Senior Camogs Book Ulster Final Place
Ulster Colleges Senior Camogie St Louis midfielder Maura Downey in action during Monday’s Corn Uan Uladh semi-final win over St Pat’s Maghera in Ballymena. Pic by John McIlwaine
Corn Uan Uladh semi-final
St Louis Ballymena 4-1 St Patrick’s Maghera 0-3
St Louis Ballymena won the last of their five Corn Uan Uladh titles in 1951 and yesterday they reached their first final since then with a comfortable win over last season’s beaten finalists St Patrick’s Maghera in Quinn Park Ballymena.
And that victory also means that this will be the first time in 29 years that neither Maghera nor St Mary’s Magherafelt will contest a decider with hot favourites and holders Cross and Passion Ballycastle already through after a lob-sided win over Magherafelt on Saturday.
Yesterday’s game was scrappy for the most part, but always under the control of St Louis despite Maghera opening the scoring with a free from Olivia Rafferty.
Eilish Kearns, Kathryn Mullan and Amy Boyle shut out everything at the back and, with Maura Downey and Caoimhe Molloy driving them forward, they created more scoring opportunities than Maghera, who couldn’t really make much headway despite the excellence of Mairead Comer in goals, Eimear McGuigan, Céat McEldowney and Aisling Porter.
Erin Traynor forced home a goal for St Louis after five minutes and two minutes later Aimee Traynor made it 2-0 to 0-1. However the game then went over 20 minutes without a further score.
Just before that next score, St Louis lost experienced centre-forward Áine Devlin to injury, but Mary McKillen nipped in for another goal in the 27th minute and that was quickly followed by a fourth goal when Maura Downey took over from Devlin on placed balls and fired a penalty low to the net.
Just after half-time Mary McKillen drew a brilliant save from Mairead Comer in the Maghera nets, but the Loughgiel forward then flashed over a 37th minute point. From then until the end there were just two more scores, both for Maghera, a free from Olivia Rafferty and a super catch and point from sub Maria Rafferty.
At no time did Maghera really threaten St Louis who now face the formidable challenge of north Antrim rivals Cross and Passion in the decider in mid-January.
St Louis: Á Graham, L McAleese, E Kearns, K Mullan, C Martin, A Boyle, C McGaughey, M Downey 1-0 pen, C Molloy, C Crawford, Á Devlin, K Burke, M McKillen 1-0, A Traynor 1-0, E Traynor 1-0.
Subs : S Darragh for Á Devlin (26), K Edgar for A Traynor (44), F Hills for C Martin (49)
St Patrick’s : M Comer, C Turner, E McGuigan, A McGuckin, S McGill, A Porter, M Glass, C McEldowney, B Kelly, C Bradley, O Rafferty 0-2 frees, C McKeagney, B Gallagher, D McGuckin, N Gribben.
Subs: R McCusker for M Glass (26), M Rafferty 0-1 for N Gribben (37), L Scullion for A McGuckin (46)
Referee : Owen Elliott (Antrim)