St Mary’s High School, Midleton 2-2 Coachford College 0-5
ST Mary’s High School, Midleton took the Cork Colleges Senior A title as they edged out Coachford College in a close contest in Castle Road in ideal conditions on an excellent surface.
On three occasions the sides were level and it looked as if we might have to go to extra time but a goal two minutes into added time from Aishling McCarthy was enough to tip the balance in St Mary's favour and give them a first title since 1991. All over the field, they had excellent performers, particularly Aoife Healy, Mary Millerick and Rachel Leahy.
Leahy gave St Mary's the lead after six minutes, and using the strong wind they pressurised the Coachford defence who stood firm, with Eireann O’Shea, Aoife Twomey and Maria Buckley working hard.
With both schools dropping a player back, so scores were hard to come by. Coachford got off the mark with an Amy Sheppard free 10 minutes in and her second free made it 0-2 to 0-1 at the first water break.
Coachford battened down the hatches as St Mary's pumped a lot of balls into the danger zone. That pressure finally told when Lilly Hayes-Nally was quickest to react to Kate O'Brien’s long-range free as it dropped into the square and she finished smartly to the net: 1-1 to 0-2.
With the strong wind, Coachford came out of the blocks fast in the second half and were level thanks to Sheppard, a point from play and another from a placed ball. Both goalkeepers were kept busy Caoimhe O’Mahony and Chloe Lane showing great calmness under pressure with good handling and distribution all through.
After the second water break, O’Brien hit St Mary's first score of the second half and against the breeze, they were enjoying the lion's share of possession.
Sheppard converted a 45 with four minutes remaining to tie it up but St Mary's struck for the winning goal in the closing stages.