Rockwell College kicked off the defence of their Munster ladies senior football title with an emphatic win over Clare’s Kilmihill Community College at Monaleen GAA grounds in Limerick City on Friday afternoon, winning 7-9 to 2-2.
Playing with the breeze in the opening half Rockwell simply blew their opponents away with a display which saw their illustrious Clare opponents held to a single score in the first half and that just coming before the interval.
Rockwell started their scoring spree in the third minute when Hazel Boland commnced her incredible 2-4 tally with a point. However the Moyle Rovers player added to her tally in style in the fifth minute fielding a high ball into the box and turning to shoot leaving the hapless Clare goalkeeper with no chance.
Lifted by this the Tipperary girls upped the ante and just a minute later a poor kick out from Clare goalkeeper Sarah Grogan saw Galtee Rovers Roisin Finnian gather well and punish the error to the maximum slotting past Grogan for Rockwell’s second of the day.
Hazel Boland continued to add to her tally with a fine point and when Rockwell wing forward Aoife Purcell gathered a loose ball inside the 14 yard line to score Rockwell’s third goal of the day, Rockwell were cruising.
The Tipp girls continued to dominate with Betty Barlow, Rachel Doyle and Laura Morrissey outstanding at the back. Last year’s star player Aisling McCarthy added her first point of the day midway through the first half followed by another from the impressive Boland before Limerick Minor footballer Sarah O’Sullivan playing on a ground she knows only too well scored the Cashel ladies fourth goal on 16 minutes.
Just one minute later Hazel Boland again fielded well to score Rockwell’s fifth and when Ally Barlow goaled again before half time with Hazel Boland pointing again Kilmhill’s only response was a late point leaving the score at 6-5 to 0-1 at the interval.
Looking ahead to some sterner tests ahead Rockwell coaches Michael Doyle and Tony Smith rung the changes at half-time and the second half was much more even as a contest. Indeed the Clare ladies got the first point after the interval but further Rockwell scores from Aisling McCarthy (1-2) and Sarah O’Sullivan (0-1) put paid to any talk of a comeback. A late goal and a late penalty though put some respectability on the score from a Kilmhill point of view but an impressive Roisin Finnian rounded off proceedings with a point for Rockwell.
Speaking afterwards Rockwell Manager Michael Doyle said he was delighted with the result and was particularly happy to see first year students Kate Barlow and Niamh Walsh who were introduced as late substitutes do well in the game. Sterner tests will no doubt be on the horizon for the Rockwell ladies in the coming weeks for now though they will enjoy this victory.
Rockwell College- J O’Gorman (Brian Borus), R Doyle (Golden), A O’Shaughnessy (Brian Borus) M O’Gorman (do), Laura Morrisey (do), Betty Barlow (Commercials), A O’Donnell (Rockwell rovers), Ally Barlow (Commercials), S O’Sullivan (Hospital), A Purcell (Commercials), A McCarthy (Cahir), E O’Connor (Knockavilla Kickhams), C Doheny (Cahir), H Bolan (Moyle Rovers), R Finnian (Galtee Rovers). Subs N Walsh (cahir), B Peters (Cashel), H Philips (Rosegreen), C Sweeney (Brian Borus) A Ryan (Commercials) and K Barlow (Commercials).