Presentation Secondary School represented Leinster in the All Ireland A seven aside series where the Kilkenny girls had to compete with the winners of Munster, Connaught and Ulster. The competition took place in Blanchardstown Dublin.
The first game of the day saw Presentation take on Portumna Galway. The Kilkenny girls got off to the perfect start with Michaela Keneally scoring two spectacular goals within the first five minutes. Ciara Farrell and Mary O’Connell added further points to leave the score 2-3 to 0-1 at half time. The roles of the teams reversed in the second half with Portumna scoring three unanswered goals in the first few minutes but Presentation with their never say die attitude kept fighting and added a further two points to their tally through cousins Aishling and Claire Nolan to secure victory.
The next game of the day saw Presentation take on Ulster champions – Maghera Antrim. Here the girls proved much too strong for their opponents finishing with a comprehensive win of 4-6 for Presentation to 0-2 for Maghera. In this game the goals came from Mary O’Connell (2), Micahela Keneally and Ciara Farrell.
Two wins out of two meant Presentation were straight through to the final without playing the third round. Their opponents were St. Flannans from Ennis Co. Clare who had also recorded two wins out of two. This was expected to be a very close encounter as both teams were full of determination and had skill in abundance.
The game certainly lived up to all expectations. As in previous games the Kilkenny girls were in razor sharp mode from the very outset. Mary O’Connell opened the scoring with a pointed free from close range. Immediately after, Mary added a goal to her scoring tally when she raced through the Ennis defence and sent an unstoppable shot to the back of the net. Further goals were added in quick succession by the hard working midfield duo of Claire Nolan and Ciara Farrell. At the interval Presentation had a respectable lead of 3-4 to 1-1 thanks to the exceptional defensive unit of Rachel Phelan and Ailish Butler who let very little pass. St.Flannans came out all guns blazing in the second half scoring 1-1 unanswered. However the Presentation girls were never going to give in and in the final eight minutes they showed their real class with Mary O’Connell scoring three points and Claire and Aishling Nolan adding one apiece. A further two goals added by St. Flannans kept the Kilkenny supporters on edge right until the last minute when Aishling Nolan finished a well worked move to the back of the net to secure victory for her team. The final score Presentation 4-9 St Flannans 4-3.
Captain Ciara Farrell lifted the Cup on behalf of the Presentation girls who truly deserved this victory and are very worthy All Ireland champions.
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