Railway reach seventh successive Jacqui Potter Cup final with Old Alex to challenge for the crown

Railway Union reached the Jacqui Potter Cup for the seventh successive season as they snuck by Loreto in a shoot-out last Sunday, setting up a final date with Old Alex.

It continues the Park Avenue club’s incredible run in Leinster’s premier cup competition with wins in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2018 to go with final appearances in 2015 and 2016.

Railway’s Anna May Whelan. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Against Loreto, they swept into a 2-0 half-time lead in a dominant performance as they continued their strong rise in form on all fronts with former Trinity duo Niamh Sweeney and Cliona McCullough on the mark.

The Beaufort club stormed back with Sarah Clarke hitting in a penalty corner early in the second half. And Siofra O’Brien equalised after great link-up play and run down the line by Sarah Evans.

It sent the game to a shoot-out where it went tit-for-tat in the first four rounds with the tie poised at 2-2. Carolyn Crampton made the key save for Railway in the last round before skipper Anna May Whelan – both former Trinity players, too – stepped up to calmly score the winner.

They go on to the St Patrick’s Day decider where Old Alex will be seeking their first win in the competition since 2010 when Ivan Ovington was also at the helm with Pam Smithwick providing a player link to that vintage.

Alex took advantage of an understrength UCD line-up who were shy Irish internationals Clodagh Cassin, Bethany Barr, Ellen Curran, Lena Tice, Hannah McLoughlin and Leah McGuire as well as the Carey sisters.

The Milltown side had been threatening with Suzie Kelly clearing off the line before Emme Russell made no mistake for the game’s only goal.

On Monday night, Genesis and North Kildare shared the spoils with the former scoring just their seventh goal of the season, enough though to have them on 11 points. Kildare sit in fifth place, four behind Glenanne but seven clear of the bottom half of the table.

Jacqui Potter Cup semi-finals: Loreto 2 (S Clarke, S O’Brien) Railway Union 2 (N Sweeney, C McCullough), Railway win shoot-out 3-2; Old Alex 1 (E Russell ) UCD 0
Leinster Division One: Genesis 1 North Kildare 1 (N O’Malley)

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