Classy Cross Girls collect Ulster title

May 9, 2016


St. Joseph’s H.S., Crossmaglen  14 – 11 St. Bendict’s H.S., Randalstown  0 – 5

St Joseph’s girls’ gave a fine exhibition of skill, class and determination as they totally outplayed St. Bendict’s H.S., Randalstown, in a one-sided U.14 Ulster Schools’ Final at Garvaghey Centre of Excellence on Thursday last.

Having previously recorded a narrow victory in their semi-final clash with St. Aidan’s H.S., Cootehill, the Crossmaglen team expected a tough encounter in the final against their Antrim counterparts. This proved to be the case in the first half with both teams treating the supporters to an entertaining game. After twenty minutes only two points divided the teams with the score at St. Joseph’s H.S., Crossmaglen 1–02, St. Bendict’s H.S., Randalstown  0–3.

Then the outstanding Crossmaglen half forward, Alex Clarke took the game by the scruff of the neck and after soloing for 60 yards with the ball she scored a superb goal to lift her teammates. This gave the St. Joseph’s girls a real boost and in the remaining ten minutes of the first half, further scores from Erin O’Reilly, Orlaith McDonnell, Alex Clarke, Emer Rushe and Eimear Traynor gave St. Joseph’s a good lead at the break, 7-3 to 0-3. Randalstown did their best to stay in the game but the south Armagh girls regained the initiative in the second half to consolidate their lead and it was an ecstatic Crossmaglen side that greeted the final whistle.

Jubilant scenes followed with the St. Joseph’s players, their coaches, Miss Aileen McCarron and Mr Michael McIlroy, supporting pupils and staff and families and friends of the players thrilled with the superb victory saw captain Erin O’Reilly receive the ‘Erne’ Shield.

There were many stars, not least the members of the defence, superbly marshalled by goalkeeper Chloe Kilroy and the entire back line of Caoifhlinn Carleton, Michaela Hughes and Alannah Grant presenting a strong barrier to the Randalstown attack. Half backs Nicole ‘Mini’ Caraher, Erinn McShane and Anna Brogan along with midfielders Eimear Traynor and captain, Erin O’Reilly stamped their authority on the game with whole hearted displays. Alex Clarke, Orlaith McDonnell and Caoimhe Dooley spearheaded the attacking force ably supported by Caitlain McCoy, Emer Rushe, Chloe Murphy and substitute Sorcha McGee.

The players and coach would like to thank all those who supported them. We would like to acknowledge the support given to the team by Mary Deery – Valu Land, Casey’s Eurospar and Mortons Fruit & Veg. The support from these local businesses was much appreciated.

The team are as follows: Chloe Kilroy, Caoifhlinn Carleton, Michaela Hughes, Alannah Grant, Nicole ‘Mini’ Caraher, Erinn McShane, Anna Brogan, Eimear Traynor, Erin O’Reilly, Alex Clarke, Emer Rushe, Caoimhe Dooley, Caitlain McCoy, Orlaith McDonnell, Chloe Murphy.

Substitutes: Sorcha McGee, Megan McNamee, Eve Rowland, Claire Casey, Shauna McKeown, Caoimhe Donnelly, Sorcha Devlin, Laura McAnulty, Ciarrai Garvey.