Presentation Secondary School Kilkenny travelled to Clonfert, Galway on Friday and beat Portumna Community School in the All-Ireland colleges senior ‘A’ camogie semi- final.
It was third time lucky as the game had been rescheduled twice because of bad weather. Presentation opted to open against the breeze and they found themselves under a lot of pressure with Portumna’s Taragh Moloney pointing twice from placed balls. Presentation soon found their feet and sprung to life.
The hard-working Ciara Farrell won possession and sent a low ball into her sister, Aoife, who flicked the sliotar into the path of Aisling Nolan, who took off on a solo run. Aisling fired a low shot at the goal. The Portumna ’keeper touched the ball out, but Aisling followed up and shot to the net.
The Presentation girls were dominant. They could and should have had more scores on the ’board. Industrious centre-forward, Claire Nolan, who had already set up a number of attacks, became provider when hand-passing to the unmarked Aisling Nolan, who pointed from a tight angle.
From the puck-out Portumna attacked. Maria Brehony headed towards goal but was fouled. The consistent Moloney made no mistake when converting the free.
With minutes left in half the Presentation’s Mary O’Connell sent an intelligent pass over the top to Aoife Farrell, who found herself one on one with the goalie. Aoife was rugby tackled to the ground. Michaela Kenneally took the resulting penalty but was denied by a superb save. Presentation went in a point up at the break.
In the second half both teams gave their all in pursuit of the place in the All-Ireland final. Presentation enjoyed a perfect start when corner forward Aoife Farrell got possession. She went past her marker and unleashed a piledriver to the roof of the net. Almost mmediately Claire Nolan pointed from 30 metres.
Portumna responded well and came close on 42 minutes when Emma Rutledge saw her shot drift just wide. With less than 10 minutes remaining the Kilkenny girls were caught when Maria Brehony goaled from close range.
There was a goal between the sides. Portumna piled on the pressure but some heroic defending from Eimear Corr and Ailish Butler helped the Presentation survive. The winners face Ulster champions, St Mary’s, Magherafelt in the All-Ireland final shortly.
Presentation Kilkenny - Roisin Walsh, Sarah Walsh, Michaela Kenneally, Maeve O’Connor, Eimear Corr, Ailish Butler, Rachel Phelan, Ciara Farrell, Alice Talbot, Eimear Donnelly, Claire Nolan, Mary O’Connell, Aoife Farrell, Aisling Nolan, Orlaith Conlon. Subs - Ciara Murphy, Jenny O’Neill.