ST MARY’S High School Midleton will contest next Saturday’s Lidl All-Ireland Post Primary School Senior A championship decider following an impressive run of form.
Tomás Mac a t’Saoir and Emma Farmer have guided the Midleton school to within one game of an All-Ireland title. The school’s impressive run to this year’s LGFA PPS Senior A decider has been nothing short of impressive.
Westmeath’s Moate Community School will provide formidable opposition. Yet, St Mary’s have been gaining momentum at junior as well as senior schools level since the season began.
“We have had a successful year with both age groups,” Mac a t’Saoir said.
“It is something that has probably been building over the last few years. Luckily enough, we won both junior and senior Munster PPS championships this year with groups of girls that have been together since entering secondary school.
“Our juniors came up short in their All-Ireland semi-final, but the seniors have managed to go one better. That just keeps everything and all the excitement going for another few weeks.”
Clearly, St Mary’s are using the momentum gained from two successful teams’ provincial success to help fuel their All-Ireland ambitions.
Mac a t’Saoir and Farmer have been fortunate to be able to call upon such a large group of talented players in both of their LGFA PPS campaigns this past year.
“I think we have close to 100 players between first and sixth year involved in ladies football at the moment,” Mac a t’Saoir added.
“Of those, 58 are first years who registered to play football for the school this year.
“That group (fifth and sixth years) won junior C, junior B, junior A, senior C and were promoted straight up to senior A before winning that grade as well. All credit must go to those players and to the girls that have followed them and tried to emulate their successes as well.
“We may have to recruit more coaching help the way things are going! That is not a bad complaint to have though.”
Dara Kiniry and Rachel Leahy may have made their mark at inter-county level, but it has taken a complete team effort to qualify St Mary’s for Saturday’s All-Ireland showdown with an equally talented Moate Community School.
“We owe a lot of credit to the clubs supplying our players because they have put a huge effort into ladies football and St Mary’s High School is reaping the benefits.
“Every one of the players is working extremely hard heading up the All-Ireland final. That’s why it has been such a nice experience for those girls as they might not be winning as many honours within their own club county championships. The school’s success is something that they should be very proud of.
“Beating Cashel and then Sacred Heart of Westport, even playing in that All-Ireland semi-final, has been very exciting not just for the players but for the whole school.
“Naturally, you would be a little nervous heading into an All-Ireland final because it is a big day for them. As a group, they deserve all the success that has come their way though. That’s because everything Emma and I have asked them to do, they have done it.
“Preparations have gone well and everything is good ahead of Saturday. The players are raring to go. It is already a busy time at school at the moment with the TY’s School Show and oral examinations fast approaching.
“The whole school is buzzing and everyone in the school is looking forward to the All-Ireland final.”