Mercy Mounthawk Tralee lose out on All-Ireland honours after final defeat to Convent of Mercy Roscommon

Katie Nix and Holly O’Brien scores goals for the Kerry school but they still lost by five points in Nenagh

Katie Nix of Mercy Mounthawk scores her side's first goal during the Lidl All Ireland Post Primary School Senior ‘B’ Championship Final against Convent of Mercy, Roscommon at MacDonagh Park in Nenagh, Tipperary. Photo by Sportsfile

Kevin EganKerryman


Convent of Mercy, Roscommon 2-11

Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee 2-6

There was All-Ireland final heartbreak for Mercy Mounthawk in this afternoon’s All-Ireland Post-Primary School Senior B football final as a powerful final quarter surge from their Roscommon town opponents was enough to secure the title for Convent of Mercy from Roscommon.

Goals from Siofra Hession and Aisling Hanly were the crucial scores for the winners at Éire Óg GAA club in Nenagh, though the Tralee school raised two flags of their own from Katie Nix and Holly O’Brien, from the penalty spot. But it the Roscommon girls’ better ability to kick points that ultimately got them over the winning line in a very open contest.

The wind-assisted Mercy Mounthawk girls got  to offa flying start when good work from Róisín Rahilly set up Nix on the corner of the large square and the Kerins O’Rahillys attacker didn’t waste her chance, rifling a clinical shot to the bottom corner of the Convent of Mercy net.

The Connacht champions settled well into the game from there and seemed to offer a much more varied threat up front. County senior star and team captain Aisling Hanly was flagged as the main threat and she did land some good points, but Mercy Mounthawk couldn’t afford to expend too much defensive energy on the Kilbride player as Ciara Dowd, Niamh Walsh and Shauna Walsh chipped over good points from play in the opening half to help them get to half-time all square at 0-6 to 1-3.

Rahilly and Grace Reidy worked hard in the middle third to win some good turnover ball and when Mercy Mounthawk carried the ball straight through the Convent of Mercy defence, they posed a threat, but excellent defensive work from Lilly and Hannah Murray, as well as an excellent performance from Erin McDermott, ensured that the Tralee school never built up any significant scoring momentum.

Seven second half wides from Mercy Mounthawk illustrated the difficulty in shooting into the wind, but it still took time for Convent of Mercy to take control of the game, and going into the final quarter, it was still very tightly poised at 0-8 to 1-4.

The game was blown wide open in the space of two minutes when Siofra Hession and Lilly Murray kicked points either side of a superb goal from Hession, blasted into the roof of the net after some slick handpassing and great pace down the left flank cut open the Mercy Mounthawk defence.

Convent of Mercy continued in the ascendancy and moved nine points clear when Hanly burst through the cover and cleverly rolled the ball underneath Kelly Fitzgerald, who had made some fine saves in the Mercy Mounthawk goal up to that point.

The winners had to endure some sticky moments at the end, however, after yellow cards for Hession and Aisling Shanagher left them short-handed in the closing minutes.

With pressure mounting, Róisín Rahilly won a late penalty that Holly O’Brien converted, but outside of that, Convent of Mercy held their discipline to see their way through four minutes of stoppage time and win a first All-Ireland crown for the school since winning the Senior A crown back in 2009.

MERCY MOUNTHAWK, TRALEE: K Fitzgerald; R O’Donnell, É O’Connor, L Reilly; O McKenna, G Reidy, K Coffey; N Quinn, C Gannon; R Rahilly R Rahilly 0-1 (f), H O’Brien 1-0 pen, K Enright; K Nix 1-0, L Slattery 0-4 (2f), A O’Connor McCarthy 0-1. Sub: E Costello for Enright (40).

CONVENT OF MERCY, ROSCOMMON: É Dowd; M Lohan, E McDermott, E McNeill; H Murray, L Murray 0-1, A Hussey; A Shanagher, E Biesty; E Tully, N Walsh 0-3 (1f), S Walsh 0-1; S Hession 1-1, A Hanly 1-2, C Dowd 0-3 (1f). Subs: Z Fallon for Biesty (45), J Morris for S Walsh (56), M Rogers for McNeill (57), A Mulry for H Murray (59), MA Feeley for Tully (60).

Referee: Ger Canny (Mayo)