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Mallow girls are extra special

Munster senior A Pat the Baker Post Primary final Thursday March 6th 2007.

Mallow girls are extra special. By Fr Liam Kelleher

St Mary’s Mallow 2-24 Loretto Fermoy 3-07 after extra time
For sheer commitment, endeavour and drama, this Pat the Baker Munster Senior schools final had it all. Played in blustery conditions at the Mallow GAA complex this exciting game looked to be heading Mallow’s way with 15 minutes to go when they held a comfortable 3-goal advantage. Loretto last years beaten All-Ireland finalists and holders of the trophy are hard battlers were not prepared to give up without a fight. Emma O’Hanlon got a goal back for the Fermoy girls, and then Katie Hannon gave the keeper no chance, as she dispatched a penalty to the corner of the net. There was final drama when an unusually subdued Grace Kearney made up for her quiet day, rose high to grab the ball and planted it in the net to the joy of the huge Loretto Support. Indeed most pundits admit that a home venue is worth at least a few points to the home team, but the cheer that greeted the equalising goal could be heard all the way back to St Mary’s. Sport always gives a high profile to any school both for prestige an in any recruitment campaign but it seemed inexplicable that the Loretto supporters out numbered the home support by 10 to 1. The momentum then appeared to be going Fermoy’s way but the Mallow team backboned by 12 from the Mourneabbey club, made light of their lack of support and were unbelievable in extra time scoring 2-8, with Loretto drained from their comeback exertions could not muster a single score. While the final score might have flattered Mallow, there is no doubt that the laurels rested where they belong and this brilliant bunch of girls will repay the confidence of their coach and school teacher Mairead Lucey and will return to the school with ultimate honours. I watched the devastation on their faces 4 years ago in Ennis, when they were cruelly denied the Senior B All-Ireland title. But this is the real thing the A competition the highest you can get. Incredibly, there were seven of the preset team in the squad 4 years ago and they will certainly be determined to garner ultimate honours.
Many facets
There are many facets to a winning combination and application to the task in hand, is one of them, for 99% of the game in normal time the Mallow girls looked unbeatable, but they showed their true grit and character in that extra time. Every one of the girls were heroines, but I think it would be fair to say that the contribution of Ciara O’Sullivan, not just in her forward role but all over the field was truly inspirational, that is not to take in any way from the performance of any of her team-mates. Playing with the wind St Mary’s were slow to settle and were level with Loretto 2 points apiece after 8 minutes they had more opportunities and their continuous attacking gave them a further 8 points before the break. Fermoy were limited to a few lightning raids and for most of the time they proved to be too individualistic and yielded just 2 points, this due as well to the tight marking Mallow defence where fullback Linda Barrett was majestic. Their entire defence can boast of Cork experience and it showed. Playing with advantage of a pretty strong wind in the 2nd half Loretto were expected to bridge the gap, they did eventually, but before that, Mallow slotting over points at regular intervals looked to have gone out of reach. However, the glorious uncertainties of Sport, were graphically illustrated once gain as Loretto roared back, with goals out of the top drawer to tie the game in normal time. Loretto deserve great credit for their tremendous comeback, but they were overrun in extra time. While that landslide extra time dominance was a joy to Mallow it proved to be a bitter pill to swallow for the Fermoy girls, whom simply had not the legs during those draining minutes. In the scoring stakes, Ciara O’Sullivan came out on top notching 14 points; with just one coming from a free, her sister Roisin also had a huge game and contributed 1-1 while younger sister Doireann at 13 also played a starring role. Brid O’Sullivan too had a fine game chipping in with 1-4 and the new Mallow club have unearthed a gem in Katie Buckley who shot 4 points form the full forward slot. Fermoy too had their share of Cork players but their combination left them down on the day. Ref Keith Delahunty contributed to the free flowing game using the advantage rule to good effect. Dan O’Mahony Chairman Post Primary presented the senior cup to Mallow Capt Tricia Murphy and Linda Barrett was the worthy recipient of the Pat the Baker player of the final

St Mary’s Mallow 1 Emma Forde 2. Rebecca Larkin 3. Linda Barrett 4. Niamh O’ Regan 5. Trisha Murphy capt 6. Kathryn Coakley 7. Sandra Conroy 8. Karen O’ Halloran 9. Roisin O’ Sullivan 10. Brid O’ Sullivan 11. Ciara O’ Sullivan 12. Aoife Daly 13. Doireann O’ Sullivan 14. Katie Buckley 15. Marie O’ Callaghan 16. Cliona Woulfe 17. Kerri Wallace 18. Anita Kelleher 19. Eimear O’ Callaghan 20. Robyn Wallace 21. Sinead Coakley 22. Brenda O Riordan 23. Elaine Sheehan 24 Miriam O’ Callaghan 25. Julia Lane
Loretto Fermoy
1. Aisling Hartnett 2. Aisling Hutchings 3. Katie O’Flynn 4. Mairead Rice 5. Claire Gleeson 6. Eleanor Aherne 7. Michelle Hartnett 8. Joanne O’ Brien 9. Fiona Cotter 10. Jenny Sheehan 11. Kate Sheehan 12. Grace Kearney 13. Kate Feeney 14. Katie Hannon 15. Emma Hagan 16. Annie Butler 17. Sinead Walsh 18. Finola Neville 19. Deirdre O’ Mahony 20. Katie Coughlan 21. Jenny Barry 22. Niamh O’ Donovan 23. Claire Hutchings 24. Amy Mansell 25. Laura Barry 26. Helen Dinan 27. Mairead Kennedy 28. Aoife O’ Sullivan 29. Eimer Ferrick 30. Martha O’ Donovan 31. Marie O’ Regan 32. Chantal Mahon 33. Laura Mulcahy
No Joy for Clon.
Playing Hospital of Limerick in the Junior B final Sacred heart Clonakilty lost out on a score line of 1-14 to 3-07

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