Kilkenny and Crescent lead way after Kate Russell day one

Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships – day one round-up
Reigning champions Kilkenny College and Limerick’s Crescent Comprehensive look to be the main title contenders at the midway point of the Kate Russell All-Ireland Championships in Booterstown.

St Andrew’s fell 1-0 to Crescent. Pic: Rob Micallef

Both ended day one of four points from their two games with a potentially vital meeting between the sides at 1pm on Friday.

Kilkenny started off with a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Banbridge Academy – both goals coming in the first half – before shaking off Galway’s Colaiste Iognaid in the second half 2-0.

After a scoreless first half, Izzy Bourke slammed in a brilliant penalty corner strike before Elva Kerr finished off the second late in the game.

For Crescent, they are in great shape having beaten the fancied host side St Andrew’s 1-0 courtesy of a Maedhbh McNamara goal.

And they were inches from beating Banbridge in their second tie with two late corners slipping just off course but still took a point from a 1-1 draw, McNamara cancelling out Nadia Benallal’s deflection when she swept home after a half-stopped shot.

Anna Horan and Aoife Hickey were particularly strong in the second half, powering their team from the midfield engine room.

The outcome means that both Kilkenny and Crescent will win the title if they are to win both of their games on day two with the meeting of the two potentially decisive.

Andrew’s, for their part, bounced back to beat Colaiste Iognaid 3-0, leaving them in the hunt, one point off the pace in the five-team round-robin group with Rachel Walshe scoring a classy goal to complete the win following Gaby Lewis’s excellent long pass.

Fixture schedule (all at St Andrew’s College, Booterstown)
Thursday, March 21: St Andrew’s 0 Crescent Comprehensive 1 (M McNamara); Kilkenny College 1 (E Dundon) Banbridge Academy 1 (E Reid); Colaiste Iognaid 0 St Andrew’s College 3 (G Lewis, K-J Marshall, R Walshe); Banbridge Academy 1 (N Benallal) Crescent Comprehensive 1 (M McNamara); Colaiste Iognaid 0 Kilkenny College 2 (I Bourke, E Kerr)

Standings: 1. Kilkenny College 4pts (+2) 2. Crescent Comprehensive 4pts (+1) 3. St Andrew’s College 3pts (+2) 4. Banbridge Academy 2pts (0) 5. Colaiste Iognaid 0pts (-5)

Friday, March 22: Colaiste Iognaid v Crescent Comprehensive, 9.15am; St Andrew’s College v Banbridge Academy, 10.45am; Crescent Comprehensive v Kilkenny College, 1pm; Banbridge Academy v Colaiste Iognaid, 2.30pm; Kilkenny College v St Andrew’s College, 4pm

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