Wesley College ended Loreto Foxrock’s reign as Leinster Senior Cup champions as they landed a 3-0 win in the quarter-final in Ballinteer on Tuesday afternoon, joining Newbridge, St Andrew’s and High School.
It makes them the second side to reach the last four, following Newbridge into the draw for the business end of the competition in the new year.
Despite the scoreline, it was a well-matched contest with Foxrock having some seriously talented players in this squad back again this year like Caitlin Sherin, Aoife Taaffe, Emma Dawson and Lauren Treacy.
Wesley, though, are a formidable outfit and the hosts started the game well with some early pressure but Foxrock began to establish themselves and won three corner in a row after the 10 minute mark. Holly Micklem in goals and the Wesley defence, however, dealt with them well to keep Loreto at bay.
And it soon paid dividends when Wesley opened the scoring midway through the half. A turnover in midfield led to Charlotte Stapleton being put through one-on-one with the keeper and she calmly finished.
More Foxrock pressure led to some scrambling tackles from the Wesley back four of Sadhbh Breslin, Emma Paul, Ishbel Marcoux and Alex Dunlop.
But a lovely team move from Wesley, involving multiple players resulted in Lara Gillespie finishing into an empty net after great work from her teammates.
The multi-talented Gillespie won a European cycling gold medal in the junior points race in August among a string of national titles, leading to her nomination for an RTE Young Sportsperson of the Year award.
With a 2-0 mountain to climb, Foxrock stepped up the pressure in the second half and continued to create chances having the balance of play.
Another turnover, this time high up the pitch, lead to a goalmouth scramble which was finished off by Sophie Wall. The keeper initially made a good save but Wall reacted calmly to slot the rebound to put the Ballinteer side out of reach and en route to the final four.
— HSDHockey (@HockeyHsd) December 20, 2018
St Andrew’s date with Muckross Park last Saturday morning was postponed to Tuesday due to Storm Deirdre on the initial date.
In the refix, Muckross held the lead for a long time before Andrew’s snagged a corner which they converted for 1-1 and a shoot-out chance. Maybe their coach Gillian Pinder imparted some of her World Cup knowledge but the Booterstown side advanced with a 3-2 success.
On Thursday, the High School completed the semi-final line-up with Katie Moore’s goal earning them a 1-0 win over Teresians in the last eight.
Newbridge had already reached the last four a week earlier with a 3-0 away win against St Columba’s College, reaching the advanced stage of the competition for a second year running.
The final four is set to be played on January 17 with High School meeting Wesley while Newbridge face St Andrew’s.
Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup Draw@HSDgirlshockey v @wesleycollege @NewCol_Official v @standrewsdublin
Matches scheduled for 17th Jan (tbc).@hookhockey @HeraldNewsdesk @20x20_ie @LeinsterUmpires pic.twitter.com/XfSKbWGHO7
— leinsterhockey (@leinsterhockey1) December 20, 2018