St. Mary’s fairy tale comes to an end

FAI Schools Junior Girls National Cup Semi Final


Friday, March 1, 2019


St. Mary’s SS, Nenagh 2-3 Presentation SS, Kilkenny (AET)

Emma Keating (25), Niamh Cuneen (29)                                Ellen Molloy (46), Cliodhna Donnelly (68), Alicia Manogue (80)


PRESENTATION SECONDARY SCHOOL, KILKENNY secured a magnificent victory over a brilliant St. Mary’s side in Peake Villa FC yesterday afternoon (Thursday, February 28).


John McDonald’s side recovered from a two goal deficit to claw their way back into the game with a big second half performance to net the equaliser two minutes from time from super sub Alicia Manogue.


The Nenagh warriors were in sublime form early on with the Cuneen twins, Ellen and Niamh, Emma Keating and Meadhbh Ryan between the sticks playing some exceptional football at times.


Cliodhna Donnelly tested the goalkeeper with 14 minutes on the clock when she floated a 25 yard free kick into the box with the ball smashing off the upright.


Again it was the Kilkenny School that struck again through Schools International Ellen Molloy but the youngster saw her effort deflect off the outside of the post.


With ten minutes of the first period remaining, Nenagh hit a purple patch as Emma Keating converted from close range following some fancy footwork in the 6 yard box. And four minutes later Niamh Cuneen doubled their tally to take it to 2-0 at the break.


The Leinster stars remained calm and composed on the ball and their sustained pressure on the St. Mary’s back four reaped dividends when Ellen Molloy grabbed a vital goal 11 minutes into the restart.


Keating forced Murphy into an exceptional save fifteen minutes from time as St. Mary’s attempted to kill the game off.  


Niamh Phelan saw her attempt belt off the crossbar, their third such ball to ricochet off the woodwork. It looked like it was going to be one of those days however Cliodhna Donnelly managed to slip through on goal to round the keeper with the equaliser two minutes from time.


The momentum was with McDonald’s side as they entered extra time. Molloy played in Phelan at the edge of the box for the latter to drag her effort wide of the mark.


Three minutes later, Freya De Mange’s corner was met by the head of the unmarked substitute Alicia Manogue who made no mistake on the stroke of half time in extra time.


St. Mary’s battled to get back into the contest with Fiona Pateman and Niamh Cuneen testing Murphy but she remained vigilant to keep it 3-2 at the finish.


Presentation SS, Kilkenny will now entertain Claregalway College in this season’s National Cup Final. Details to follow.


ST. MARY’S SS, NENAGH | Meadhbh Ryan, Rachel Shanaghan, Fiona Kirwan (Captain), Aoibhinn Delaney, Bronnagh Kenneally, Orlaith Clarke, Áine Tuohy, Ellen Cuneen, Emma Keating, Fiona Pateman, Niamh Cuneen

SUBS | Grace Fleming (for Aine Tuohy, 87), Niamh O’Brien, Jody McGrath, Aobhinn Slattery (for Orlaith Clarke, 53)

TEACHER | Kieran Mullarkey ASSISTANT | Shane Doherty


PRESENTATION SS, KILKENNY | Cliodhna Murphy, Anna Purcell, Katie Ryan, Shauna Coady, Kirsten Hanney, Hannah Clifford (Captain), Freya De Mange, Cliodhna Donnelly, Niamh Phelan, Ellen Molloy, Melissa Walsh.

SUBS | Sarah Barcoe (for Melissa Walsh, 33), Keara Ryan (for Anna Purcell HT), Alicia Manogue (f0r Hannah Clifford, 67), Sarah O’Gorman (for Freya De Mange, 84), Caroline Barron

TEACHER | John McDonald ASSISTANTS | Jenny Reddy & Clodagh McDonald


REFEREE | Eimer O’Brien (Tipperary North)