Alexandra College will be looking to avenge their Senior Cup second round defeat as they play Mount Anville for the Premier League title on Thursday, February 16 at 3.30pm in Grange Road.
It promises to be a cracker after their cup tie went to a shoot-out after Isabelle Delamar and Kate O’Hogan shared goals in normal time.
Anville duly progressed but could go no further than the quarter-final, showing the tightly matched nature of this year’s senior competitions.
Indeed, Wesley College and Muckross Park completed the Leinster schoolgirls Senior Cup semi-final line-up in the last week thanks to their respective wins over King’s Hospital and Mount Anville, respectively.
Wes edged out the Palmerstown outfit 2-1 with Jessica McGrane and Jodie Douglas powering home first half goals.
KH got one back with five minutes to go but too late to affect the outcome of the tie.
It sets up a re-match of the Claudia Tierney Cup final with winners Muckross who knocked out league finalists Mount Anville.
The Goatstown school started the stronger with Natasha Twomey hitting the post while Katie Ronan’s shot was deflected over the bar.
But they were caught napping on the counter and Leila O’Byrne nicked in for a 15th minute lead. Rachel Cuddy then made it 2-0 from a baseline cross, roofing her shot to put the Donnybrook side into the driving seat.
Muckross Park took control of the fixture in the second half when their back four played an extremely steady defensive game with Niamh Shaw dictating play from the centre back, supported left and right by Sarah McAuley and Ellie Fitzgerald.
With time running out, Mount Anville eventually scored with five minutes to go through Anna Dignam during a short corner routine that broke down.
Taking off their goalie at that point, Anville threw everyone forward but could not force the final goal or even a short corner to level the game as Shaw put in some key defensive tackles, clearing the ball long to ease the pressure.
Loreto Foxrock survived a dramatic conclusion in their quarter-final against High School, coming back from a goal down to score two penalty strokes in the last 10 minutes.
High School were the under-dogs on paper but went into the lead in the first five minutes with a goal from Ruby Keating following a well worked penalty corner.
Foxrock attacked repeatedly but could not breakdown the High School defence who employed a very young senior cup team with majority of players in their first year at senior level.
Key players for High School were Catherine Harris in goals, Ruby Keating who contained Hannah McLoughlin (Irish Under-18 and Under-21 panelist) while Leinster U-16 Laura Motyer shone, too.
With 10 minutes to go High School conceded two penalty strokes which were slotted home by Christina Hamill, though, to break the Rathgar outfit’s hearts in dramatic fashion.
In Bray, St Gerards took hold of their tie against Loreto Beaufort early on. The first goal was struck by Eva Moroney from open play as Gerard’s enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half.
In the second half, they continued to boss the game with their enthusiasm and drive – Grace McLoughlin was forced to work hard in the centre back position for Beaufort, but eventually the dogged Gerards team saw Keelan Glenane put a second goal in to close out the game towards the end.
Credit should also go to Loreto Beaufort who had some good attacking moves and the Gerards diminutive goalie, Niamh Longstaff, make a series of good saves to maintain the Gerards advantage.
Premier League final (February 16): Alexandra College v Mount Anville, 3.30pm, Grange Road
Senior Cup, semi-final (March 2): Wesley College vs Muckross Park; St Gerards vs Loreto Foxrock