UCD stun Pegasus in Irish Senior Cup showdown

UCD 4 (Roisin Flinn 2, Holly Jenkinson, Rosie Carrigan) Pegasus 1 (Grace Irwin)
UCD produced the most astonishing performance in recent Irish Senior Cup history as they dominated the competition’s undoubted kingpins, Pegasus, winning 4-1 at Belfield to take their first national title in 58 years.

Struggling to break the top five in Leinster competition, the students were full value for the comprehensive result over the reigning champions who were in search of three-in-a-row. Pre-match they were buoyed by the return of Irish international Lisa Jacob after six-week layoff due to an ankle injury.

She was to prove a key influence, leading a hard-pressing game that upset Pegasus long-ball tactics. Holly Jenkinson proved another key figure, picking off the errant Pegasus passes while Liz McInerney was peerless in midfield.

But while the students have been noted for their defensive solidity – just 12 goals conceded in 17 games – up front, they were inspired with Jacob and Roisin Flinn dovetailing perfectly aided by the rotating Rachel Burke and Rosie Carrigan.

Burke laid on the first goal 16 minutes in with a pullback from the endline to Flinn and within two minutes the lead was doubled, this time from Jenkinson’s corner-strike, creeping home via Sharon Moffett’s pads.

Pegasus pulled one back two minutes after the break as they enjoyed a purple patch, Grace Irwin scrambling home after a mix-up between Grace O’Flanagan and Jenkinson saw the ball squirm free.

And when they won a disputed penalty corner moments later the tide appeared to be turning.

Arlene Boyles shot, though, was well blocked by O’Flanagan and Megan Tennant-Humphreys did well on the rebound. It was Pegs’ last clear opportunity of the day as College raised the intensity.

Flinn squeezed in for 3-1 after Jenkinson’s initial strike had wreaked havoc. And the rout was complete as Carrigan capped the performance with the goal of the game, flipping the ball past Boyles at the top of the circle before smashing past Moffett.

The closing quarter was played out with relative ease, especially when Lynsey Mallon’s frustration led to the sin-bin.

UCD: Grace O’Flanagan, Marie O’Connell, Megan Tennant-Humphreys, Holly Jenkinson, Caitriona McGilp, Lisa Jacob (capt), Elaine O’Neill, Laura Wilson, Orlagh O’Shea, Liz McInerney, Roisin Flinn Subs: Fiona Bradish, Rosie Carrigan, Rachel Burke, Pamela Smithwick, Leigh Pelow, Ciara McNestry, Fyona Flinn

Pegasus: Sharon Moffett, Nadine Brown, Fiona McIlwaine, Jill Orbinson, Claire McMahon, Suzanne Beaney, Arlene Boyles (capt), Alex Speers, Lynsey Mallon, Michelle Harvey, Pamela Magill Subs: Jenny Kyle, Grace Irwin, Hannah Clarke, Julie McKnight, Jessica Perry, Lyn Brown

* For more of Adrian Boehm’s pictures from the game, click here. For Rob O’Connor’s pics, click here. Sportsfile and Inpho were also there.

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