Leinster Schoolgirl’s Senior A Cup final: Alexandra College 4 (Erika Hinkson 2, Emily Beatty, Anna Roopnarinesingh) Wesley 1 (Niamh Sweeney)
Alexandra College retained the Leinster Schoolgirl’s Senior Cup title with an emphatic 4-1 final victory over Wesley College at Grange Road on Tuesday afternoon in front of a fervent crowd.
It took the Milltown scarcely a minute to get up and running as youth Olympian Emily Beatty slid in to put them on track.
She finished in razor sharp fashion as Alex marauded forward from the tip-off, winning a free inside the Ballinteer schools’ 25. Beatty took the auto-pass quickly and burst into the circle and pushed for the far post to start the game in perfect style for her team.
The clinical nature of it was to shine a light on the difference between the teams. Wesley controlled much of the play throughout but they could not break down a defence marshalled by Millie O’Donnell to near perfection.
And they had the speed and skills to counter with precision. Indeed, it was a similar story in their semi-final in which they ran up a 6-1 win over High School despite carving out the same number of shots over the hour.
Only one further circle penetration occurred in the next 25 minutes as Sarah Robinson’s corner strike was dealt with by Alex’s Leigh Porter.
When the Milltown side did venture forward, though, it was ruthlessly effective. It was 2-0 in the 26th minute when Erika Hinkson scored the first of two corner goals. Her second came a few minutes after the break from the third phase of a string of penalty corners and was the clinching effort.
Irish U-16 Anna Roopnarinesingh added a fourth on the counter before Niamh Sweeney finished off a penalty corner move to get Wesley a consolation two minutes from time.
Sweeney had earlier gone close with the same move but was brilliantly denied by Porter, scampering across the goal to shut down her near post.
It was a rare opening as Alex claimed back-to-back titles and still in the mix for a double as they remain in Premier League contention. They also now go into the Kate Russell All-Ireland championship on March 22 and 23 where they will face Munster champions Bandon GS, Connacht ’s Colaiste Iognaid and hosts Ballyclare HS. The Ulster side look to be Alex’s main opposition having taken over the Ulster mantle from Lurgan High School.
Earlier in the day, Loreto Foxrock won the U-14 A cup final with a 1-0 win over Mount Anville with Laura Hammill scoring the vital goal in the first half.
Alexandra College: Leigh Porter, Vanessa Winn, Amy Ryan, Millie O’Donnell, Kate Lenehan, Aideen Cowhey, Erika Hinkson, Grainne Mulkerrin, Emily Beatty, Hannah McDermott, Anna Roopenerinsingh
Subs: Louise McPhillips, Aison Gibbons, Rachel Gray, Juliet Beatty, Amber Gleeson
Wesley College: Carolyn Crampton, Sarah Robinson, Claire Samuel, Jennifer Anderson, Megan Berber, Lauren Haughton, Niamh Sweeney, Anna-May Whelan, Sophie Pratt, Inge Dalzell, Lauren McGrane
Subs: Sara Quill, Amber Kinlan, Robyn Esmonde, Rachel Allen, Hannah McKay
Leinster Schoolgirl’s Senior A Cup final: Alexandra College 4 (E Hinkson 2, E Beatty, A Roopnarinesingh) Wesley 1 (N Sweeney)
U-14 A Cup final: Loreto Foxrock 1 (L Hammill) Mount Anville 0