In adverse weather conditions in Palmerstown, Loreto Beaufort became the first team to qualify for this year’s Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup semi finals with a hard fought win over Kings Hospital.
Niamh Lyons struck the winner late in the day, scoring the odd goal in five after a very evenly matched contest that swung back and forth throughout.The Beaufort side got off to a great start when Niamh McLoughlin put her side in front with only 10 minutes played. Kings Hos, though, pressed hard for an equaliser which duly came via a great strike from a short corner from Jessica O’Leary, tying things up at 1-1.
Parity was short-lived, however, as Beaufort fought back with a brilliant strike from Irish U-18 captain Jessica McGirr who restored the narrow advantage at half-time, 2-1.
KH came out battling in the second half when Sally Farrell finished off great build-up play to make it level for a second time.
For a third time, Beaufort got themselves back in front, this time when McGirr and Sarah Nagle turned over possession in midfield to set up Lyons for the winning goal.
The hosts fought valiantly to the end but some resolute defending by goalkeeper Hannah Mullen, Stephanie O’Connor and Martha O’Donoghue saw the Rathfarnham girls managed to hold out.
Elsewhere, Rathdown bounced back from their Premier League final setback with a 3-2 extra time win over Wesley in the second round of the cup, earning a date with St Gerard’s on Saturday morning in the quarters.
Mount Anville will play High School in another quarter-final, also on Saturday while the other game sees St Andrew’s take on Muckross in a tie pencilled in for Monday.
Schoolgirl’s Senior Cup
Second round: Wesley College 2 Rathdown 3 (K Ray, S Burns, S Hickey);
Quarter-final: Kings Hospital 2 (J O’Leary, S Farrell) Loreto Beaufort 3 (N O’Loughlin, J McGirr, N Lyons)
Quarter-finals, Saturday: Mount Anville vs High School, 11am, Goatstown; Rathdown vs St Gerard’s, 10.30am, Rathdown
Monday: St Andrew’s vs Muckross