Double dream very much alive for St Mary's Nenagh
St Mary's Secondary School Nenagh have a busy week as they they continue their quest for All Ireland glory on the double.
Firstly on Thursday, the schools junior soccer team take on Presentation Secondary School from Kilkenny in the FAI Junior Cup National semi-final while 48 hours later, the schools senior camogie team also face Kilkenny opposition in the form of Castlecomer Community School in the All Ireland 'B' Championship final.
“It's a busy week organising supporters buses,” admitted the schools deputy principal Brian Lawlor who is also part of the camogie teams management group.
“A lot of our 6th years are also in a busy period with oral and mock exams upcoming but we find that sportspeople are very good at organising themselves to juggle their busy schedules and that is what they are doing,” added Lawlor who praised the commitment of both squads who trained collectively during the mid-term break last week.
Seven players, Fiona Kirwan, Aoibhinn Delaney, sisters Niamh & Ellen Cuneen, Rachel Shanahan, Madbh Ryan and Aine Tuohy are on both squads as they chase a sporting double.
FAI Schools National Junior Cup Semi-Final
ST MARY'S SS NENAGH v PRESENTATION SS KILKENNY
Peake Villa FC, Thurles
Thursday 28th February
Kick-off at 1.00pm
The schools junior soccer team will look to set the ball rolling on Thursday by continuing their remarkable journey this term when they take on Presentation Secondary School from Kilkenny in the National Cup semi-final.
After a comprehensive win over a SMI Newcastlewest to land a first ever Munster title last month, the girls now face a much sterner test against a Kilkenny side no stranger to this stage of the competition.
Soccer is a relatively new sport in the school having been introduced in recent years under the guidance of Shane Doherty and Kieran Mullarkey.
“Both men have done fantastic work,” added Lawlor of the soccer teams progresses so far.
“Worldwide, female soccer is one of the fastest growing sports and with great work being done locally by the likes of Nenagh AFC, Knigh United and Ballymackey, we are able to benefit from it.
“In the Munster final against Newcastlewest, I couldn't believe the standard with all players comfortable on the ball, and working it out from the back,” he said.
This soccer team is brimming with confidence and with their tremendous work ethic they always give themselves a chance to win games. The foundations of their success to date lie with a strong core of goalkeeper Medbh Ryan and centre halves Fiona Kirwan and Ballymackey's Aoibhinn Delaney. The pace of the Cuneen twins Ellen & Niamh is always a threat whilst Fiona Pateman and Emma Keating have a keen eye for goal.
St Mary's Soccer panel: Medbh Ryan, Rachel Shanahan, Fiona Kirwan, Aoibhinn Delaney, Brona Kenneally, Ellen Cuneen, Orlaith Clarke, Aine Touhy, Niamh Cuneen, Fiona Pateman, Emma Keating, Niamh O'Brien, Emily Griffin, Jody McGrath, Grace Fleming, Aoibhinn Slattery, Mickayla Doran.
Mentors: Shane Doherty and Kieran Mullarkey
All Ireland Post Primary Schools Camogie Senior 'B' Final
ST MARY'S SS NENAGH
Saturday 2nd March
Venue and time to be confirmed
St Mary's Senior Camogie team will be chasing a second ever All Ireland success when they take on Castlecomer Community School in the Senior 'B' final on Saturday.
These two schools are familiar with each other as they also met in the All-Ireland final in 2007 with St. Mary's winning with a last minute goal at the Ragg.
The current Castlecomer team is coached by Ciara Holohan, a former student of St Mary's Secondary School and club mate of Nenagh's coach Elaine King at Burgess-Duharra.
In the group stages of the Munster championship, St. Mary's enjoyed wins over Scariff Community College and Clonakilty Community College to qualify for the semi-final against St John the Baptist Community School from Hospital. This match ended in a draw but St Mary's won the replay well in Dolla.
St. Mary's were unfortunate in the Munster final, losing out to St. Flannan's of Ennis by two points in Clarecastle in January.
“Since the Munster final loss, this team has really knuckled down,” added Brian Lawlor.
“There is a great bond between the group despite the players being great rivals for their clubs locally, they have come together very well in school,” he said.
However, after the disappointment of that defeat, the Nenagh girls bounced back and had a great win over Dominican College, Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final in Dublin earlier this month.
And with St Flannan's having lost to Castlecomer in the other semi-final, it means neither provincial champion reached the All Ireland final which should be a very exciting game between two very skilful teams.
The team is captained by Rebecca Forde from Silvermines, sister of Tipperary hurler Jason Forde.
The St Mary's team also has plenty of inter-county experience with Toomevara's Mary Flaherty starting for Tipperary in last Saturday's All Ireland championship win over Cork while Burgess-Duharra's Emily Morrissey and Katie Grace, and Toomevara's Jill-Anne Quirke came off the bench.
St Mary's Senior Camogie panel
Niamh Sheridan (Nenagh Eire Og)
Grace O’Dwyer (Burgess/Duharra)
Fiona Kirwan (Burgess/Duharra)
Aoibhín Delaney (Silvermines)
Katie Grace (Burgess/Duharra)
Katie Murphy (Silvermines)
Megan Grace (Nenagh Eire Og)
Mikayla Doran (Toomevara)
Sarah Madden (Silvermines)
Émer Tuohy (Silvermines)
Caroline Browne (Nenagh Eire Og)
Mary Flaherty (Toomevara)
Rebecca Forde (Silvermines, Capt)
Emily Morrissey (Burgess/Duharra)
Jill-Anne Quirke (Toomevara)
Kaitlin O’Halloran (Burgess/Duharra)
Hannah Slattery (Silvermines)
Caoilfhionn Maher (Burgess/Duharra)
Niamh Cuneen (Silvermines)
Lucy Spain (Nenagh Eire Og)
Ellen Cuneen (Silvermines)
Eileen Gleeson (Toomevara)
Rachel Shanahan (Silvermines)
Orla Gillespie (Burgess/Duharra)
Mary O’Brien (Toomevara)
Clodagh Dwan (Silvermines)
Rachel O’Connor (Nenagh Eire Og)
Orla Maher (Silvermines)
Ciara Sherlock (Nenagh Eire Og)
Madbh Ryan (Kiladangan)
Áine Tuohy (Silvermines).
Mentors: Ger Dullea, Elaine King, Brian Lawlor