Loreto come from nowhere to take EY Champions Trophy
Late showing in last four leads to surprise wins over UCD and Cork
Women’s EY champions Loreto. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Loreto produced a pair of superb defensive performances to claim the EY Champions Trophy for the first time, coming from nowhere to win the crown.
Coach Paul Fitzpatrick likened Loreto’s EY Champions Trophy victory as akin to Denmark’s Euro 1992 success.
They had been several points off the top four with six weeks left in the season but sneaked into the top four on the last day of the campaign, leading to Fitzpatrick having to call short his pre-booked holiday plans.
On Saturday, they ripped up the form book against treble-chasing UCD with Ali Meeke’s goal, combined with a faultless effort at the back, earning a 1-0 win.
A day later, they fell behind when Cork Harlequins’ Michelle Barry snuck home a shot through Alannah Carragher. But perfectly worked corner goals from Nicci Daly and Mia Jennings turned the final their way, prevailing 2-1 for the national title and a spot in Europe.
Women’s EY Champions Trophy final Loreto 2 (N Daly, M Jennings) Cork Harlequins 1 (M Barry)
Loreto: A Carragher, A Meeke, S O’Brien, H McLoughlin, C Sherin, N Small, S Torrans, C Hamill, H Matthews, S Clarke, N Daly Subs: S Evans, H Mulcahy, M Jennings, H McDermott, J McGirr, A Taaffe, L Fitzgerald
Cork Harlequins: E Buckley, C Sargent, Y O’Byrne, R Upton, N Carroll, C Perdue, R Barry, M Barry, I Burns, E O’Leary, E Barber Subs: S Murphy, J O’Halloran, O Roycroft, A O’Grady, R Hobbs, S Griffin, E O’Meara