A powerful finish ensured that Coláiste Muire cemented a historic third All-Ireland Junior B camogie crown in Fr. Breen Park in Abbeyleix on Saturday afternoon.

Coláiste Muire Ennis 1-13
Borris Vocational School (Carlow) 0-8
Venue: Fr Breen Park, Abbeyleix

Following previous wins in 1999 and 2005, the Ennis school fully merited the completion of their hat-trick after edging an intense wrestle for supremacy before fleshing out the final making with 1-3 without reply.

Outstanding scorer-in-chief Kate Hayes was clearly Coláiste’s guiding light throughout with all but two points of her side’s tally. However it was far from a one player show as spinal defenders Eabha O’Driscoll and Aoife Murphy were truly inspirational when needed most while Emily Carmody, Lauren Cusack, Kate Jones and substitute Ciara Punch were also hugely influential in a superb collective drive.

The only downside was the stop-start nature of the final that saw over-officious referee James Lundon award 53 frees over the hour which in a final that was played in an honest manner by both rivals was difficult to comprehend.

Not allowing any/much physical contact belied the spirit of what was a keenly-contested but clean contest but crucially it didn’t decide this contest.

After all, Coláiste Muire led for 56 of the near 70 minutes played and were never behind at any stage despite the best efforts of Borris’ talismanic forward Roisin Joyce and some booming frees from full-back Niamh Tracey.

In addition, the Carlow school were awarded more free but weren’t as efficient up front as while the Coláiste finished with 1-3, Borris failed to score in the pivotal final quarter.

It was clear from the outset that both free-takers were going to have to be on form and it was Kate Hayes that converted two early frees and one from play to edge the Clare side 0-3 to 0-1 in front by the tenth minute.

Frees through Joyce and Tracey did regain parity entering the second quarter but Coláiste always seemed to have an answer to whatever their opponents could throw at them as Hayes’ efficiency resulted in five more placed balls before the break.

The final one in injury-time was the only real error on the referee’s part as Aimee Colleran’s strong run towards goal saw her charge into full-back Tracey and win what was initially deemed a penalty but following consultation with umpires ended up being a 20 metre free.

It should have been a free out but instead that rub of the green dictated an 0-8 to 0-6 interval advantage for Coláiste Muire.

After Hayes had inevitably opened the new half with a point from play, Borris’ best chance at a reprieve arrived in the 33rd minute when a Tracey free from 65 metre broke perfectly for Joyce to shoot on goal, only to see her powerful effort just drift outside the left post.

A relieved Coláiste never looked back thereafter as despite seeing their lead eventually cut to two by the turn of the final quarter, their relentless persistence ensured that they never lost their composure at any stage.

An Aimee Colleran point from a Hayes 60 metre free, Coláiste’s first in eleven minutes, would prove the catalyst for a momentum-fuelled finale that saw Lauren Cusack and Kate Hayes stretch the gap to five before the crowning glory of an injury-time bullet from the latter following good work from substitute Ciara Punch.

A deserved first All-Ireland Junior B title in 18 years also carved this Coláiste Muire team into the history books as the Ennis school now lead the roll of honour of this prestigious competition.

Scorers for Coláiste Muire: Kate Hayes 1-11 (7f, 1’45), Aimee Colleran 0-1, Lauren Cusack 0-1

Scorers for Borris Vocational School: Roisin Joyce 0-5 (3f), Niamh Tracey 0-1 (f), Ellen Barrett 0-1, Abhainn Coady 0-1 (f)

Coláiste Muire Ennis
1: Maria Burke (Kilmaley)

4: Katie King (Crusheen)
3: Éabha O’Driscoll (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
2: Cliona Jones (Ruan)

7: Shauna Queally (Inagh-Kilnamona)
6: Aoife Murphy (Clarecastle) (Captain)
5: Helena Ryan (Newmarket-on-Fergus)

8: Emily Carmody (Kilmaley)
9: Ivanna Costelloe (Ballyea)

12: Kate Jones (Newmarket-on-Fergus)
11: Kate Hayes (Kilmaley)
10: Lauren Cusack (Clarecastle)

13: Anna Taaffe (Tubber)
14: Aimee Colleran (Crusheen)
15: Leilani Kent (Kilmaley)

Subs:
18: Ciara Punch (Ruan) for Taaffe (HT)
21: Saoirse Kent (Kilmaley) for Costelloe (43)
22: Tara Moroney (Ruan) for Carmody (60+4)

Borris Vocational School
1: Aoibhinn Dowling (St Mullin’s, Carlow)

2: Sarah Joyce (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow)
3: Niamh Tracey (Ballinkillen, Carlow)
4: Ellis Fenlon (Barrow Rangers, Kilkenny)

5: Niamh Doyle (Black and Whites, Kilkenny)
6: Gwen Wade (Black and Whites, Kilkenny)
7: Rachel Martin (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow)

8: Alice Dalton (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow)
9: Abhainn Coady (St Mullins, Carlow) (Captain)

12: Ellen Barrett (Ballinkillen, Carlow)
11: Roisin Joyce (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow)
14: Molly Kavanagh (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow)

13: Rachel Kennedy (Mount Leinster Rangers, Carlow)
10: Chloe O’Connell (St Mullin’s, Carlow)
15: Roisin Kelly (Myshall, Carlow)

Subs:
20: Siofra McGilligan (Black and Whites, Kilkenny) for O’Connell (24)
18: Emma Gladney (St Mullin’s, Carlow) for Kelly (52)

Referee: James Lundon (Galway)

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