Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup final
Loreto Foxrock 1 (C Hamill) St Andrew’s College 0
Christina Hamill’s artful 14th-minute goal gave Loreto Foxrock just their second Leinster Senior Cup crown, ending a 41-year wait for the biggest prize in the schoolgirls game in the centenary year of the competition
It was deeply hard-fought, clinging on for long periods of the second half against a well-heeled St Andrew’s who have won the crown seven times since the turn of the century.
But this a rare year for Loreto who have a series of underage internationals in their ranks this year who helped guts out this success, doing so in spite of the absence of Irish senior international Hannah McLoughlin.
It allowed co-captains Siofra O’Brien and Hamill to lift the trophy alongside Kate Chadwick (nee Lamb) who captained the 1977 Foxrock side.
The Booterstown outfit had started in composed fashion, enjoying much more of the play with Gaby Lewis a constant thorn up front in a tie hastily switched from Grange Road to UCD due to a high volume of snow making the Rathfarnham venue unsafe for the anticipated large crowd.
Foxrock, though, made the far more meaningful chances with O’Brien and Sorcha McCooey dynamic forces. Hamill’s goal came from the first of their big openings, a lovely piece of sleight of hand in front of goalkeeper Iseult Cambay after Aoife Taaffe’s excellent run down the right wing.
Lauren Tracey then fizzed another by the left post while Sarah O’Leary almost converted turnover ball into a second goal. After the break, it was Andrew’s turn again to storm forward at with Katie-Jane Marshall and Amy Elliott driving them on.
Lewis slammed one in from the top of the circle, celebrating a cracking strike before it was chalked off – following a referral between the umpires – for not moving the ball five-metres from a free-in.
Soon after, Kate Orr’s powerful drag-flick was blocked on the line by Aimee Lanigan’s body on the line. Captain Orr stepped up to take the stroke but it came back off the base of the post.
Another penalty corner chance came and went as Andrew’s looked set to finally get back on terms before Foxrock got a handle on things, Emma Dawson and Tessa May rock-solid at the back in playing out the endgame and the victory.
Foxrock now go on to the Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirl Championships where they will join Kilkenny College and Rainey Endowed. The Munster entrant will be decided on Friday in Fermoy with Limerick’s Crescent Comprehensive facing Cork’s Mount Mercy.
Loreto Foxrock: C Cullitan, E Dawson, A Taaffe, S McMahon, T May, S McCooey, K Tracey, C Sherin, C Hamill, S O’Brien, O Golden, S Dillon, S Kavanagh, S O’Leary, E Reidy, J Naughton, A O’Dea, A Lanigan
St Andrews: I Cambay, S Bulger, L O’Reilly, A Orr, G Lewis, K-J Marshall, A Elliott, J Barrett, D Aikens, S Temperley, R O’Leary, R Lewis, A Lord, R Diggin, K Orr, R Quirke, M McCready, H Bateson