Junior Jacqui Potter Cup final
Railway Union 3 (N Shaw, M Carey, K Orr) Muckross 0
Railway Union’s supremely talented Under-16 side took down the Junior Jacqui Potter Cup title in some style thanks to a 3-0 win over over Muckross, writes Jack McCann.
They boasted an extremely talented squad with the likes of the Carey sisters, who turned out for their firsts later in the afternoon against Loreto, leading the way. Muckross at the same time had quality within their ranks too with the likes of Caroline Mathews, a Leinster Under 16, and Isabelle McGrath among them.
Railway started the stronger with the spine of the team of Niamh Carey up front, Michelle in the midfield and Niamh Shaw at the back very much to the fore in the opening period as Union dominated across the board However, solid defence and some great intercepts from Muckross meant they were very much still in the game.
Isabelle McGovern was vital to the Muckross cause between the sticks as she made several fine saves in the first half to keep Union out as they cranked up the pressure. Indeed, Railway had the best of the chances in the opening 30 minutes with the ball flashed across the D by Aisling O’Brien and McGovern saving a penalty corner excellently.
The pressure told eventually with deadlock broken via Shaw, a well-executed short corner saw the ball hit the backboard after a straight strike from Shaw as the first receiver.
Mathews led the Muckross response as they searched for the equaliser in the five minutes before half-time. The pace they possessed, especially down the left and in tandem with Mathews controlling of the middle of the pitch caused Union many issues.
The second half started with Muckross employing a higher press than the first half as they stepped up their efforts to get the equaliser.
For all their effort and endeavour Muckross were unable to find an easy way past the Union defence, led very ably by Shaw. As the half wore on, the intensity lifted from both sides as they both search for the crucial next goal of the game.
It came in the form of a penalty corner in the 52nd minute and Railway were the benefactors. After a foot in the D, Michelle Carey put away the penalty corner after a switch at the top with just under 20 minutes to go.
The killer third goal arrived eight minutes later as Union put the game to bed through Kate Orr. Again the goal came via a penalty corner, however, this time it was from the second phase play. The original attempt was dealt with by Muckross but Railway stole the ball as Muckross attempted to clear and it was sent back across goal and Orr was there to lift it over McGovern to make it 3-0.
3-0 was a rather harsh score line for Muckross to have to stomach, with the likes of Isabelle McGrath and the captain Murrap having great games like those aforementioned. They matched Railway 90% of the time, Union just had that little bit more quality at crucial times.
Muckross: I McGovern (GK), R Murray (C), E O’Gorman, C Ferry, L McGrane, E Dawson, E Fitzgerald, A McCarthy, C Browne, E Malone, C Matthews, I McGrath, M O’Riordan, N Gowing, R Cullen, C Winslow
Railway Union: K Hogan, A O’Brien, I O’Grady, C Coyne, S Lavelle, K Orr, J Douglas, A Elliot, L O’Bryne, N Carey, N Shaw, M Carey, G McLoughlin, L Lloyd, L Paul, S Cole
Umpires: Kieran Bolger, Rupert Christie