O’Brien the Saints star as Andrews win third Premier title

Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Premier League final
St Andrew’s College, Booterstown 3 (Tatiana Temperley, Serena Brooks, Rachel O’Brien) Rathdown School 0

Rachel O’Brien provided a left wing tour de force to power St Andrew’s to their third Senior Schoolgirl’s Premier League title with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Rathdown at Grange Road.

She was at the heart of her side’s first two goals before nipping in for the third to crown a superb performance. That followed close range efforts from Tatiana Temperley and Serena Brooks, as they bossed proceedings from start to finish with a breath-taking showing of pace.

They were on top from the start, Ellen Beirne and Temperley drawing top saves from Tanna Tan inside the first two minutes.

Tan also kept out a couple of penalty corners but she was unable to deny Temperley in the sixth minute after O’Brien took a quick left-wing free-in. Her quick feet allowed her to cut into the circle before picking out an angled cross that the striker was able to nudge in at the right post.

It was no less than they deserved but they were unable to build further on that initial strike as Rachel Bourke and Rebecca Andrews made a string of interventions to avert further danger.

They helped keep out four first half corners with Sally Campbell seeing a couple of drag-flicks squirm just off course via defensive deflections. It took Rathdown, seeking their first Premier League title, about 20 minutes to settle as Lauren O’Leary led the line well.

She found Megan Carroll, however, a top organiser, marshalling the St Andrew’s back line particularly well and they retained their lead until half time. The second half started in similar manner to the first, Campbell picking a brilliant pass through to O’Brien but Tan anticipated the danger superbly, racing off her line to smother the one-on-one chance.

And the Saints did give themselves some breathing room seven minutes after the interval following a brilliant five player move. Campbell’s interception of halfway started the run, feeding O’Brien whose pace saw her skip past her defender, creating a four on two. She found Beirne mid-circle who shipped the ball on to Brooks to clip home from close range.

Rathdown almost replied soon after but Lisa Balfe missed out with her side’s best chance, her shot spinning away off Aoife Daly’s pads.

The St Andrew's team celebrate their Leinster Senior Premier League success Pic: Adrian Boehm

The St Andrew’s team celebrate their Leinster Senior Premier League success Pic: Adrian Boehm

But any lingering doubts about the title destination were quashed as O’Brien subsequently closed out the tie when she nicked in ahead of Tan to deflect home Sarah McCready’s booming cross, capping her player of the match performance.

O’Leary almost got a consolation goal two minutes from time but Phoebe Moore – who swapped with Daly between the posts with six minutes left – booted away the shot, retaining her side’s clean sheet.

Earlier in the day, High School won the Claudia Tierney Cup as they came from a goal down to beat Wesley College 2-1.

St Andrews: A Daly, M Carroll, C Hennessy, C Spain, D Quinn, R O’Brien, A Sarratt, S Campbell, S McCready, T Temperly, E Beirne, C Larmour, S Brooks, R Merrey, K Bernsden, P Moore

Rathdown: T Tan, K Ray, C Sexton, R Andrews, S Burns, M McQuillan, M Bodimeade, A Barnwell, S Hickey, G Burns, L O’Leary, L Balfe, S Hyland, H Hickey, R Bourke, A Horgan

Umpires: Gillian Garrett, Carol Metchette

Senior Schoolgirls Premier League final: St Andrews 3 (T Temperley, S Brooks, R O’Brien) Rathdown 0
Claudia Tierney Cup final: High School 2 Wesley College 1

School Girls Premier Section A