Ursuline win Senior A Munster Hockey
The Ursuline have won their 3rd Munster Final in as many weeks with a victory over old foes Crescent in the Munster Senior ‘A’ Hockey Final. There was a feeling last Friday morning around the school that it could be Ursulines Year to scoop the coveted prize of Munster Hockey. The team headed off to Loreto Fermoy at around 10 am to do a pre-match warm up and familiarise themselves with the venue. Six buses of supporters followed at lunchtime to be there for the 2.45 start. Flags, banners, bódhrans and enthusiastic shouts of ‘C’mon Ursuline’ meant that the team were encouraged and energised by the ‘Yes we can’ attitude amongst their faithful followers.
The opening minutes of the game were dominated by the girls in red. They settled themselves and seemed to be creating chances right from the get go. They finally capitalised on these chances when Ireland player Caoimhe Perdue brought the ball into Crescents 25. She passed it to Mia Ryan who then swept it across the goal to Jill Shanahan. Jill pushed it into the corner and when it hit the back board the Ursuline supporters erupted. However Crescent were not about to make it easy for their opponents. They replied with a goal almost immediately off the stick of Munster player Niamh O’Keeffe. The intensity was palpable at half time with both sides drawn on a goal each.
The second half began and the pressure was on. The Ursuline team worked as a unit and cleared each ball that entered their 25. Rose O’Sullivan deflected a shot and set it above the goal in order to keep the two teams level.
Then just before the 10th minute sub Izzy Walsh travelled to the base line and sent the ball across to Sarah Murphy at the far post. She took the shot and found the back of the goal to give UCT their precious lead. Ursuline would doggedly hold onto this lead despite a renewed and concerted effort from Crescent to equalise. After the 2nd goal Ursuline were under pressure to get the ball out and the whole team was back in their 25 trying to clear it. Eventually the ball was brought to the other end of the pitch and Ursuline had a short corner. Breana O’Gorman pushed the ball out and was stopped by Ruth Herlihy. Caoimhe Perdue took the direct shot. It was deflected off a crescent stick and sent over the goal.
The outstanding display shown by the Ursuline defence was to prove impenetrable in the second half. Crescent took off their keeper with 15 minutes to go and replaced her with an extra outfielder in a last ditch attempt to overload and create an equaliser.
In the dying minute of the game UCT won a final penalty corner. The umpires had to stop play to discuss what to do as Crescent were minus their goalie. In the end the decision was made that Crescent would defend the corner as normal with four defenders and no goalkeeper. All the Tipp girls had to do to win was hold their nerve and play out the corner in expectation of the final whistle that was just about to blow.
When that shrill, sharp sound finally came signifying the end and a glorious win the crowds came rushing onto the pitch from all angles. The cup was presented to captain Brona Dowling amid jubilant scenes as the Ursuline became Munster Senior A Champions for the first time since 1997. The 20 year wait had finally come to an end. As Thurles man and former Tipperary Hurling Captain Richie Stakelum once said ‘the famine is over’. The full time score was Ursuline 2 – 1 Crescent. Well done to all hockey coaches throughout the school and throughout the last twenty years who have given so much to the game. Special praise must go especially to Senior A managers and tacticians Sandra Rossiter and Eimear Cregan who have waited for this win for so long. It makes all the previous heartaches worth it.
Soroptimist Public Speaking
Mary Kate Barrett, TY and Vivienne O’Keeffe, 5th Yr competed last weekend in the Regional Final of the Soroptimist Public Speaking Competition held in Blackrock in Cork. They are pictured above with the Chairperson of Soroptimist Ireland after their win in Clonmel. The students spoke about the phenomenon of modern day slavery and the environment. Many thanks to Ms. Quinn for her work in preparing the girls for this well established competition.
The Ursuline are through to the next round of the Knights of Columbanus Public Speaking competition. They travelled to Charleville on Thursday last, 2nd February, to compete. The Ursuline had three speakers Dearbhla Lanigan, Sarah Barrett and Michaela Kerwick. The theme on which they spoke was inspired by Pope Francis who remarked that it is a more courageous thing to build bridges rather than walls. The Ursuline girls were up against two teams from St. Mary’s, Charleville. They progress along with one of the Cork teams.
Congratulations to the Concern Debating team of Erica Carroll, Gemma O’Dwyer, Vivienne O’Keeffe, Irene Flynn and Michaela Kerwick who have qualified for the final 24 in the country. They will now meet Ard Scoil Mhuire in Limerick and are opposing the motion ‘Fidel Castro’s legacy should be celebrated’. The girls and their researchers are busily preparing speeches under the guidance of Ms. Carey. We wish them the very best with this work over the next few weeks.
Le Cheile Conference
Well done to Emily Bourke, Katie Taylor and all the students who took part or helped out with the production of the Le Cheile video about the founding story of the Ursuline Convent in Thurles. They spoke briefly about the differences in the school today compared to when it was started 230 years ago by Anastasia Tobin, who when professed took the name of Sr. Claire Ursula. Emily and Katie attended a Le Cheile conference last week in which the Christian ethos of faith schools was discussed and explored.