Loreto Beaufort and Newpark showdown on Sunday in schoolgirls Senior Cup final

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The Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup final is hoping to attract a wider audience by moving to a Sunday date rather than its usual midweek spot as Newpark Comprehensive face Loreto Beaufort at Belfield (1.45pm).

Midweek ties have usually brought well over a thousand screaming school-mates, happy to avail of the half-day off classes, but does prove awkward for workers and other schools not involved.

Loreto Beaufort prior to their semi-final

As such, the hope is the switch can open up one of the marquee events of the calendar to more interested parties.

The final itself promises to be an intriguing affair with both sides hoping to end a long wait for the biggest prize on offer. Loreto Beaufort have not win it since 2008 and it is their first final since 2009.

Coach Hannah Matthews scored in that final win – a 2-1 success over Alexandra College – and she is back in situ for the final after her spell in South Africa with the Irish international team. Loreto club mate Niamh Small stood in for coaching duties and Matthews has no doubt the quality was to be maintained, hailing her side as very player-led.

They got through to the final via a shoot-out after a pair of goals from ace goal-getter Emily Kealy earned a 2-2 draw in normal time against Muckross Park while Robin McLoughlin snatched the winner in the shoot-out.

Newpark also made it through to the final via a shoot-out with star goalkeeper Erika Gallagher saved all of Newbridge’s efforts in the semi-final while she also had a clean sheet in a quarter-final shoot-out, making nine saves all told.

Milly Lynch and Lauren Moore provide dynamism down the spine of the team while Zoe Watterson and Dara Rankin give menace to their forward line.

For the Blackrock school, they are in their first final since 1992 and last won it in 1991 but they have been a rising force, winning the Junior Premier League last year and were in the Junior A cup final in December 2018.

It promises to be an exciting finale to the cup competition with a place at the Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships on the line.

Newpark before their semi-final

Elsewhere, the Senior Premier League final four contenders have been confirmed. Mount Anville have topped Section A with six wins out of seven and they will be followed by Loreto Foxrock who are clear of Newbridge and Newpark with a game each left to play.

Muckross won Section B with an unbeaten run, scoring 32 goals from their seven outings. Holy Child Killiney are through to their first ever Premier semi-final thanks to their 1-0 win over Wesley last week.

Leinster Schoolgirls Senior Cup final: Newpark Comprehensive v Loreto Beaufort, Belfield, 1.45pm

Paths to the final

Loreto Beaufort

First round: 4-0 vs Mount Anville

Second round: 3-1 vs The High School

Quarter-final: 1-0 vs St Andrew’s

Semi-final: 2-2 vs Muckross Park, 2-1 win via shoot-out

Newpark

First round: 6-0 vs Our Lady’s Terenure

Second round: 3-0 vs Rathdown

Quarter-final: 0-0 vs Loreto Foxrock, 1-0 win via shoot-out

Semi-final: 0-0 vs Newbridhe College, 2-0 win via shoot-out

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