Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup semi-final
Alexandra College will face St Gerard’s in the Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup final on Thursday, March 5 after they fought their way through semi-finals at Grange Road this afternoon against Loreto St Stephen’s Green and Holy Child, Killiney respectively.
Alex eventually overcame Loreto, St Stephen’s Green 3-0 after the city centre side put in a superb defensive performance in the first half.
Indeed, Loreto – who play in the second tier of the league – almost took a shock lead when star player Sarah Torrans fizzed a penalty corner shot inches wide.
Alex, though, showed their Premier League quality to create plenty of chances. They were repelled for 45 minutes by Eibhinn Linehan and Aoife Corcoran but Ava Beatty eventually broke through from close range.
It broke the resistance and Beatty’s next cross was turned in by Sine Wickham for 2-0. Wickham then scrambled home number three for a deceptive final scoreline.
Gerard’s are into their first cup final thanks to their 2-0 win over Holy Child, Killiney – themselves appearing in their maiden semi-final – with Irish Under-18 trialists Lena Tice and Sarah O’Loughlin on the mark.
After a cagey opening half, Tice – who doubles as a senior cricket international – whipped home a drag-flick on the stroke of half-time for the lead.
O’Loughlin then applied a devilish, looping deflection to a Tice crash ball to seal the win 11 minutes into the second half. O’Loughlin would later strike the bar and post but neither effort was necessary as they bid to bounce back from the Premier League final loss of last month.
Early on, Emma Mathews, Abbie Russell and Eliza Carey were hugely influential for Killiney as they pressed with vigour to upset the Gerard’s groove. Casey saw a fourth minute effort excellently saved by Lucy Ashmore while Mathews had another effort deflected wide.
Gerard’s also went close, Ruby Neville deflecting over while O’Loughlin’s right wing attack was well stopped by Clara Ahern. In the second half, HCK were well in the game until the shock second goal which killed off the tie.
Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup, semi-finals: Alexandra College 3 (S Wickham 2, A Beatty) Loreto, St Stephen’s Green 0; St Gerard’s 2 (L Tice, S O’Loughlin) Holy Child, Killiney 0