The schools semi-finals continue to come thick and fast as St Andrew’s gained revenge over Wesley for their girl’s senior cup exit with a gutsy 2-0 win in the Senior Premier League semi-final last Friday in Booterstown.
It was a major arm-wrestle between the sides with little between the pair once more – the previous tie was decided on strokes. Rachel O’Brien had a fine shot chalked off on consultation for an earlier infringement for Andrew’s while Sarah Robinson’s deflected corner strike clipped the inside of the post before agonisingly along the line from the two major incidents of the first half.
But Andrew’s struck twice midway into the second half to carry the day as Annabel Elliott netted from the ground after Sophie Marshall’s initial shot was saved while Cullen smashed home a loose ball following a corner three minutes later.
Try as Wesley might – Anna Mae Whelan and Niamh Sweeney to the fore – they had not the legs to get back into the game but have the Cup final on Tuesday afternoon to keep their silverware dream alive.
They play Alex in that competition for Leinster’s biggest prize as well as a place in the Kate Russell. There, they will travel to Ballyclare who got the better of reigning Ulster and All-Ireland champions Lurgan HS to earn the tournament’s hosting rights.
Colaiste Iognaid were 7-0 winners over Athlone’s The Bower in Connacht while Bandon GS ended Crescent College’s reign in Munster.
In the Claudia Tierney Cup – the third/fourth place playoff competition for the Premier League – Mount Sackville squeezed past the challenge of Loreto Beaufort on penalties in the semi-final 3-0 after normal time ended 1-1.
On the boy’s side, Kilkenny College advanced to the final of the Senior Trophy for the second time in three years following a confident 4-0 win over Palmerstown based Kings Hospital. The cats wasted no time and were ahead after just seven minutes from a short corner when David McClure drew a fine save the home goalkeeper but Sean Lamb was in the right place to score the rebound.
Kilkenny doubled their lead within two minutes when Eamonn Walsh made a great solo run before finishing with a reverse shot. Kings Hospital didn’t hold back and Karl Goodwin drew a fine save from Kilkenny keeper Matty Thompson.
Fleeting breaks from Adam Clayton kept the Kilkenny defence on their toes before Chris Dick played a wonderful ball into the circle for McClure to put the cats 3-0 up at the break.
A couple of minutes into the second half and Walsh could’ve added another but for great defending by Michael Bisley and Simon Mernagh.
Kilkenny were dominating and Dick saw his shot blocked down, this time by James Dobson. With just 10 minutes left Kilkenny were assured of their place in the final when Josh Glass fired at the goalkeeper, who saved well but McClure was there to slot home the fourth. Kilkenny will now face Wesley College in the Senior Cup semi-final next Wednesday.
St Andrew’s await after they fought off a brave St Columba’s effort. The current champions looked to be cruising at 3-0 but Freddie Morris and Ross Canning got the Rathfarnham school back into the game at 3-2 before Andrew’s got a late clincher.
At U-14 level, Wesley survived an incredible tussle with Sutton Park on penalties as the tie went to the 11th round before the Ballinteer school eventually won out 10-9 in the shoot-out.
The other semi-final also went the distance as four goals from Freddie Morris saw St Columba’s tie 4-4 in normal time at St Andrew’s but the hosts nabbed a golden goal winner for a lively win.
Leinster Schoolgirls Premier League, semi-final: St Andrew’s 2 (Annabel Elliott, Kerri-Ann Cullen) Wesley 0
Claudia Tierney Cup: Mount Sackville 1 Loreto Beaufort 1 Mount Sackville win 3-0 on penalties
Senior Boy’s Trophy semi-final: Kilkenny College 4 (Sean Lamb, Eamann Walsh, David McClure 2) King’s Hospital 0
Senior Cup, semi-finals St Andrew’s 4 St Columba’s 2
Junior Cup, semi-final: St Columba’s 4 (W Purcell, H Morris, F Morris, C McCooey) St Killians 0
U-14 Cup semi-final: Wesley 1 Sutton Park 1, Wesley won 10-9 on penalty strokes; St Andrew’s 5 St Columba’s 4 aet