Loreto feel aggrieved over Muckross winner


MUCKROSS and Hermes rounded off a hectic weekend of matches by reaching the final of the Leinster Senior Cup with victories over Loreto and Pembroke Wanderers at Grange Road yesterday.

Loreto, however, felt more than a little aggrieved after their 1-0 defeat by the cup holders, insisting that they should have had a penalty stroke when Mary Barnwell's shot from a short corner appeared to hit Deirdre Courtney on the leg. Their appeals were turned down by the umpire who awarded a long corner that came to nothing.

"It was a penalty stroke - absolutely no doubt about it. It's very, very rarely I criticise the umpires but that was a terrible decision," said Loreto coach Noel Keogh after the match.

The Muckross camp, not surprisingly, had a different view of the incident with Courtney admitting that the ball did hit her leg but insisting that the shot was going wide and the most Loreto could have hoped for was a penalty corner.

The incident came at the end of a second half that was only a minute old when Orla Bell put Muckross ahead but for much of the remaining 34 minutes Loreto were in control.

"We played exceptionally well and I thought in the second half we were far the better team," said Keogh. "We got over the goal quickly, came back into it and had most of the play."

Barnwell, Aoife Pomeroy and Caitriona O'Kelly put the Muckross defence under intense pressure and a fine run from mid-field by Pomeroy in the 54th minute won Loreto a corner that was magnificently saved by Sandra O'Gorman from a perfectly struck Barnwell shot.

Later in the day Hermes won through to the final with a 1-0 victory over Pembroke Wanderers and helped raise their flagging spirits after their defeat to Old Alexandra on Saturday all but ended their league hopes.

Jenny Burke was, once again, the match-winner with a goal 10 minutes into the second hall, created by Deirdre McDermott's fine work on the left. Burke had twice come close to scoring from short corners in the first hall, the second effort brilliantly saved by Pembroke goalkeeper Helen O'Beirne.

Pembroke fought back bravely in search of an equaliser, with Emma Glanville going close with a shot from a short corner and Anna Llorens almost grabbing a goal in the final seconds of the match.