All-Ireland win is a huge boost for football in Sacred Heart Clonakilty

All-Ireland win is a huge boost for football in Sacred Heart Clonakilty

Sacred Heart Secondary captain Lydia Sutton and her teammates celebrate after she had lifted the cup after the Lidl All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Senior C final. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

SACRED Heart Clonakilty’s 2022 Lidl All-Ireland LGFA PPS Senior C title success required a mammoth effort to see off Our Lady’s Bower in Sean Treacy Park last Friday.

The West Cork school edged their opponents 1-11 to 3-3 at the conclusion of a thrilling contest in which Cork City Women FC’s Orlaith Deasy top scored with 1-4.

Siofra Patwell (0-3) along with Ciardha McCarthy, Aisling Moloney, Millie Condon and Róisín Ní Bhuacalla (0-1 each) also contributed. Sacred Heart had to overcome the loss of Deasy to a sin-binning offence towards the end of an All-Ireland final not decided until deep into injury-time.

The winners had heroes all over the pitch, not least a back six comprising of Mary Murphy, Alannah O’Brien, Ruth Shanley, Millie Condon, Kate O’Donovan and Maeve Kingston, that restricted their opponents to four scores from open play. Goalkeeper Katie Hearne also played a crucial role.

Midfielders Katie O’Driscoll and Ciardha McCarthy plus forwards Róisín Ní Bhuachalla, Eimear O’Brien, Lydia Sutton, Siofra Pattwell, Orlaith Deasy, Niamh Kennedy and Aisling Moloney also made their mark.

“It is unbelievable, I’m speechless,” Sacred Heart captain Lydia Sutton said.

“When Orlaith (Deasy) went off we were a bit scared alright as it is tough (with 14 players) but you have to keep going. There is no other way to go. We always knew this All-Ireland final would be a hard-fought game. Thankfully, we came out on top and won it in the end.

“Camogie has generally been the more dominant sport in our school down through the years. It is great to see football on the up once again. It is brilliant for the younger players coming through. We will all be moving on so it important to have this success for our school. 

“Our managers Brian Daly and Ciarán Mulcahy are brilliant and supported us throughout the year. They never give out (laughs), it is always constructive criticism!”.

Sacred Heart full-back Alannah O’Brien was delighted with her school’s victory but took time to pay tribute to their defeated All-Ireland final opponents.

“It was a very hard-fought win and we were glad to get over the line in the end,” O’Brien said.

“Our Lady’s Bower are a serious team and put in a huge amount of effort throughout the whole game but luckily, we got crucial scores on the board and got the victory, thank God.” 

Siofra Pattwell contributed 0-3 of her side’s winning total and was equally delighted with the All-Ireland final’s outcome.

“It was very tough, my God, they got numbers behind the ball and it was so hard to break them down,” the Sacred Heart forward admitted.

“We got there in the end. We kept our cool. In terms of what this will do for our school, it will increase the interest in football for all the girls coming through.” 

Katie O’Driscoll has enjoyed plenty of memorable days out with the Cork’s underage inter-county teams. Winning an All-Ireland PPS title with her school and friends was extra-special for the young midfielder.

“It is great to win an All-Ireland title with the school friends and team mates you have played with all your life,” O’Driscoll said.

“It is special alright. There was a lot of running needed today. We played our previous matches on astro-turf pitches but we drove it on and got the win in the end. It took a bit of asking to get everyone up here for the All-Ireland final alright but it was worth it.

“As Siofra said, this All-Ireland final win will definitely bring football on in our school. Sacred Heart is very much a Camogie school but we will be up in the A (football) grade next year and hopefully drive it on.” The newly crowned Munster and All-Ireland champions have enjoyed a remarkable year. Sacred Heart’s management team of Brian Daly, Ciarán Mulcahy and Ann Marie Brosnan deserve huge praise.

Yet, the accolades belong to a panel of players that delivered provincial and national success to a school likely to feature prominently in next year’s PPS A grade.

Sacred Heart Secondary School: 

Katie Hearne; Mary Murphy, Alannah O’Brien, Ruth Shanley; Millie Condon, Kate O’Donovan, Maeve Kingston; Katie O’Driscoll, Ciardha McCarthy; Aisling Moloney, Eimear O’Brien, Lydia Sutton (c), Róisín Ní Bhuachalla, Orlaith Deasy, Siofra Patwell. Ciara Hourihane Ross, Aoife O’Flynn Meade, Ellen O’Riordan, Anna Meade, Ciara White, Niamh Kennedy, Rachel Deasy, Laura Daly, Maire Murphy, Ella Nyhan, Tara Fleming, Caoimhe McEvoy, Emer McCarthy.

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