Banagher College qualified for the Leinster junior ‘C’ camogie final courtesy of a hard-earned win over St Brigid’s College, Callan in Banagher on Monday.
Banagher enjoyed a tonic start when Chloe Reilly pounced for an early goal following an intelligent cross from midfielder Louise Mannion.
Callan responded with a point from the strong running Kym Ryan.Banagher had a point each from the Galway girls, Shauna Duane and Chloe Reilly, before speedy full-forward Therese Donnelly posted a Callan point.
Team captain Louise Mannion struck over a Banagher free. Róisín Daly had a great game at centre-forward for Banagher and she hit two points in succession at the end of the first quarter to leave it Banagher College 1-5, St Brigid’s 0-2 after 15 minutes.
The Callan girls put in a strong second quarter and were rewarded when Emily Hughes picked up a loose ball and goaled in the 20th minute.
They had a few near misses and were denied by the woodwork also.
Furthermore Louise Corcoran brought off a series of goal line saves from the home side to keep the visitors at bay.
Kym Ryan pointed again for St Brigid’s before Róisín Daly extended the difference to three points again with five minutes remaining in the half.
Those last minutes were frantically fought with Callan exerting huge pressure on the Banagher defence in which Kaitlyn Kennedy was supreme despite being well tested by her immediate opponent Molly Walsh.
Therese Donnelly had been causing havoc at full forward but her influence was reduced when she was switched out to wing forward.
Callan captain Lisa Donnelly added one more point before Hannah Larkin pointed from an acute angle at the other end to leave Banagher College ahead 1-7 to 1-4 at half time.
After the interval Callan had a break, when a free from Emer Lanigan dipped into the Banagher net (1-7 to 2-4).Game on!
The Banagher girls stepped up the pace and showed a hunger for possession.
With Karla Corcoran Lynch and Helen Healy giving great assistance to Louise Mannion at midfield they began to increase the supply to the forwards. None benefitted more than Chloe Reilly.
She ran at the opposition, constantly. She plucked a goal in the 40th minute to which Hannah Larkin added a point.
These scores settled the Banagher girls and when substitute Muireann Nolan first timed a screamer to the Callan net, they were in control.
Chloe Reilly soloed in and struck her third goal of the day to extend the lead to ten points.
Callan did make some late efforts to get back and were rewarded with a penalty which Emer Lanigan despatched to the net, but two further points from Chloe Reilly and one from Róisín Daly sealed a place in the final on Saturday, January 30 in Heywood against either Grennan College, Thomastown or Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise.
Banagher College - Louise Corcoran, Katie Foley, Amy Byrne, Laura Clancy, Olivia Mannion, Kaitlyn Kennedy, Karla Corcoran Lynch, Louise Mannion, capt (0-1, free), Helen Healy, Shauna Duane (0-1), Róisín Daly (0-4), Chloe Reilly (3-3, point free), Allison Rosney, Hannah Larkin (0-2), Nessa Dolan. Subs - Muireann Nolan (1-0) for N. Dolan; Heather Moran for L. Clancy; Dearbhla Kelly for K. Foley; Lauren Temple for O. Mannion.
St Brigid’s - Róisín Foley, Emma Denny, Laura Foley, Ailish Keogh, Sarah Doherty, Róisín Treacy, Claire Quigley, Emer Lanigan (2-0, frees), Lisa Donnelly, capt (0-1), Emily Hughes (1-0), Molly Walsh, Kym Ryan (0-2), Kerri Anne Power, Therese Donnelly, Lucie White Subs - Emer Dunphy for L. White; Meg Ryan for E. Hughes.
Referee - Simon Whelehan (Birr).