Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Premier race for semi-finals hots up

Senior Schoolgirl's Premier League - Week six round-up
With the winter pause to come into effect after one more series of senior school’s Premier League games, the contenders are beginning to make their way to the forefront in both nine team pools.

Pool B is set up for an epic finish with as many as five sides still in the mix. Alexandra College pushed forward their semi-final hopes with a win and a draw in the last fortnight, inflicting a first defeat on St Gerard’s.

A cagey game, neither side gave an inch in the first half but the reigning champions from Milltown sprung clear in the second half to triumph 3-0. That win in combination with a 2-2 draw with Loreto, Beaufort was enough for Alex to leap-frog Gerard’s into the top two with Mount Anville.

Nicola Gray struck late to nick a point in that thoroughly entertaining tie in which 11 Leinster underage players were on show. The game started at break-neck speed with both teams creating chances within five minutes of tip-off.

Beaufort had an early goal chalked off due to a foot but did maintain possession well and always looked dangerous from short corners and took the lead in the 22nd minute. Alex, though, had defended numerous waves well, marshalled by Leah Lenehan, as a unit and used the speed of the likes of Emily Beatty on the counter attack to great effect, responding to the 1-0 deficit in the second half.

From one such thrust, Beatty got on the end of a well-worked three-on-one to level. Beaufort crashed in a corner to restore the advantage with 15 minutes to go but with just a minute and a half left, Alex found the equaliser from a set-piece of their own, Gray applying a powerful finish to tie a hugely entertaining match.
The loss of two points, though, was more keenly felt by Loreto.

They can bring their destiny back into their own hands, though, should they get the better of Gerard’s in the last series of games before Christmas. A win for the Wicklow school, though, would see the SCT finalists of 2009 out of contention.

High School is the other side still in the hunt. Their 3-1 win over King’s Hospital keeps them well in touch and a win over Mount Anville this week would promote them to major contenders.

Pool A looks slightly more clear-cut following an epic between Wesley and reigning Leinster Senior Cup champions, St Andrew’s, recreating their rivalry from the schoolboy leagues. Along with Mount Sackville, they form a trio of sides fighting for two semi-final places.

Andrew’s hold the aces with a 100pc record though they were made to work all the way by Wesley last Wednesday. The Ballinteer school started the stronger but Niamh Atcheler’s presence at sweeper gave Andrew’s the upper hand and her side grew more dangerous as time wore on.

Gillian Pinder opened the scoring and saw the Saints’ lead doubled by Sophie Marshall with a superb roofed deflection to complete a fine move. Lauren McGrane pulled one back for Wes only for Harriet Kinsman to restore the two-goal wedge between the teams.

Sarah Robinson and Amy Stewart combined for the latter to make it 3-2 from a second half penalty corner as Wesley would not be dismissed.

But a second Marshall goal looked like it had killed the game off in the final ten minutes. With Andrew’s sitting on their lead, Wesley piled forward but had to wait to the final hooter when Hannah Honner slapped in from an acute angle.

It could prove a vital goal in the battle with Mount Sackville – the draw between the sides meaning goal difference could be a crucial factor.

Senior School's Premier League results:
Pool A: Wesley 3 St Andrew’s 4; Loreto, Dalkey 2 Mount Temple 2
Pool B: Alex 3 St Gerard’s 0; Alex 2 Beaufort 2; High school 3 King’s Hospital 1

* Full table to appear following round six of matches. If you have any match reports or results, please email me on


Anonymous said...

Mount Temple 3
Loreto Bray 0

result from todays match at Mt temple . hayley manning scored 1 and Nicola Taylor scored 2

Stephen Findlater said...

Pool B: Mt. Anville 4 (Aisling Naughton 2, Anna O’Connell, Jenny Maguire) Holy Child Killiney 0; Mt. Anville 3 (Aisling Naughton, Genevieve Appleby, Anna O’Connell) High School 0

Anonymous said...

will you be posting cup results once it starts stephen?

Stephen Findlater said...

If readers can send in results and details from their games, I'll be more than happy to post the info.