Loreto girls in football final23 Mar 2017
Loreto Clonmel are back in a Ladies football All Ireland final for the first time since 2011.
There is an air of palpable excitement in the school as they prepare to travel to O’Moore Park in Portlaoise this Sunday to play St Joseph’s of Rochfortbridge Co. Westmeath in the All-Ireland B final.
They will be hoping to emulate the team of 2011 who won the All-Ireland C final in extra time against St. Louis of Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan.
The team on that occasion was managed by PE teacher Niamh Barry and Brian White of Clonmel Commercials and All Ireland referee fame.
The same management team on Sunday will send out a very well prepared Loreto team ready to give it their all in search of a another All Ireland title for the school.
Loreto have been competing very well in the B competition since 2011 and having suffered the heart break of two successive Munster final defeats, they made the breakthrough this year and have had a very impressive run to the final.
They defeated Colaiste Pobal Dingle in the Munster semi-final and beat another Kerry team, Rathmore, in the Munster final.
They were very impressive when beating the Connaught champions, Sacred Heart of Westport,
This team doesn’t lack for football skill and commitment and are a well-balanced side with a good defence, hard -working centerfielders and skilful forwards who have racked up good scores en route to the final.
The team is backboned by local clubs Moyle Rovers, Clonmel Commercials and Ballymacarbery as well as representation from Ardfinnan Slievenamon, Comeragh Rangers and Clerihan.
A number of these girls are on the Tipperary and Waterford county minor panels indicating the strength in depth Loreto has at its disposal.
However Rochfortbridge will present a formidable challenge.
Having already won the camogie All Ireland, they will be hoping to add a football title to their collection.
As Leinster champions they deserve respect and Loreto won’t take anything for granted on Sunday.
Like any All Ireland the game will have to won through hard work and full commitment by all players on the day.
Every ball will have to fought for and the team have shown a great work ethic to date to create opportunities for scores.
Captain of the team Aisling Deely and full back Maeve Ryan missed the All Ireland semi-final due to injury and illness.
Hopefully they will be recovered to be considered for selection for the final.
PE teacher Niamh Barry, who plays with the Bride Rovers club in Cork, has high hopes for the Loreto team.
She points to the strength in depth of the panel throughout the campaign.
Cora Maher and Jenny Everard will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of their sisters Yvonne and Sarah respectively who both played on the 2011 team and bring home another All Ireland medal on behalf of the Clonmel School.
Tipperary Ladies football at post primary level has had a memorable year so far.
St John the Baptist, Hospital, Limerick with Tipperary players from Aherlow, Lattin and Cappawhite are in the A All Ireland final, Loreto Clonmel contest the B final while Presentation Thurles will compete in the C All Ireland taking place immediately after the B final.
Rockwell College won the D Munster final and this competition does not progress beyond Munster.
On the day after the game some of the girls will sit the oral Irish examination for their leaving Certificate, indicating the huge level of commitment they give to Ladies football for the school.
The match is timed for 12.15pm and a big crowd is expected to travel to cheer on these girls as they seek to add another Ireland to the school’s glorious history in Ladies football..
The Loreto Panel is as follows; Aisling Deely (C), Claire Moore, Maeve Ryan, Niamh Martin, Shania Dowling, Sadbh Hallinan , Ailish Ryan, Kellyann Hogan, Derbhile Fitzgerald, Cora Maher, Brigita Valuntatie, Aine Fitzgearld, Anna Carey, Orla Burke, Ava Fennessy, Kristy Crotty Ryan, Jenny Everard, Orla Winston, Aoibheen Cody, Ciara Ryan, Veerle van der Wal, Caoimhe Mulcahy, Anna Morris, Ciara Corbett, Rosin Breen, Ciara Slattery, Lizzie Ryan, Lorraine Dunne, Roweena Dowling.
Preview – Paudie Everard