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Senior success for Trim School

Story by Fergal Lynch

Wednesday, 28th March, 2012 4:53pm

Senior success for Trim School

Emma Troy scored 1-2 for Scoil Mhuire, Trim during Monday's final.

"Never mind the Leaving Cert, this is what we have been working towards for the last five years," proclaimed Scoil Mhuire captain Shauna Ennis as she collected the Girls All-Ireland Schools SF B cup following her side's victory over Presentation College, Athenry at Kinnegad on Monday.

Ennis's claim was greeted by loud cheers from the hundreds of supporters that had flooded onto the pitch to join the celebrations of what was a fully deserved victory.

This win has been a long time coming for the Trim school as they had lost out in All-Ireland finals at Junior C, Junior B and Senior C level in recent years, but made amends on Monday with a stunning victory.

Central to this win was the outstanding Emma Troy (pictured). The Boardsmill player once again displayed why she has nailed down a place on the Meath senior team as she popped up all over the field in an all-action display to inspire her team.

With the game still in the melting pot as a tense first-half drew to a close it was Troy who popped up to grab a wonderful goal and boost the Trim school. Then after the break the talented minor defended stoutly to restrict any possibility of an Athenry recovery.

Troy wasn't the only hero for the Trim school. Her club mate and fellow Meath senior player Laura Dempsey defied the medics and played with a damaged hamstring. Despite the handicap she too excelled finishing with 1-2 and proving to be a constant menace.

The drive and potency of Laura Griffin, Aoife Minogue and Shauna Ennis was also crucial as was the ball winning ability of Shona White, who won this title in 2010 with her old school Mercy Navan.

The excellence of Laura Bagnall's battling and Helen Regan's outstanding presence ensured Trim were on top in midfield and while Athenry did enjoy plenty of possession in attack they found the Trim rearguard difficult to crack.

Cliona Murray was exceptional as Athenry piled on the pressure in the second-half and with Sarah Bagnall doing a decent job on danger player Ciara Campbell, Scoil Mhuire always looked in command.

Sarah Blake and Grainne Whelehan were also magnificent and substitute Emma Coffey played a key role in defending Scoil Mhuire's impressive half-time advantage.

That half-time lead was boosted by a five minute scoring burst just before half-time that yielded 3-1 and left Athenry with too much to do.

Facing into the teeth of a strong breeze Scoil Mhuire were pegged back early on and had to battle for possession. Athenry opened the scoring with a Michelle Dunleavey free and they went close on several other occasions.

However, after quickly restoring parity with a Dempsey free, Griffin gave Trim a lead which they never relinquished when she blasted to the net following a great run by White.

Louise Brennan and Dunleavy responded with points for the Connacht champions, but Troy gave an example of her attacking prowess with a brilliant point. Siobhain Gavin responded for Athenry, but then Trim took control.

A brilliant goal from Dempsey was followed by an equally spectacular strike by Troy and a minute later Minogue made it 4-2 to 0-4 with another great finish. Regan tapped over a point before Dunleavy responded to close Scoil Mhuire's lead to 0-5 to 4-3.

Turning for the second-half Scoil Mhuire looked nervous as Athenry dominated possession for a spell. However, outstanding defending from Murray, Laura Bagnall, Sarah Bagnall and Troy kept the Galway girls at bay.

After soaking up the pressure Scoil Mhuire took control again. Griffin pointed brilliantly and Laura Bagnall won a kick out before pointing to make it 4-5 to 0-5. When Minogue added a point, Athenry were forced to go in search of goals.

However, it was Scoil Mhuire who rattled the net again when captain Ennis found a gap at the near post and squeezed the ball beyond Saoirse Burke.

Substitute Laura Mitchell did scramble a goal for Athenry with eight minutes remaining, but Scoil Mhuire were never in danger and closed out the win with points from Dempsey, Laura Bagnall and the magnificent Troy ensuring celebrations in the Trim camp.

Scoil Mhuire, Trim - Ciara Donoghue (Moynalvey); Sarah Bagnall (Boardsmill), Cliona Murray (Boardsmill), Suzy Kennedy (Boardsmill); Cara Foley (Boardsmill), Grainne Whelehan (Clann na nGael), Sarah Blake (Balyna); Laura Bagnall (Boardsmill 0-2), Helen Regan (Boardsmill 0-1); Aoife Minogue (Clann na nGael 1-1), Shona White (Trim), Laura Griffin (Boardsmill 1-1); Laura Dempsey (Boardsmill 1-2 one free), Emma Troy (Boardsmill 1-2), Shauna Ennis (Na Fianna 1-0). Subs - Emma Coffey (Na Fianna) for Foley 29 mins, Toni Hannon (Boardsmill) for White 45m, Becky O'Toole (Boardsmill) for Minogue 52m, Susan Kealey (Boardsmill) for Ennis 58m Niamh McEvoy (Boardsmill) for Dempsey 60m.

Presentation Athenry - S Burke; S Gaffney, R Horkan, L Hynes; R Holland, E Gavin, A Lane; S Gavin (0-1), M Joyce; L Brennan (0-1), R Bannon (0-1 free), K Cormican; C Campbell, M Dunleavy (0-3 one free), L Philips. Subs - L Mitchell (1-0) for Philips 21 mins, E Connell for Lane 58m, M O'Connor for Holland 58m.

Referee - Paul Fahy (Roscommon).

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