Methodist College won the Subway All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships for the first time by the narrowest of margins, edging out reigning champions Crescent College by a single goal on goal difference.
It owed much to the inspiration of captain Katie Larmour who hailed her side’s amazing achievement, winning the competition after her side only won the Ulster title last week for the first time in 28 years.
“It’s so exciting. Methody have never won it and I don’t think we have ever been down involved in the competition before,” she said. “It’s just unbelievable; if someone had of said we would win the Ulster schools cup and the Kate Russell, I probably would have laughed at them. The level of competition was fabulous.”
Her role encompassed six goals and four assists en route to earning the player of the tournament crown, something she said was a bit out of the norm for her but a truly special way to end her schools career.
“It is a bit unusual; I don’t regularly score. It’s a bit of a change! This is the last time I will wear this school shirt so I am so happy that it ended like that. There aren’t that many in upper sixth like me, most have another year so they should have a great team for next year.”
Sitting second overnight thanks to a win over Galway’s Salerno and a draw with Crescent, Methody began day two with a big 4-0 win over Loreto Kilkenny that put them in pole position.
Crucially, they followed up with a 3-1 win over Alexandra College, the leaders after day one. The Dubliners had taken a first half lead when Jan Cleary poked home from a couple of inches out. But the story of the tournament was one of penalty corners and Methody converted three in the second half to claim this result with Madison Bowyer, Larmour and Rhiannon Coulter all finding the backboard.
That result left Alex out of contention but Limerick hosts Crescent still could pip the Ulster side if they could pull off a three-goal win in the tournament’s final game.
Crescent created numerous first half openings with Jane Kirby wreaking havoc but no goals accrued until 11 minutes from the end when Aebhfhinn Bourke – with her fifth goal of the day – converted.
They threw everything forward but could not break through, meaning Methodist were the victors in the final reckoning. Crescent ended second overall with Alex ending third.
** Full pictures to follow
Subway Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships
Day two: Loreto Kilkenny 0 Methodist College 4 (R Coulter 2, K Larmour, J Savage); Crescent College 4 (A Bourke 4) Salerno 0; Methodist College 3 (M Bowyer, K Larmour, R Coulter) Alexandra College 1 (J Cleary); Salerno 1 Loreto Kilkenny 1 (S Browne); Alexandra College 0 Crescent 1 (A Bourke)
Standings: 1. Methodist College 10pts (+8) 2. Crescent College 10pts (+7) 3. Alexandra College 6pts (+1) 4. Salerno 1pt (-7) 5. Loreto Kilkenny 1pt (-9)