Loreto make it five provincial titles in a row

Loreto College Cavan senior footballers made it an historic five Ulster titles in a row with a superb performance against an extremely talented Our Lady’s side last week.

Retaining their Ulster A title was far from a formality, as the Castleblaney team are gave them the tough battle they anticipated, in Donagh pitch last Wednesday.

The schools have become very familiar with each other in Ulster’s premier competition, and this was the fourth time in the last five years they have contested the final.

Both schools brought large groups of enthusiastic supporters to the south Fermanagh venue which contributed greatly to the intense and thrilling atmosphere.

The foundations for the Cavan school’s victory were laid in the opening 15 minutes. Loreto took the lead through a Sarah Clarke point in the fourth minute, which Castleblayney responded to with a swift point of their own. However, Our Lady’s had no response to the four points scored over the following ten minutes by Loreto: a brace of scores by Ella Boylan along with efforts from Clodagh Clarke and Tara McAnenna put the score at 0-05 to 0-01.

Stylish finish

Castleblaney were determined to stick with the reigning champions and struck two fine scores to narrow the gap. However, with half time approaching the game’s crucial score came from the boot of Clodagh Clarke. Fantastic interplay between Loreto forwards Sarah Clarke and Emma Keogan providing Clodagh Clarke with a brilliant opportunity and the Ballyhaise player finished with style giving Loreto a 1-05 to 0-03 advantage at half-time.

The second half seen the introduction of Lauren Miney for midfielder Dearbhla Brady after the Killygarry player put in a huge first half effort.

Castleblaney started the half strongly hitting four unanswered points to reduce the deficit to the minimum.

The Loreto rearguard led by Roisin Gunn, Lucy Crowe, Clodagh Doyle and Sarah Cullivan took control for the remainder of the game only conceding one further point over the remaining 20 minutes.


In attack fantastic work by Emma McIntyre and Ellie Brady created an opportunity for Tara McAnenna to open the second half scoring for the Cavan side and Loreto seemed to settle into their stride after this.

Further scores from Katie O’Meara and Ella Boylan gave them a four point lead heading into the final five minutes of this epic encounter. The Monaghan side were determined not to let the game slip away and but for some fantastic defending from joint captain Aoibheann Morrison and a brilliant save by Emma Mulvaney the result could have been very different.

Loreto replacements Ciara Rogers and Kate Fegan came on to help Loreto see out the game with the Cavan side showing great composure over the final minutes to see out time on an historic victory.

Joint captains Ella Boylan and Aoibheann Morrison proudly accepted the cup with the player of the match award deservedly going to Ailbhe Kennedy.

The Loreto side now look forward to a huge challenge in the All Ireland Semi Final against two in a row Connacht Senior Champions, Sacred Heart School Westport in late February.