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Elphin C.C. Girls win National Volleyball Title

Elphin Community College captured the Cadette C Girls Volleyball title last Wednesday in Croom, Co. Limerick. They beat Mountrath Community College in the Final. Well Done Girls!!!

Elphin All-Ireland C Champs

It was history in the making as Elphin Community College trooped home victorious with yet an All-Ireland Cup under their belt. Never before has the school’s girl team achieved this much in volley-ball.

Both the Semi-Finals and Final were played on the 10th March in Croom, Co. Limerick. Elphin had their work cut out for them as their first challengers were Dungarvan. In the starting minutes it was clear that everyone had a real bad case of the flutters and the jellyfied knees as a number of mistakes were made on both parts. Soon though, they all settled.

The scoreboard was fairly balanced until the spectacular Claire Cregg stepped up and made bits of Dungarvan’s back court, retrieving for Elphin 6 much needed points, making it 10-5. Both teams made good use of their 3 touches and worked well to keep the ball flying back and forth. But it wasn’t until the Dungarvan’s Captain began her service that the scores levelled off again. She played a crucial role as Elphin were caught off guard by her flurry of serves. Life was difficult and they were forced to change tactics. More now covered the middle and backcourt, where most of the damage was concentrated, and it worked like a charm! Elphin broke the serve and regained advantage. They finished the set at 25-17.

The second set was just as hard. The two competitors were evenly matched on numerous occasions with great defence and counter-attacks dealt y both parties. Deborah Beirne was fantastic and gave Elphin some breathing room with her serves finding the weak spots in Dungarvan’s backcourt. With captain Sorcha Dowd and Saffron Cull adding to that pile, Elphin got a good win of 25-16.

Polluted with giddiness and high hopes, Elphin were fully set for the grand final with Mountrath who had earlier defeated Portmarnock, Dublin comfortably in straight sets. For two of their players, Saffron Cull and Pooky Mitchell, this was personal. Already acquainted, the two schools had led an epic clash in the Girls All-Ireland Cadette C Final of 2007-2008. It was a tight battle but Mountrath had prevailed at Elphin’s expense. This time, hungry for revenge, losing wasn’t an option for Elphin.

Both teams were presented and looked professional as they lined for the National Anthem. Nervous heartbeats were almost audible in the buzzing atmosphere as the final went underway. Elphin were off to a great start, leading 9-3 due to superb settings from both Deborah Beirne and Pooky Mitchell who were instrumental to many scores. They were in phenomenal shape and their scores quickly leaped to 14-6, leaving Mountrath behind in their wake. Things plummeted from then on for the opposition. The Elphin court players each took turns to lash out a scoring rampage on Mountrath and the scales were tipped even further. With deadly serves from hitter Saffron Cull, the first set ended at a 25-7.

The second set was a different match entirely. Mountrath refused to back down and led for most of the set. Scores had to be hard earned until they reached 16-15 to Elphin. With praise worthy and commendable performances from everyone, especially Bronagh Weston who was relentless and covered brilliantly well, Elphin crushed Mountrath hopes and made a dramatic comeback to close the second set at 25-16. Sorcha Dowd team captain also captured the MVP award.

Elphin Panel: Sorcha Dowd, Saffron Cull, Pooky Mitchell, Deborah Beirne, Claire Cregg, Bronagh Weston, Anna Higgins, Hazel Conroy, Megan Flanagan, Sarah Lampert, Briefne O’Rourke, Katie Killoran

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