Alexandra College begin their bid to claim the Senior schoolgirl treble this morning and win their first Kate Russell All-Ireland championship in Limerick.
Miles Warren’s side begin their campaign this morning with a potentially huge tie against Ulster champions Lurgan – winners at the same venue back in 2003 – as they look to back up their Senior Cup and Premier League success earlier this month.
They go into the game on a high, their speedy forward options of Deirdre Duke, Emily Beatty, Hannah McDermott and Anna Roopnarinesingh pivotal in their amazing comeback against St Andrew’s – 2010 Kate Russell champions – last week.
Nicola Gray’s corner striking adds that option should it get congested in the circle while Erika Hinkson and Rebecca Evans add steel to the midfield.
Lurgan do not have the international players from the recent Irish U-18 trip to Scotland but they do include Chloe McCann and Louise Murray from the Ulster U-18 that swept to the Interpros this year.
Compared to last year, any dropped points will not be the end of the tournament dream for either side as the competition has reverted back to its five-team, round-robin format.
Last year, Andrew’s produced a sensational comeback in the group stages to grab a final place but this year is all about the long-game.
Alex follow up their 12.30pm match with a 3.30pm showdown with Loreto Kilkenny, South East champions, before meeting Colaiste Iognaid, 2009 winners, and hosts Crescent on Friday.
The Dooradoyle school will bid to turn a golden era in Munster into tangible rewards on a national stage.
Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships, Crescent College Comprehensive, Limerick, Day 1
9.30am: Crescent CC (Munster) v Lurgan College (Ulster); 11am: Coláiste Iognáid (Connacht) v Loreto Kilkenny (South East); 12.30pm: Lurgan College v Alexandra College (Leinster); 2pm: Crescent CC v Coláiste Iognáid; 3.30pm: Loreto Kilkenny v Alexandra College.