, 1 free, A. Kearney.

Substitute: Aimee Keenan for Amy Catney.

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