Just one of the Leinster schoolgirl’s Premier League semi-final berths has been pinned down going into the Christmas break with eight sides still in with a chance of the big prize.
Indeed, there looks set to be a number of playoff games to decide the eventual progressors from Section B after three schools – Loreto Beaufort, Mount Anville and St Andrews – finished their seven-game series on 15 points.
With goal difference not a tie-breaker, it means there will be a likely three-way playoff for the second berth as St Andrew’s picked up a key 2-0 win over Beaufort.
Wesley became the only side to get out of the pool phases as Sara Quill and Sarah Foudy weighed in with goals to overcome St Gerard’s, ending the Bray side’s chances in the process.
Alexandra College finished the group strong when they came from 2-1 down with time ticking down against Loreto, Foxrock to run up a 7-2 win with a stunning late salvo.
It has given them a chance of progressing but, having a completed their programme, they are dependent on the outcome of a bumper tie between Muckross and Mount Sackville.
A number of outcomes could accrue from this tie. A Muckross win or score draw puts them into the semi-finals; a scoreless draw means the Donnybrook school must meet Alex in a straight playoff. A Mount Sackville win earns them a shot at Alex for the semi-final place.
Such Premier League concerns have played out against a backdrop of Senior Cup first round ties from which a number of big teams have already fallen by the wayside.
Rachel O’Brien’s extra-time strike eliminated St Gerard’s 1-0 at the hands of St Andrew’s while Sara and Sophie Twomey were on the mark along with Jane Fennelly in Mount Anville’s win over Loreto, Foxrock.
High School, meanwhile, made a major statement of intent when they ran up a 3-0 win over Mount Sackville. The Long sisters Jenny and Ailisih were key players in that one with a goal each in the first half.
It broke a chain of three 1-1 draws between the sides in emphatic fashion. The Rathgar side started strong, earning a short corner inside five minutes through Saoirse O’Donoghue.
It was saved on the line with a foot, leading to a stroke which Irish U-18 Jenny Long neatly put in the corner.
Despite suffering the loss of Kate Barlow due to a sprained ankle, High School continued to push on when Ailish Long finished off a short corner, making it 2-0 at half time.
Mount Sackville threw everything they had at the second half with Sarah Hawkshaw being the core of most of their attacks but they could not break through.
And High school broke away once more with the slick skills of Evie McCullough finishing it off, ending the match 3-0.
Senior Cup, first round results: St Andrew’s 1 (Rachel O’Brien) St Gerard’s 0, after extra time; Mount Anville 3 (Sara Twomey, Sophie Twomey and Jane Fennelly) Loreto Foxrock 0; High School 3 (Jenny Long, Ailish Long and Evie McCullough) Mount Sackville 0; Muckross bt Loreto, St Stephen’s Green
[standings league_id=7 template=extend logo=false]
[standings league_id=8 template=extend logo=false]