Marvellous Mary powers Pres’ to title

Mary O’Connell was the toast of the Presentation after her scoring performance earned her school the Leinster senior colleges camogie title.

Mary O’Connell was the toast of the Presentation after her scoring performance earned her school the Leinster senior colleges camogie title.

O’Connell grabbed all the points as the Pres girls lifted their sixth provincial crown at this level, and ended the reign of local rivals Loreto.

Despite the terrible weather the sides served up a thrilling contest when they locked horns in Thomastown.

The elements made for a low-scoring game but it was an exciting encounter, with the majority of play taking place between the two 45 metre lines. Both teams threw everything they had at each other, fighting for every ball as though their lives depended on it.

The Loreto had first use of the very strong breeze, and opened the scoring when centre-forward Michelle Teehan split the posts with a fine solo effort.

This would be the only score of the first half however, as both sets of backs took control and dominated the proceedings.


While they had failed to register a score in that opening half the Presentation girls were relaxed at half-time. Keeping their composure, the team felt they would get the upper hand in the second half due to the severity of the wind.

Much like the opening 30 minutes the second half started with the same intensity, but scores were hard to come by.

The Presentation pushed on and got on to the scoresheet when Mary O’Connell levelled matters with a 38th minute free, converted from a difficult angle.

This seemed to boost the girls from Loughboy. Having lost last year’s final to the same opposition, they were determined not to let it happen again.

O’Connell led the Pres charge, showing why she was a member of last year’s Kilkenny senior panel, firing over two superb points from play - one off her left side, the second off her right.

The champions Loreto never gave up. Led by their inspirational centre-back Sarah Kent they fought to the end, but O’Connell sealed a great win for the Pres when her late close-range free to confirm their coronation.

The Pres will travel to Galway for an All-Ireland semi-final against Portumna CS on February 15.

Presentation Kilkenny - Aoife Walsh (Danesfort), Sarah Walsh (Thomastown), Michaela Kenneally (Windgap), Maeve O’Connor (Thomastown), Ailish Butler (Thomastown), Rachel Phelan (Danesfort), Ciara Farrell (Thomastown), Alice Talbot (Piltown), Claire Nolan (Clara), Eimear Donnelly (Thomastown), Mary O’Connell (Clara), Claire Nolan (Clara), Aoife Farrell (Thomastown), Aisling Nolan (Clara), Orlaith Conlon (James Stephens). Sub: Ciara Murphy (St Brigid’s).

Loreto Kilkenny - Kirsty Maher (Dicksboro), Chloe Power (James Stephens), Danielle Kenny (Dicksboro), Fionnuala Quinlan (Young Irelands), Roisin Phelan (Conahy Shamrocks), Sarah Kent (Danesfort), Laura Murphy (O’Loughlin Gaels), Laura Greene (O’Loughlin Gaels), Niamh Deeley (James Stephens), Ciara Byrne (Clara), Michelle Teehan (James Stephens), Megan Walsh (Danesfort), Clodagh Power (St Lachtain’s), Roisin Breen (Paulstown), Eva Maher (Dicksboro). Sub: Grace O’Donnell (Young Irelands).

Ref - Pat Keogh (Carlow).