Leinster schoolgirl and boy’s hockey returned this week with St Andrew’s and Mount Anville battling it out for top spot in Section B of the Senior Schoolgirl’s Premier League.
In the final reckoning, Andrew’s nabbed a 1-1 draw with just a couple of minutes remaining which means the margins in the final round of group games will be wafer-thin.
It leaves the pair locked on the same points total with Loreto, Beaufort’s game against Alex now of vital importance with the winner guaranteed a semi-final spot.
A draw could see both side’s through but would require Muckross to get the better of Andrew’s.
As for the game itself, both sides were shy a few star turns as Nicola Gray, Amy Ryan and long-term injury victim Emily Beatty were out for the hosts while Irish U-16 international Laura Gray was out of the Andrew’s line up.
Andrews started strong, forcing Emma Mee-Hayes into a brilliant triple save while also earning a couple of corners.
Gillian Pinder was proving the main creative influence but they were unable to break down a rejigged Alex defence who grew into the game, leaving it 0-0 at the break.
The second half was played at a very high tempo with the Milltown hosts pressing higher up the field and it worked in their favour when Hannah McDermott pounced on an error, fed Deirdre Duke who beat the last defender and smashed into the right-corner for the lead.
They spurned two great, one-on-one opportunities with McDermott, right at the last, denied by a late covering tackle.
And Andrew’s sniffed an opportunity, piling forward in the latter stages to nab the ball in the midfield and a quick interchange forced a shooting chance which was taken to grab the last-gasp draw in a physically draining, rip-roaring affair.
In Section B, Mount Anville kept their playoff charge on track when they recorded a 3-0 win over Mount Sackville though the final scoreline was perhaps a little flattering as the Castleknock outfit showed up well in the first half but were caught out twice.
Anville remain in the top two with Wesley College but the key games are yet to come with High School also currently holding a 100pc record.
On the boy’s side, St Columba’s U-13s got the cups underway with a fine 5-0 success over St Andrew’s Prep School. Freddie Morris and Cormac McCooey bagged a double a piece.
Columba’s junior cup and senior league matches have been set for next Tuesday with their eye-catching senior cup date coming a week later on January 26 in Newpark.
In the Senior League, St Andrew’s became the first side to confirm their place in the semi-finals when they got the better of Newpark 7-0 in the Blackrock derby.
Senior Schoolgirl’s Premier League:
Group A: Mount Sackville 0 Mount Anville 3 (Aisling Naughton 2, Anna O’Connell)
Group B: Alexandra College 1 St Andrew’s 1
Senior League, Pool 1: Newpark 0 St Andrew’s 7
Senior League, Pool 2: Dundalk 4 King’s Hospital 1
Junior League, Pool 1: St Andrew’s 3 Mount Temple 2
Junior League,Pool 2: St Columba’s 6 Mount Temple B 2; Sandford Park 4 St Andrew’s B 1
Minor League, Pool 1: Newpark 3 St Andrew’s C 0
Minor League, Pool 2: Sandford Park 2 St Andrew’s B 1; Dundalk 0 King’s Hospital 5
U-13 C League: Dundalk 1 Mount Temple B 3
U-13 cup, second round: St Columba’s College 5 (Freddie Morris 2, Cormac McCooey 2, George Munday) St Andrew’s Prep 0
Senior Cup (January 26): Newpark vs St Columba’s, 3pm, Newpark
Senior League (January 18): St Columba’s vs Sutton Park, 2pm, Whitechurch Park
Junior Cup (January 18): St Columba’s vs Sutton Park, 3.15pm, Whitechurch Park
Minor Cup (January 21): St Andrew’s vs Newpark, 3pm, Booterstown
Minor League (January 21): Wesley vs St Andrew’s B, 3.30pm, Ballinteer
U-13 Cup (January 19): St Andrew’s vs Newpark, 2pm, Booterstown
U-13 League (January 21): Wesley B vs St Andrew’s, 2.30pm, Ballinteer
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