Wednesday, March 3, 2010

St Andrew's strike late to claim Senior Cup

Leinster Schoolgirl's Senior Cup final:
St Andrew's 2 (Gillian Pinder, Sarah Woodroofe) Alexandra College 0
Chloe Watkins followed in her older sister Courtney's footsteps as she lifted the Leinster Schoolgirl's Senior Cup for St Andrew's at Grange Road, the two moments coming almost an exact year apart.

The Booterstown school left it late but prevailed in an incredibly tight, high quality fixture courtesy of a Gillian Pinder master-piece seven minutes from time, augmented in the final minute by Sarah Woodroofe's scrambled effort as Andrew's out-lasted Alex.

Defences held sway for much of the tie with Niamh Atcheler recovering in time to play a crucial part at the back for Andrew's while Leah Lenehan provided the vital stick on a number of occasions for Alex.

In a game of big swings in momentum, Andrew's had the early initiative, earning a corner in the third minute which Watkins shot but Leigh Porter stood firm to save.

But Alex stormed back with Deirdre Duke racing into the circle and cutting the ball back into the path of Emily Beatty only for Tiffany Ellis to smother the chance. It proved their sole clear chance of note in the first period but Andrew's were kept sufficiently quiet, too - Harriet Kinsman's 21st minute effort the only other attack of note - leaving the scoreboard blank at the break.

And Alex started the second period in the ascendancy with Rebecca Evans leading the charge from midfield. Indeed, her battle with Watkins was a keenly fought contest with both pulling the strings to great effect.

Aisling Burke's excellent dart down the right and subsequent cross just evaded a flurry of sticks on its way across the goal-mouth before Grainne Mulkerrin pulled one back from the left end-line but the Andrew's defence eventually managed to clear in a panic.

But Pinder eventually broke the deadlock with a virtuoso effort, bursting out of midfield and carrying from the halfway into the circle before slotting home. It capped a period pressure for the reigning champs from which they never looked back.

Watkins went close twice before Woodroofe - playing despite a broken nose - gave the scoreline an air of finality, sealing the title and a return visit to the Kate Russell Cup.

* For more, check out today's Irish Times, Thursday's Evening Herald or this week's Dun Laoghaire Gazette. For more of Adrian Boehm's photos from the game, click here while Inpho's photos from the game are here and Lindie Naughton's photos are here.


Anonymous said...

5 cups in 7 years, give Mandy Hollwey a medal!

Anonymous said...

Thought it was a great game. Both teams are very evenly matched and it could have gone either way. Congrats to Andrews.

Anonymous said...

Great final altogether. Another defensive masterclass controlled by Atcheler and Taaffe at the back. Alex were just lacking the K.I. that Andrews have! Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Andrews played very well yesterday adn deserved to win. They will be very hard to beat in the All-Ireland. Andrews all the way

Anonymous said...

Alex were by far the better side. They had 70% posession and were so unlucky to lose. 2011 will be their year!

Anonymous said...

thought alex were very unlucky yesterday, they just didn't take one of their chances. Evans had an excellent game for them in the midfield.

Anonymous said...

I agree Alex were the better squad on the day and deserved to win for once! It will be hard to tell who will win next year because so many of the 6th years will b gone from every team including andrews.

Anonymous said...

Andrews beat alex today 4-2 in the semis of the league today. final on Thursday against mt anville

Anonymous said...

Gillian Pinder is amazing she brings something different to the team. Andrews for all irelands!