Delany’s winner secures glory for Railway
UCD pipped in five-goal thriller
Railway’s Isobel Joyce, Emma Smyth and Kate McKenna celebrate victory over UCD in the Irish Senior Cup final at Belfield. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho
Railway Union completed the set of top-tier titles under the coaching of Mick McKinnon as they claimed the women’s Electric Ireland Irish Senior Cup in Belfied yesterday.
Recent years have been a golden period in the club’s history and this victory was built on a composed second-half display as they squeezed the life out of an international-laden UCD with Jean McDonnell, Emma Smyth, Alex Speers and captain Emer Lucey outstanding.
A madcap first half had ended 2-2 but, after a scrappy start to the second period, that quartet contrived to dismantle the students’ defence.
The winner came midway through when Speers cleverly picked out the waiting Zara Delany just wide of the right post for a simple finish.
From there, they did not ship another shot on Grace O’Flanagan’s goal, Lucey – flanked by Orla Fox and Holly Jenkinson – produced a string of interceptions to cut off the UCD threat at source.
UCD got off to the dream start when Nicola Gray’s penalty corner sweep got a touch in by Sarah Greene after just 80 seconds. Railway were level when Jean McDonnell earned a corner which Emer Lucey cracked home, her second of the weekend.
And her side hit the front in spectacular style as Irish international Emma Smyth fired a fierce low backhand shot into the bottom corner.
The students, though, were level at half-time as Caroline Hill followed pounced on a rebound 12 seconds before the half-time hooter.