Colaiste Iognaid 3 (Katie Codyre, Elaine Carey, Isabelle Mortimer) Foyle and Londonderry 2 (Megan Frazer, Olivia Jones)
Colaiste Iognaid became just the second Connacht winners of the Kate Russell Cup as Isabelle Mortimer found the backboard four minutes into golden goal extra-time to break the hearts of Foyle and Londonderry.
In doing so, they emulated the triumph in 1988 of Galway’s Taylor’s Hill and continue the resurgence of hockey in the Western province.
In a thrilling battle, Mortimer pounced on a stray ball on the flick spot to scramble past Holly Lynch and spark wild celebrations from the large visiting contingent to Grange Road.
In truth, Jesuits did it the hard way. Despite showing the more fluid hockey, Foyle stung the Galway girls in the 27th minute when the tournament’s outstanding player, Megan Frazer, produced a virtuoso turn from a corner to place her shot past Emilie Molloy.
It was a truly unique corner. The stick-stopper dummied a reverse stop, took it on her open and pulled under her arm to Frazer who swiveled past two and slapped into the corner.
The Foyle midfielder was later named player of the tournament in her last school’s appearance before she takes up a sports scholarship in the US, most likely to be in Maryland in the autumn of 2009
Prior to that, Frazer and Brenda Flannery were enjoying a high quality tussle in midfield, both showing top quality skills. Lynsey Trainor down the right was also making good use of her tricks and won a corner from which Tara Melvin struck just wide.
The score stayed in the Ulster school’s favour deep into the second half until Irish under-18 panellist Katie Codyre slammed home from around the flick spot following a direct long corner.
And with four minutes remaining, Jesuits thought they had the game won when 14-year-old Elaine Carey slapped in a back-post effort after Lynsey Trainor burst down the right channel.
But, in a stunning endgame, Foyle bounced back immediately as Olivia Jones’corner took a wicked ricochet into the roof of the net to force extra-time.
Iognaid were not to be denied and Mortimer duly helped her side take the win their progressive attitude deserved. It led to an eventful journey with word reaching The Hook this evening that the Colaiste Iognaid bus received a garda escort on its way back to Galway.