By Daragh Ó Conchúir
LORETO SECONDARY SCHOOL KILKENNY secured a remarkable sixth O’Neills All-Ireland Post Primary Schools Senior A title in nine seasons but they were given a huge fright before emerging from Darver with a 2-18 to 4-8 win over Cross & Passion College Ballycastle.
Loreto led by 14 points at half time, 2-10 to 0-2, having used the strong wind magnificently but were clinging on towards the end, as CPC, who were chasing their first crown, narrowed the margin to three.
The Noresiders had done enough in the opening period however, thanks to goals from Katie Brennan and Ruth Kent, and further significant scoring contributions by Rachel Kelly and Steffi Fitzgerald.
It was all Ballycastle after the resumption however and two goals in 85 seconds from player of the match Róisín McCormack galvanised them.
The Antrim Minor placed Charley McCarry for another and then completed her hat-trick with a stunning strike but with just a score between the sides, Fitzgerald ended a strong run with the insurance point for the Kilkenny girls.
Presentation Wexford and Castlecomer Community School will return to Tinryland, on Thursday, as the Junior B decider ended in a draw too.
Pres led by 3-5 to 0-4 at the change of ends but it was all Castlecomer in the second half and they pegged their opponents back to finish level, 2-10 to 3-7.