Newpark Comprehensive made the breakthrough at Junior A Cup level as they produced a superb second half performance to beat St Andrew’s, Booterstown 2-0 on Wednesday afternoon.
After a scoreless first half, Zoe Watterson and Sophie McEvoy struck in quick succession within two minutes of each other to propel their charge.
Under the guidance of coach Anna Richardson, a recent alumni of the school and Irish Under-21 international, it earns them their first ever appearance in the final of the competition where they will come up against one of the established names – either Alexandra College or Muckross Park who meet on Friday afternoon.
It came hot on the heels of a close-run quarter-final battle against Wesley College. The Blackrock outfit opened the scoring from open play via Dara Rankin but Wesley fought back through Sinead O’Grady who nailed a powerful drag-flick in the last five minutes.
It led to a shoot-out where Newpark were the ones to prevail, Milly Lynch, Lauren Moore and Watterson all scoring their efforts. Goalkeeper Erika Gallagher, meanwhile, saved three Wesley shoot-outs in succession for a memorable 3-1 win.
The final, the first major schoolgirls title of the school year, is pencilled in for Thursday, December 13 in Three Rock Rovers at 1.30pm.
In the Senior Cup, the Teresian School and St Columba’s College will both look to defy the odds in the Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup quarter-finals as the Senior One sides made their way into the last eight.
For Teresians, they won a feisty encounter in a shoot-out against Our Lady’s Terenure. The Donnybrook school led three times in normal time with Jennifer Horgan making it 1-0 and fourth year Lucy Roden’s well placed reverse-stick shot handed them a 2-1 half-time lead.
Terenure kept fighting back before Jessica McCon Walsh put Teresians 3-2 ahead only for a last minute corner to tie it at 3-3. But they held their nerve to win the shoot-out 3-1 and take their place in the last eight.
Columba’s, meanwhile, were 5-1 winners over newcomers East Glendalough to ease their way into the last eight. Eva Dillinberger scored twice while Charlotte Moffitt, Blanca Segui Davallilo and Catooje Oldenburg were also on the mark.
In the last eight, they will join a series of Premier League teams. Newbridge beat Loreto Balbriggan 3-0 thanks to two goals from Caoimhe Byrne and one from Kate Grant.
Loreto Foxrock saw off Holy Child Killiney on Wednesday afternoon 2-1, Tessa May and Aoife Taaffe outdoing Alex Purcell’s goal. Wesley won a shoot-out against Alexandra College while St Andrew’s won 3-1 against Newpark.
Leinster Schoolgirls results
Junior A Cup semi-final: St Andrew’s 0 Newpark 2 (S McEvoy, Z Watterson)
Senior Cup, last 16: East Glendalough 1 St Columba’s 5 (E Dillenberger 2, C Moffitt, B Segui Davalillo, C Oldenburg); Loreto Foxrock 2 (T May, A Taaffe) Holy Child Killiney 1 (A Purcell); Loreto Balbriggan 0 Newbridge College 3 (C Byrne 2, K Grant); St Andrew’s 3 Newpark 1; Wesley College 0 Alexandra College 0, Wes win shoot-out 3-2;
Quarter-final draw (games to be played by December 19): St Columba’s v Newbridge College; Wesley v Loreto Foxrock; St Gerard’s/High School v Teresians; St Andrew’s v Muckross Park