Early Alex blitz lands third Junior title in four years

Leinster Schoolgirl’s Junior Cup final
Alexandra College 2 (Sophie Roopnarinesingh, Freya McDermott) Loreto Foxrock 0

Alexandra College claimed their third Leinster schoolgirl’s Junior Cup title in four years off as they produced a brilliant opening four minutes at Grange Road to defeat Loreto Foxrock 2-0.

Amid drenched conditions, the Milltown school got off to a flyer with two penalty corner goals from Sophie Roopnarinesingh and Freya McDermott in jig-time.

Alexandra College's Junior Cup winning team Pic: Stephen Findlater

Alexandra College’s Junior Cup winning team Pic: Stephen Findlater

For Foxrock, it was a horror start but they did pose major questions of the Alex defence with Ellen Curran and Hannah McLoughlin superb throughout.

In pursuit of their first ever title at this level, they won a quartet of second half penalty corners but could not find a way through a teak-tough Alex defensive unit.

Going forward, meanwhile, Alex had that extra sparkle in the attacking circle with Katherine Egan a dynamo to go with McDermott’s neat array of passes and the individual skills of Roopnarinesingh and Ava Beatty.

Abi Acheson won their first set piece with a sharp run down the right wing, laying off for Roopnarinesingh who found a foot. While the initial corner was blocked, it was rest and Roopnarinesingh potted home at the third attempt for a dream start.

Soon after, Freya McDermott had doubled up with a cracking strike from a switched corner to the right, transferred back into the middle.

It could have been three but for a smart take on the line by Caroline Dawson while goalkeeper Jane Conway Kenny made a couple of smart saves.

Foxrock settled after that, Christina Hamill leading the charge with a string of good runs down the right channel while Curran was always a threat with pace to burn.

In the second half, Foxrock upped the ante further, winning four corners with McLoughlin weaving her way down the left wing and cutting in at opportune moments.

Curran picked out Clara O’Sullivan for their best chance midway through the half but Emily Murphy got back in the nick of time to nudge the ball out of the arc of her stick.

It meant they could make no inroads into the lead while Alex closed out the tie in fine form, drawing two top stops from Conway Kenny while Judy Fitzpatrick was also required to put in a huge tackle.

The teeming rain slowed up the tempo in the closing stages but could not dampen Alex’s celebrations as they added this title to their wins in 2011 and 2012.

Alexandra College: R Cullen, I Delmar, E Murphy, L O’Brien, F McDermott, K Egan, S Roopnarinesingh, A Beatty, A Acheson, H O’Connor, C Harrison
Subs: S McEvoy-Bucholz, J Ryan, A Barton, M Espinos-Dicenta

Loreto Foxrock: J Conway-Kenny, J Fitzpatrick, C O’Sullivan, D Shaffrey, R Kos, A McCoole, H McLoughlin, L Walsh, E Curran, E Reidy, C Hamill
Subs: L Hayes, R Collins, E Fogarty, S O’Brien, A Whelan, C Dawson

Umpires: F Davitt, L Ingram

School Girls Premier Section A