Crescent Comprehensive win schoolgirls’ championship on goal difference

Banbridge fail to get the five goals they need against Coláiste Iognáid, while Kilkenny go down 2-0 to St Andrew’s

Sitting joint top overnight, Crescent Comprehensive stormed  to a 6-1 win over Coláiste Iognáid on Friday morning, with Leah Clery  netting a hat-trick. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Sitting joint top overnight, Crescent Comprehensive stormed to a 6-1 win over Coláiste Iognáid on Friday morning, with Leah Clery netting a hat-trick. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Limerick’s Crescent Comprehensive scraped their way to the Kate Russell All-Ireland schoolgirls’ championship on goal difference, winning the hockey title for the second time.

Sitting joint top overnight, they stormed to a 6-1 win over Coláiste Iognáid on Friday morning, with Leah Clery – featuring two penalty strokes – netting a hat-trick.

That left them clear at the top, and they could have won the title had they taken one of their chances against Kilkenny College in the second game of the day. However, Crescent could only draw 0-0, leaving the door open to Banbridge Academy and Kilkenny to overhaul them on goal difference.

It left a tense couple of hours, but Bann finished a couple of goals short of the five they needed against Coláiste Iognáid, while Kilkenny lost 2-0 to St Andrew’s.

It finally allowed Crescent coach Cathal Duggan – assisted by Limerick hurling legend Gary Kirby – to breathe a sigh of relief. “It’s massive,” he said afterwards. “Not just for us and Limerick, but for Munster. It shows we are able to compete on the national stage at such a good tournament.

“Last year we lost the Munster final with a team of fourth and fifth years, and so we had a feeling we could do something. We did suffer a heavy league defeat to Mount Mercy before Christmas, and it forced us to re-evaluate who we were as a team, and all the players stood up.”

Indeed, his side rolled with the punches with Sarah Barry enduring a broken jaw, while the tournament of Elle Sorensen and Aoife Hickey ended early due to injury but they prevailed for a hard-fought title.

Kate Russell All-Ireland schoolgirls’ championships

Coláiste Iognáid 1 Crescent Comprehensive 6 (L Clery 3, S Clein, A Hickey, C O’Meara); St Andrew’s College 0 Banbridge Academy 1 (K McDonald); Crescent Comprehensive 0 Kilkenny College 0; Banbridge Academy 3 (N Benallal 2, K McDonald) Coláiste Iognáid 0; Kilkenny College 0 St Andrew’s College 2 (M McCready, A Orr)

Standings: 1. Crescent Comprehensive 8pts (+6) 2. Banbridge Academy 8pts (+4) 3. St Andrew’s College 6pts (+3) 4. Kilkenny College 5pts (-1) 5. Coláiste Iognáid 0pts (-12)

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