Rathgar school on a High after superb season

High School closed out a hugely impressive year on the schoolboy front just before the Easter break when they won the Leinster Senior Trophy title with a tight 1-0 win over Kilkenny College.

It added to appearances in the Junior and U-14 Cup finals where they finished runners-up to all-conquering St Andrew’s. With the girl’s side winning the Junior Cup and finishing as Senior Premier league runners-up, it makes for a superb hockey season all round for the Rathgar school.

In the Trophy final, they edged out the cats in a typically tense affair. The High School started confidently, controlling much of possession with most of their penetration coming from the right side where Andrew Jones found good space and Hugh Hackett’s pace caused problems for Kilkenny’s defence.

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This early pressure lead to three short corners. David Howard drag flicked each of them to the left post, where Kilkenny’s post man pulled off three excellent saves. A driving run by Jack Killeen, after receiving an aerial from Howard outside the 25, led to another short corner just before half time.

This time, a variation where Felim Kelly spun at the top of the D, left Howard unmarked to flick his shot low and hard, to the left post and home for the crucial lead.

Kilkenny fought back, threatening High School at each turn, an excellent reverse effort bringing a fine save from Scott Wallace who managed to touch the ball on to the post, with his glove.

In the second half, Kilkenny had more possession and pushed High School further and further back with sweeper Samuel Grace stepping up to try to force the matter and have a greater influence.

Wallace was forced to make three more expert saves, after sustained pressure. This led to three short corners for Kilkenny. None could bring the equaliser that Kilkenny’s pressure and endeavour may have deserved, as The High School defended resolutely.

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