Loreto Foxrock will take on St Andrew’s in the Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup final next week following their dramatic late wins over Newbridge College and Mount Anville, respectively.
Foxrock will be gunning for their first title after Sorcha McCooey struck three minutes from time to earn a 2-1 win over their Co Kildare rivals.
They held control for much of the tie but could not make full use of their penalty corners, meaning they could not shake off a side inspired by goalkeeper Aoife Glennon.
Along with her corner defensive team, they kept out some early corners before settling with Rachel McMullen superb in the centre of midfield. Her heavily deflected shot from a corner clipped the inside of the left post.
Glennon, an Irish Under-16 panelist, kept out Lauren Tracey and a Christina Hamill cross while Aoife Sexton got a crucial touch to deny a clever corner move late in the half.
Into the second half, Hamill put Foxrock in front with 18 minutes to go with a blockbuster strike after the ball broke her way at the top of the circle courtesy of a good advantage for a prior Newbridge foot.
But it did not break the Newbridge resolve and they responded instantly when Emma Brady tapped in at the left post from Aoife Fitzgerald’s shot.
Foxrock, though, continued to apply the pressure and they got their breakthrough with time running out, running up yet another series of corners.
McCooey got a great touch to one such move late in the day to earn Foxrock’s passage through to the final and keep alive hopes of a first title since 1977.
Andrew’s, meanwhile, went all the way to shoot-out to beat Mount Anville, the side that knocked them out of the Senior Premier League semi-finals.
The Goatstown school went closest in the first half with two corner chances well saved. Indeed, normal time finished scoreless, leading to the decisive one-on-ones where Andrew’s prevailed 3-0.
The final will take place on Thursday, March 1 with the final pencilled in for 2.15pm.
In Munster, meanwhile, Crescent Comp became the first finalist as Meadhbh MacNamara squeezed home an extra time winner, edging past the challenge of Ashton in a 3-2 result.
Anna Horan’s early goal gave the Limerick scho a first half lead before Ashton turned things around in the second half to move 2-1 up. Christina Dring – a Republic of Ireland soccer international – tied the game before Zoe Wilson scored from a corner.
Sonia Jermyn, Dring, Amy Stokes and captain Roisin O’Dea all played their part for Ashton in an incredibly even battle.
MacNamara, though, popped up with an equaliser to send the game to extra time and she duly found the winner with five seconds to go in the second period of the additional period for a dramatic later winner.
Mount Mercy play Ursuline Thurles in the other semi-final which takes place on March 7 with the final due to take place two days later in Loreto, Fermoy.
Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup semi-finals: Loreto Foxrock 2 (C Hamill, S McCooey) Newbridge College 1 (E Brady); St Andrew’s 0 Mount Anville 0, Andrew’s win shoot-out 3-0
Munster Schoolgirls Senior Cup final: Ashton 2 (C Dring, Z Wilson) Crescent CC 3 (M MacNamara 2, A Horan), after extra time