McDermott has that silver touch

 

HOCKEY LEINSTER SCHOOLGIRLS SENIOR CUP FINAL Alexandra College 2 St Andrew’s 1:A SILVER goal in extra-time from Hannah McDermott gave Alexandra College victory in yesterday’s Leinster Senior Cup final at Grange Road, avenging last season’s defeat to the same opposition and ending the quest of St Andrew’s for a three-in-a-row in the competition – which would have been the first time the feat was achieved since Rosalyn Park in the 1960s.

The two schools have dominated the Senior Cup for almost a decade, only Loreto Beaufort’s triumph in 2008 ending their combined streak of victories. But Andrew’s have had the upper hand for the last two seasons.

They were on top again a minute before half-time yesterday when Joanne Lavery broke the deadlock, forcing the ball past Emma Mee Hayes from close range. Until then neither goalkeeper had been troubled, and no short corners won, the teams cancelling each other out in every department.

The goal, though, prompted a spirited fightback from Alexandra, with Deirdre Duke, Emily Beatty and Rebecca Evans leading the charge. Beatty’s reverse stick strike from a narrow angle on the left drew Lisa Moran in to action for the first time.

Duke then earned Alexandra two short corners in quick succession, and it was from the second that captain Nicola Gray levelled the game 14 minutes in to the half.

With extra-time looming it was Andrew’s, driven on by the Pinder sisters, Laura and Gillian, and the energetic Sophie Marshall on the wing, who came closest to a winner. Laura Pinder’s short corner strike was well saved by Hayes.

A minute in to extra-time McDermott got what proved to be the decisive goal. The winger was picked out in the circle by a long ball from Evans and kept her composure to slot the ball home.

Andrew’s came agonisingly close to equalising at the death, the ball coming off the woodwork after a scramble in the circle, but with no more goals in the first half of extra-time McDermott’s effort proved the silver goal winner.

Andrew’s, though, can avenge the defeat as early as next Tuesday, when the teams meet in the Leinster Senior Premier League final.

ALEXANDRA COLLEGE: EM Hayes; A Ryan, N Gray (capt), M O’Donnell, K Lenehan, G Mulkerrin, R Evans, E Hinkson, E Beatty, D Duke, H McDermott. Subs: J Turley, A Gibbons, C Maginn, A Gleeson, A Roopnarinesingh.

ST ANDREW’S: L Moran; A Spain, V Taaffe (capt), L Gray, L Stephens, H Kinsman, G Pinder, H Sarratt, S Marshall, L Pinder, J Lavery. Subs: K A Cullen, J McDonnell, J Meredith, S Hynes, C Loughlin.

Umpires: C Metchette, A Groves.