Leinster Schoolgirl’s Premier League
Wesley 2 (Emily Reid, Rachel Coleman) High School 1 (Saoirse O’Donoghue)
Wesley survived a second half High School onslaught to claim their first Senior Premier League title in Grange Road, clinging on to a narrow 2-1 victory.
All the goals came in a hectic opening 19 minutes as Emily Reid and Saoirse O’Donoghue exchanged goals before Rachel Coleman potted what proved the ultimate winner.
But it scarcely told the tale of a real backs-to-the-wall second half performance as the Rathgar school created a series of gilt-edged chances while Wesley keeper Carolyn Crampton was immense between the posts.
Evie McCullough and O’Donoghue proved a constant thorn throughout but could not find a way through. At the opposite end, Irish U-16 international Sara Quill was in elusive, creating both Wesley goals.
The first came off the back of her thunderbolt penalty corner striker. Jenny Long – a cricket international – blocked it on the line brilliantly and she smothered the rebound too only for the ball to fall to Reid who potted from close range.
O’Donoghue responded soon after in superb fashion as Siobhan McManus intercepted on halfway, leaving a three-on-two situation which was executed perfectly. McManus and McCullough’s passes eliminated the last lines of defence for O’Donoghue who ghosted left out of Crampton’s reach before clipping home a crisp reverse.
Another intercept almost open the door for McCullough while Long’s overlapping was a big threat down the right for High School They were caught short at the back, however, as Quill busted through a pair of tackles and her enticing pass saw Amber Kinlan bravely get a stick in ahead of Lia McCann and the last defender.
She ended up in a heap but the touch was enough to redirect the ball perfectly for Coleman to poke home unopposed. From there, it was a case of battening down the hatches. Long’s penalty corner strike was diverted around the post by Katherine Armitage while Ailish Long saw her effort early in the second half smothered by Crampton.
McCann did need to be alert to produce a double save from Sarah Foudy and Kinlan but, for the most part, High School’s midfield were controlling matters.
In the false nine role, O’Donoghue pulled the strings, deftly picking out McCullough. Her innovative runs three times had her through on goal but the finish just would not come as Wesley hassled and harried to scramble over the winning line.
Wesley College: C Crampton, H McKay, M Berber, L Haughton, R Allen, A Kinlan, C Samuel, E Reid, R Esmonde, S Foudy, J van der Flier, R Coleman, S Quill, L Hunt, K Armitage, K Telford
High School: L McCann, Z Reichantal, E McCullough, K Barlow, L Rankin, S Fox, A Long, E Conheady, H Carrim, L Barlow, S O’Donoghue, J Long, E Murphy, J Stewart, S McManus
Umpires: Carol Metchette, Andrew Groves
Claudia Tierney Cup final
Mount Anville 3 (Sophie Twomey, E Fennelly, P Cotter) Alexandra College 1 (Anna Roopnarinesingh)
Mount Anville claimed the Claudia Tierney title – contested between sides who finished third and fourth in the pools of the Senior Premier League – as they took their chances to see off Alexandra College.
Early on, despite enjoying the best of the general play, they needed Jane Fennelly and Sally-Ann Appleby to chase back to clear efforts off the line as Hannah McDermott and Anna Roopnarinesingh caused havoc.
The Goatstown school moved in front, though, when Ailbhe Marsh tore down the right wing and laid back to Philippa Cotter who slotted home. One became two on the stroke of half-time from a very sharp mid-circle interchange with Vicky Walsh laying back a perfect pass to Sophie Twomey to finish off a classy goal.
And Ella Fennelly’s immaculate reverse-stick shot – from Walsh’s rebound – killed off the tie with six minutes to go. Roopnarinesingh did get one back two minutes from the end on the backhand but too late to affect the outcome.
Mount Anville: E O’Donovan, J Fennelly, S-A Appleby, R Dooley-O’Carroll, R Noble, C Murphy, Sara Twomey, E Fennelly, P Magowan, P Cotter, V Walsh, A Marsh, S Kelly, G Spillane, K Meenan, C Callan
Umpires: Gill Hohn, Dan Treacy