Injury time heartbreak for Scoil Chríost Rí as they lose out to Loreto Navan

Rory Delaney

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Rory Delaney

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rory@leinsterexpress.ie

Injury time heartbreak for Scoil Chríost Rí as they lose out to Loreto Navan

Scoil Chríost Rí suffered injury-time heartbreak in the Leinster Junior 'A' final on Tuesday, as they lost out to St Michael's Loreto from Navan.

Despite dominating possession for much of the game, Chríost Rí struggled to convert that into scores, as a fierce wind blowing straight across the field in Abbotstown made it very difficult for both teams.

In spite of that, they looked like they had done enough to secure the victory when they went three points ahead with three minutes of normal time left, but Loreto hit 1-1 without reply in the closing stages to snatch the victory.

Chríost Rí had made a bright start to the game, as The Heath duo Lisa Keane and Grace Salmon (free) pointed either side of a Zoe Matthews effort.

Orla Knowles then added another for the Portlaoise school, who were then handed a numerical advantage when Loreto had a player sent to the sin-bin. However, the adversity brought the best out of the Meath girls, and they rattled off three points without reply to go 0-4 to 0-3 in front after 23 minutes.

Sarah Larkin levelled the game with a free for Chríost Rí, but a point from Orla Finnegan had Loreto 0-5 to 0-4 in front at half time.

Portlaoise made a bright start to the second half, as midfielder Julia Cahill raced forward from the throw-in and scored a brilliant point. Anna Wogan hit back for Loreto, but Chríost Rí were dominating possession now and drew level once again thanks to Shauna Dooley.

Lisa Keane then put them in front with a fine score after evading a couple of Loreto defenders, and Grace Salmon then slotted over another free, pushing them two head.

Loreto centre-back Aoife Farrell then saw a shot hit the crossbar, while Aoibhe O'Brien's powerful effort for goal for Portlaoise was well-saved by Ciara Blake. Loreto lost two more players to the sin bin, but still Portlaoise couldn't drive home their advantage.

Orla Hennessy's point in the 57th minute pushed them three ahead, and it looked like they had done enough to see off the Meath girls, but unfortunately that was not the case.

Orlagh Lally pointed a free for Loreto before they worked the ball forward three minutes into injury time, with Orla Finnegan put through on goal, and she made no mistake for the game winning score.


SCOIL CHRÍOST RÍ, PORTLAOISE

Scorers: Lisa Keane, Grace Salmon (frees) 0-2 each, Sarah Larkin (free), Julia Cahill, Orla Hennessy, Shauna Dooley, Orla Knowles 0-1 each.

Team: Jasmine Burke (Portlaoise); Sarah Fleming (Portlaoise), Rebecca Reddin (Portlaoise), Laura Devoy (Timahoe); Aoibhe O'Brien (Portlaoise), Ciara Byrne (Portlaoise), Grainne O'Reilly (Portlaoise); Sarah Larkin (Timahoe), Julia Cahill (Portlaoise); Jenny Murphy (Timahoe), Lisa Keane (The Heath), Orla Hennessy (Timahoe); Grace Salmon (The Heath), Shauna Dooley (Portlaoise), Orla Knowles (Timahoe). Subs: Aishling Fitzpatrick (The Heath) for Knowles (45 mins), Lisa Buggie for Hennessy (63 mins, inj).

ST MICHAEL'S LORETA, NAVAN

Scorers: Orla Finnegan 1-1, Orlagh Lally (0-1 free), Amy O'Dowd 0-2 each, Zoe Matthews, Anna Wogan 0-1 each.

Team: Ciara Blake; Laura McEnery, Orla Conlon, Orlaith Mallon; Aoibhe Monaghan, Aoife Farrell, Sarah Muldoon; Orlagh Lally, Zoe Kirwan; Amy O'Dowd, Zoe Matthews, Orla Finnegan; Caoimhe Leddy, Anna Wogan, Lauren Donnelly. Subs: Alannah Clynch for Kirwan (50 mins).

Referee: Cathy Forde (Wicklow)