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St Patrick's Maghera claim 17th Ulster senior camogie title after an extra-time win over St Louis

Gunning goal turned the tide in favour of the Derry side

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

Ulster senior champions - St Patrick's Maghera.

SENIOR A CAMOGIE FINAL

St Patrick's Maghera........3-6
St Louis Ballymena..........1-7
AET

St Patrick's Maghera won their 17th Ulster senior camogie title, and their first since 2016, with victory over St Louis Ballymena after extra-time on Friday night in front of a bumper crowd in Loup.

It was tough on a St Louis team who brought so much to the table, notched some fine scores and had a stoppage time goal ruled out before the game went to extra-time.

Throw-in was delayed 10 minutes, such was the attendance.  After playing second fiddle to a dominant but wasteful St Louis for much of the first-half, Maghera were still in touch and only trailed 0-4 to 0-2 at the break.

Ballymena had their exceptional goalkeeper Orlagh Convery to thank for some vital first-half interventions including a breath-taking reflex save to deny Aimee Lennon after Clare Gunning's rasper came off the bar.

Caitlin Crawford extended the St Louis lead from a free but with Ceát McEldowney and Bronagh McCullagh grabbing the game by the scruff of the neck, Maghera began to dominate.

A fine Caoimhe Molloy point on the break looked like it would inspire St Louis but when Maghera substitute Niamh McCullagh's shot went all the way to the net to open a 1-4 to 0-6 lead, the game changed.

Molloy, like her younger sister Katie, excelled for St Louis.  Her thundering 52nd minute shot to the roof of the Maghera net put them ahead. 

- POLL Who was player of the match?  Vote here...

It looked to have captured a first title for the Ballymena school in 69 years but there was still more drama to follow.

First, Clare Gunning leveled the game before yet another twist.

Caoimhe Molloy raced goalwards before dispatching a shot that dipped into the top corner with virtually the last puck of the game, but it was ruled out by referee O'Neill for too many steps.

For much of the second-half, players from both teams went down with cramp.  However, following an agreement between both schools earlier in the day, extra-time was played.

The game's hammer blow was delivered by Clare Gunning, who sank St Louis with her goal in the first attack. 

It was followed by a third Maghera goal from Blathnaid McLaughlin at the start of the second period of extra-time.

Maghera's defence, in which Aimee Lennon played a pivotal role in extra-time, kept St Louis to a Molloy point and the cup was on its way back to Maghera.

MAGHERA: Eimear McEldowney; Heather O’Hagan, Aisling Porter, Abi McNeill; Laura Scullion, Céat McEldowney (0-1f), Carla McEldowney; Doireann Donnelly, Bronagh McCullagh (0-1); Leah Lennon, Clare Gunning (1-2), Evanne Martin (0-1); Cara McElwee, Aimee Lennon, Blathnaid McLaughlin (1-1).

SUBS: Niamh McCullagh (1-0) for C McElwee (39), Emma Collins started extra-time for D Donnelly (INJ), Anna Rafferty for A McNeill (INJ 83).

ST LOUIS: Orlagh Convery; Maeve Mulholland, Brigid Delargy, Laura McAleese; Katie Molloy, Eimear McMullan, Sarah McIlhatton; Bronagh Laverty, Maura Downey (0-2); Caoimhe Molloy (1-4, 2f), Emma McAreavey, Caitlin Crawford; Mary McKillen; Aimee Traynor, Kyra Doherty (0-1).

SUBS: Aiobhhinn McCloskey for A Traynor (HT), Aimee Traynor for L McAleese (INJ 60+4).

REF: Mark O'Neill (Armoy).

- ALSO Maghera defeat St Mary's Magherafelt to reach decider...

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