Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Premier League
Alexandra College 1 (I Delamer) Mount Anville 1 (C Cotter), Alex win 4-3 on a shoot-out
Alexandra College snatched the Leinster Schoolgirls Premier League title from Mount Anville’s grasp, retaining the title in a dramatic shoot-out at Grange Road.
The Milltown school looked dead and buried going into the final minute, trailing to Claudia Cotter’s superb 36th minute goal.
But a last ditch penalty corner gave them a chance from which Isabelle Delamer slammed home an equaliser on her backhand for 1-1 and a shoot-out.
It was a special moment of redemption for Delamer who had earlier seen a penalty stroke saved by Katie O’Hogan with 12 minutes to go.
The shoot-out was equally dramatic, the regulation series of five ending locked at 3-3. Alex keeper Caroline Nugent denied Katie Ronan – one of Mount Anville’s key performers in midfield – in the first round of sudden death, allowing Katherine Egan the chance to brilliantly slot home the winning goal.
Earlier in the tie, Mount Anville made most of the early running with Niamh Gowing – a top level sprinter – out-stripping the defence on a couple of occasions. They had a couple of corners denied, too, before Alex found their groove with Egan the driving force.
She produced the pick of the first half chances, her brilliant reverse pinging off the underside of the bar and away to safety.
The tempo upped after the big break with Freya McDermott’s sumptuous skills and eye for a pass picking out Abi Acheson. Her snap-shot was charged down by O’Hogan.
Cotter broke the deadlock for Mount Anville soon after when Ronan picked her out behind the last defender. She still had plenty to do but did it expertly, using her pace to initially get clear and then steadied herself, dodged right and pushed into the goal.
It sparked a big response from Alex with Sophie Roopnarinesingh winning her side’s second corner. Two more came and went for the Milltown outfit before they got their big chance in the 48th minute.
McDermott produced one of her trademark, disguised sweep-shot which deceived the goalkeeper but hit a foot on the line. Delamer stepped up but O’Hogan read her intentions and saved with an out-stretched boot.
For a time, it looked like that was Alex’s last chance but they summoned up one last drive, a loose ball clipping a foot just inside the circle for a fifth corner.
The stop was not especially clean but was worked left to Delamer who fired home on her backhand to earn the shoot-out chance.
Alex took the early advantage in the second round, Nugent saving well. In round three, O’Hogan picked out a brilliant stick-save but Gowing saw her effort clip the inside of the post.
— Leah Spillane (@leahs25) February 16, 2017
O’Hogan also saved in round four, giving Mount Anville a way back into the contest. Grace Keane levelled before both sides scored under pressure in the final round of the first series.
Alex, though, prevailed with Egan the one to be mobbed by her team mates.
Alexandra College: C Nugent, I Delamer, R Kennedy, S Lavelle, E Lavelle, J Cleary, C Coyne, F McDermott, K Egan, S Foley, S Roopnarinesingh, A Acheson, H O’Connor, C Harrison, N Courtney, S Murtagh, J Mohan
Mount Anville: K O’Hogan, M Fehily, L Mulcahy, N McDonald, E Mulcahy, C Cotter, K Ronan, R Moore, N Gowing, N Twomey, A O’Brien, K Lyttle, I O’Grady, A Kenny, C Sandford, A Dignam, G Keane
Umpires: C Metchette, G Garrett