Quintet of All-Ireland successes for John The Baptist
31 March 2017
A glorious year for John the Baptist on the camogie, hurling and ladies football front
by Jackie Cahill
Limerick school John the Baptist, Hospital, completed a remarkable season on Friday afternoon when victory in the Lidl All-Ireland PPS junior A post-primary schools ladies football final made it five wins from five in national deciders.
After claiming the 'A' title a week ago, John the Baptist saw off Loreto, Cavan, by 0-14 to 2-6 in Birr to capture the junior crown.
In recent weeks, John the Baptist have also won two All-Ireland camogie finals while the school’s senior B hurlers won the Paddy Buggy Cup at Semple Stadium last Saturday.
John the Baptist maintained their 100 per cent record in All-Ireland finals this year with another composed display from the junior A ladies footballers.
Leading by 0-10 to 1-3 at half-time, John the Baptist had laid the foundations for victory but they had to fend off a strong second half fightback from Loreto.
The sides shared the opening two scores before three-in-a-row had JTB 0-4 to 0-1 in front.
But Loreto were level when Muireann Cusack’s effort hit the crossbar, and Áine Reilly was on hand to put the rebound into the net, for the first of her two goals.
But JTB had captain Anna-Rose Kennedy and Andrea O’Sullivan in their ranks, two players who excelled in the senior final seven days previously, and indeed throughout a landmark season.
O’Sullivan restored JTB’s lead but Loreto were providing stout resistance and Niamh Keneghan’s point levelled matters once again.
Emma Morrissey landed a couple of quickfire points for JTB, who finished the half impressively.
Reilly registered another Loreto point before scores from Kennedy, Sinead McElligott and Morrissey handed JTB a four-point interval lead.
Loreto substitute Aisling Walls kick-started the second half scoring but McElligott replied to keep the four-point gap between the sides.
Loreto were right back in it when Reilly bagged her second goal, collecting a high delivery before finishing well.
JTB’s response was impressive though as they refused to panic and two points from Kennedy, followed by another from O’Sullivan, moved them clear of immediate danger again, and into a 0-14 to 2-4 lead.
There was still time for two further Loreto points but JTB held firm to create further history.
John the Baptist starting XV: É Power-Gallagher; G Kemp, J Casey, C O’Dwyer; E Butler, M Barry, C Hynes; C Kennedy, A.R. Kennedy; L Ryan, E Morrissey, S McElligott; R O’Carroll, A O’Sullivan, A Ryan.
Loreto starting XV: C Boylan; Á Brady, C Kellegher, L O’Reilly; L McVeety, M Smith, A Sexton; F McKiernan, D Beck; N Keenaghan, E Brady, K Kellegher; M Cusack, Á Reilly, K Kelly.