THIS is a big day for two Cork schools as they go in search of All-Ireland honours.
It is great to see Cork teams once again featuring at All-Ireland level and battling for title, last weekend Clonakilty failed to get over the final hurdle as they lost out in the junior series.
It’s all systems go as St Mary’s from Midleton head to Banagher in Offaly where they will take on Loreto from Dublin in the Tesco Post Primary All-Ireland Senior B final.
Coláiste an Chroí Naofa, Carraig na bhFear hit the road to the Clonmel Commercials GAA grounds for their meeting with Colaiste Mhuire Johnstown Kilkenny in the Tesco Post Primary All-Ireland Senior D final.
St Mary’s Midleton clinically dispatched the challenge posed by Dominican College Dublin 0-18 to 1-4 to advance to the final. They are a strong side with Cork minors Ali Smith, Anita Hurley and Amie Morgan and Cork U16 Aoife Healy.
Two years ago they took the junior colleges title and they have made huge strides to make it to the Senior B decider. Loreto had a fine victory over Banagher College on a 2-14 to 3-6 and they will be determined to keep that going and take the title to the capital.
Coláiste an Chroí Naofa had a superb victory over Convent of Mercy Roscommon and they will be led today by last season’s All-Ireland winning Cork minor joint captain Emma Murphy and last year’s Cork minor Cliona Martin, current Cork minor Tara McCarthy, Cork U16 Meaghan Martin and Glen Rovers senior Lisa O’Riordan.
Coláiste Mhuire had a point to spare over Heart’s Newry in a battle of a semi-final and they will be looking to Aoife Ryan, Sarah Phelan, Kelly Webster Michaela Ryan and Eimear Fitzpatrick to lead the way for them.
Dublin 1-12 Cork 1-9
NOT the best of starts for reigning All-Ireland minor champions Cork in their quest for three in a row as Dublin held out on Saturday last to record a three-point victory in the opening game of the round-robin series.
Gusts of wind and spitting rain from Storm Dennis in Bray didn’t help matters as the teams took to the field.
Aisling O’Neill opened the home account with a point and with Niamh Comerford adding one from a free and they went three clear thanks to O’Neill.
Cork found strong resistance from the Dublin defence before Rebecca Sheehan finishes to the net in a goalmouth scramble.
The sides exchanged points Ciara Golden and Niamh Comeford on target as the rain gathered momentum and with both defences under a lot of pressure Dublin force a 45 which Comerford converted.
Cork replied with a Clodagh Finn point but Dublin upper the pace to finish the half stronger adding two points to their tally, a free from Comerford and one from play by Katie McDonald puts them 0-7 to 1-2 ahead at the interval.
Cork applied pressure from the restart with two Daire O’Brien points to level matters, Comerford and O’Neill again edge Dublin back in front as the wind and the rain howled.
Cork cut it back again to a point but Ellen Dunphy made it two with a point on the run before Comerford converted a free to make it three points.
With both defences still under a lot of pressure it was end to end stuff.
Dublin won a free which Katie McDonald sent goal wards where Comeford duly dispatched it to the net.
Cork produced a strong finish which saw them hit two points from play Isobel Sheehan and Ali Smith on target but Dublin replied with one.
Cork responded with two in a row from Claire Kingston and Smith but it was not enough as Dublin had maintained and protected their small but vital lead when it mattered.
With all the other games in the group cancelled last weekend due to weather Dublin sit on top of the table. Cork will now re focus and battle to gain a foothold as they try to secure a semi-final spot.
They will take on Tipperary on February 29 and Waterford on March 7 both game at home before travelling away to Wexford on March 21 and Laois and March 28 and from here on in every game is vital if the semi-final spot is to be secured.