Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup
St Gerard’s 1 (L Tice) Alexandra College 0
Lena Tice’s low bullet three minutes from time saw St Gerard’s win the Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup title for the first time, defying Alexandra College at Grange Road yesterday.
The player of the match merely shrugged her shoulders to celebrate, perhaps exhausted after a superb performance at the base of the Bray school’s defence, breaking up numerous attacks and distributing brilliantly into midfield and the forwards.
And when the penalty corner chance arrived, she found the perfect shot for the game’s defining moment.
It came in front of a crowd of well over 1,000 as the Bray school came out in force for their first senior final, creating a rare atmosphere akin, at times, to a One Direction with the volume of screams.
The tie itself was pulsating from the off. Alex – bidding to win a record-breaking 13th title – had looked for a long time the more likely side to snatch a winner but Gerard’s forced three early stops from Ruth Cullen, all within the first two minutes.
From there on, the Milltown school were in the ascendancy. The pick of their chances was created by Sophie Roopnarinesingh’s slide-rule pass through to Ava Beatty but she was halted by a superb Lucy Ashmore sliding stop.
In combination with Katherine Ryan and Freya McDermott, they won four penalty corners but Gerard’s scramble defence kept their score sheet blank.
Their counter-attacks were fleeting, mainly via Sarah O’Louhglin, but they did produce a move of real quality to create the winning moment.
Tice started it from half-way and two quick, first time passes between O’Loughlin and Susie Cannon’s back-door touch, opened the door.
Alex’s efforts to clear popped up dangerously and Tice duly nailed her drag-flick for a famous win. They will now go on to the Kate Russell All-Ireland Schools championships at the end of the month in Galway.
Alexandra College: R Cullen, L McCollum, K Egan, S Roopnarinesingh, R Stockell, C Harrison, S Wickham, H O’Connor, L O’Brien, M McAleese, L Wolfe, A Beatty, E Murphy, F McDermott, A Barton, I Delamar, P Diepman, C Nugent
St Gerard’s: L Ashmore, E Dunne, P O’Reilly, L Tice, D Kissane, S McCarthy, O Flanagan, S O’Loughlin, S Cannon, H Gallagher, M O’Neill, R Neville, M Cullen, E Collins, L Finnerty, R Murray