Aisling Hanly scores winning goal and captains Roscommon’s Convent of Mercy to Lidl All-Ireland Post Primary Senior B glory

Convent of Mercy, Roscommon 2-11 Mercy Mounthawk, Tralee 2-6

Convent of Mercy, Roscommon captain Aisling Hanly lifts the trophy with her team-mates. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Inspirational Aisling Hanly scored the winning goal as she captained her school, Convent of Mercy in Roscommon, to victory over Mercy Mounthawk of Tralee in the Lidl All-Ireland Post Primary School Senior B final.

The talented Roscommon teenager, who was born profoundly deaf, has overcome her disability time and again, including a starring role in her school's victory at at Éire Óg GAA club in Nenagh.

A powerful final-quarter surge was enough to secure the title for Convent of Mercy as goals from Siofra Hession and Hanly proved to be the crucial scores.

It’s the second All-Ireland crown for the Roscommon school since they secured their first national title, winning the Senior A championship back in 2009.

The wind-assisted Mercy Mounthawk girls got off to a flying start when good work from Róisín Rahilly set up Katie Nix on the corner of the large square and the Kerins O’Rahillys attacker rifled to the bottom corner of the net.

The Connacht champions settled into the game from there on and seemed to offer a much more varied threat up front. County senior star and team captain 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 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 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 a superb performance from Erin McDermott, ensured that the Tralee school never built up momentum.

Seven second-half wides from Mercy Mounthawk illustrated the difficulty of shooting into the wind, but going into the final quarter, it was still 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 brilliant goal from Hession.

Convent of Mercy moved nine clear when Hanly burst through the cover and cleverly rolled the ball underneath Kelly Fitzgerald but they had to endure some sticky moments at the end after yellow cards for Hession and Aisling Shanagher.

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.

SCORERS – Convent of Mercy: A Hanly 1-2; S Hession 1-1; N Walsh 0-3 (1f); C Dowd 0-3 (1f); S Walsh, L Murray 0-1 each. Mercy Mounthawk: L Slattery 0-4 (2f); K Nix 1-0; H O’Brien 1-0 pen; A O’Connor McCarthy, R Rahilly (f) 0-1 each.

CONVENT OF MERCY: É Dowd; M Lohan, E McDermott, E McNeill; H Murray, L Murray, A Hussey; A Shanagher, E Biesty; E Tully, N Walsh, S Walsh; S Hession, A Hanly, C Dowd. 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).

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

REF: Ger Canny (Mayo)