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Late goals seal St Patrick's Maghera's path to senior camogie final

Maghera to face St Louis in decider

Late goals seal St Patrick's Maghera pathway to the senior camogie final

The St Patrick's Maghera camogie squad.

SENIOR CAMOGIE SEMI-FINAL

St Patrick's Maghera 2-12
St Mary's Magherafelt 2-4

Two goals in the final quarter from Aimee Lennon and Clare Gunning helped St Patrick's Maghera fend off the brave challenge of St Mary's Magherafelt, to book their spot in next month's final.

They will face St Louis Ballymena who ended Cross and Passion Ballycastle's three year reign as champions.

The heavens opened shortly before throw-in and continued throughout. Coupled with the strong cross-field wind, it left conditions nearly impossible for camogie but both teams managed to serve up a competitive hour of action.

Cara McElwee and Caitriona Toner exchanged points in the opening minutes before St Mary's struck for the game's first goal. A long-range free from Eimear McKee went all the way to the Maghera net.

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For the rest of the half, Maghera took control of the game. Bronagh McCullagh drove forward, leading to an Aimee Lennon point from an acute angle.

Blathnaid McLaughlin scored two brilliant points from distance, with Clare Gunning popping over at the end off the fine team move. Maghera could've been further ahead only for a fine goalkeeping performance from Magherafelt's Eimear Cassidy.

McCullagh (2) and McLaughlin scored three points in stoppage time to open a deserved 0-10 to 1-1 interval lead.

Conditions worsened and early in the second-half, Sophie Diamond's long delivery evaded everyone before the sliotar squirmed to the back of the net for a second Magherafelt goal.


The St Mary's Magherafelt senior camogie squad.

Maghera lost full-back Aisling Porter to a hand injury. Céat McEldowney dropped back to full-back, with Doireann Donnelly slotting into midfield. When Eimear McKee picked out Sophie Diamond with a short free, her shot was deflected over the bar by McEldowney.

At the other end, Aimee Lennon blasted emphatically to the net to extend the winner's lead, 1-12 to 2-2, after 48 minutes.

However, with Caitriona Toner leading the charge, Magherafelt threw everything into a comeback and added centre-back Rachel Downey to their attack in a bid to salvage the game.

With one minute remaining, Maghera delivered the knock-out blow. After build-up play from Aimee Lennon, Clare Gunning found herself in on goal. She showed tremendous persistence to power out of a ruck before kicking to the back of the net to seal the win.

MATCH STATS:

MAGHERA: Eimear McEldowney, Maria Mulholland, Aisling Porter, Grainne Martin, Evanne Martin, Laura Scullion, Carla McEldowney, Bronagh McCullagh (0-4, 2f), Céat McEldowney, Doireann Donnelly, Clare Gunning (1-4, 2f), Blathnaid McLaughlin (0-2), Anna Rafferty, Aimee Lennon (1-1), Cara McElwee (0-1).

SUBS: Heather O'Hagan, Emma Collins, Mary Ní Lochlain, Katie Doherty, Annie Ní Lochlain, Niamh McCullagh, Ciara O'Kane, Deirbhle McGuckian.

MAGHERAFELT: Eimear Cassidy, Aine McPeake, Ciara McCoy, Emily Cullen, Carla O'Neill, Rachel Downey, Laoise McErlean, Hannah Scullion, Eimear McKee (1-0), Sophie Diamond (1-1, 1-0f), Caitriona Toner (0-2), Lile Keenan, Clodagh Curran, Lauren Crozier, Ellie Doyle.

SUBS: Dearbhla Walls, Eimear Rose Boyle, Kate Gribbin (0-1), Rachel Rocks, Sara Madden, Shannon McGuigan, Niamh Boyle.

REF: Sean McGuigan (Slaughtneil).

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