McCready double puts Andrew’s through to Senior Cup final

Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup
Semi-final: St Andrew’s 3 (M McCready 2, G Lewis) Newbridge College 1 (K Grant)

Martha McCready’s pair of goals saw St Andrew’s through to the Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup semi-final, dashing Newbridge College’s dreams of a first appearance in the showpiece event.

She set the Booterstown school on their way with an early opener from a penalty corner before Gaby Lewis – a senior cricket international – fired into the top corner on her reverse for 2-0 at half-time.

Kate Grant pulled one back for the Kildare outfit early in the second half during their purple patch. The ball was slipped in behind the Andrew’s defence where she slotted home well.

For her side, Caoimhe Byrne and Amy Coyle both superb at the back. Irish Under-16 trialist Roisin Sexton, meanwhile, had a great tussle with dynamic Amy Elliott who recently made her senior Irish debut in Chile.

McCready’s second goal, again following a set piece, put Andrew’s out of sight at 3-1, however. Alex Orr was outstanding for Andrew’s in midfield while Elliott was a constant threat, creating the chances for livewires Lewis and McCready as they eventually took the game away from Newbridge.

For Andrew’s – coached by World Cup silver medal winner Gillian Pinder – are going for their first success at this grade since 2014. Reflecting on the tie, coach Pinder – a winner in 2011 – said: “I thought we started really well and were quite dominant and took the chances that fell for us.

“Newbridge had a phase of being on top for the first 10 minutes of the second half but once we weathered the storm and got the third goal, it felt a bit more comfortable.”

For Newbridge, it was a second Leinster Senior Cup semi-final in succession, something that coach Gavin Groves is immensely proud of but said the early goals were crucial in denying them a first ever final appearance.

St Andrew’s celebrate their second goal. Pic: Adrian Boehm

“It’s difficult to establish any pattern of play if you concede a goal you inevitably end up chasing a little, particularly if you don’t have a history of being in these games regularly.

“The girls worked incredibly hard and we were able to get back in the game early in the second half but it wasn’t to be our day .

“We will take this experience and I’ve no doubt we will be better side because of it. We lost to a really strong Andrews team and we wish all the best in the final.

Andrew’s go through to the final where they will meet either High School or Wesley College who play in their refixed semi-final on Wednesday at 1.30pm in Grange Road after the initial tie was frozen out.

Whoever Andrew’s face in the final will be hoping to make it a seventh successive different winner in the competition, adding to a recent roll of honour that includes Alexandra College, Mount Anville, St Gerard’s, Muckross Park and last year’s champs, Loreto Foxrock.

St Andrew’s: I Cambay, A Elliott, R Walshe, K Murphy, M McCready, S Bulger, D Aikins, H Barrett, G Lewis, R Diggin, E Arrowsmith, A Orr, K-J Marshall, J Lord, J Byrne, R O’Leary, N O’Connell

Newbridge College: A Glennon, K Masterson, G Conneely, A Coyle, M Enright, L Delaney, A Fisher, C O’Beirne, H Grant, A Fitzgerald, K Grant, E Heary, A Young, E Brady, C Byrne, A Elliott, R Sexton, E Brady, E Matthews

Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup
Semi-final: St Andrew’s 3 (M McCready 2, G Lewis) Newbridge College 1 (K Grant)
Wednesday: Wesley College v High School, 1.30pm, Grange Road

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