Leinster Schoolgirl’s Senior Cup final
Mount Anville 1 Rathdown 0
Mount Anville ended an 11-year itch as they finally landed the Leinster schoolgirl’s Senior Cup title, having finally broken their semi-final curse, missing out on a final berth at the last hurdle.
But they wasted little time this time around, Patricia McGowan proving the heroine as she kept calm to poke home the solo goal in the 13th minute amid close-range melee.
It whipped the capacity Grange Road crowd into an even greater frenzy as the marquee event in schoolgirl’s hockey once again provided a show of high emotion.
McGowan’s goal would subsequently break the hearts of a Rathdown side that have pulled up trees this year in breaking new ground of their own. Former Irish men’s international and veteran of 154 caps Graham Shaw took on the director of coaching role at the Glenageary school two years ago.
Prior to the goal, Mount Anville had settled the quicker as Ella Fennelly fired in a tester with a cracking early shot that drew the best from Blathnaid Breslin.
Incredibly, Breslin had yet to concede in four rounds of cup hockey, most notably in last week’s semi-final against a hotly tipped High School. Her clean sheet there led to ultimate success in the penalty shoot-out after a scoreless draw in normal time.
It was the same method Mount Anville used to get by reigning All-Ireland champions Alexandra College. The lack of semi-final goals showed the importance of McGowan’s single strike and her side went close to making it two via lively winger Ailbhe Marsh while Rachel Dooley O’Carroll’s effort was ruled out for an earlier obstruction.
In response, Sarah Hyland’s crisp effort was denied from the pick of Rathdown’s first half ripostes. And they piled forward in the closing stages.
Sarah Evans was a driving force while Rathdown forced three penalty corners but Mount Anville cleared to gleefully toast their first cup success since 2002 and progress to the Kate Russell All-Ireland championships where they will face the other provincial champions later this month including South East’s Kilkenny College, Munster’s Crescent College and Connacht’s Colaiste Iognaid.