Loreto defeat Railway to claim the Jacqui Potter Cup

Jessica McGirr’s vital strike proves enough to secure glory for league champions

Loreto 1 Railway Union 0

Jessica McGirr's single strike, allied to a huge defensive effort, saw Loreto win the Jacqui Potter Cup for the first time since 2004 as they got the better of national league side Railway Union.

It was their second piece of silverware in as many weeks having claimed the Leinster league in emphatic style and they carried that confidence through this decider in spite of the absence of internationals Hannah Matthews, Ali Meeke and Lena Tice.

Mature performance

Railway, seeking their fourth cup success in six years, did dominate possession throughout but try as they might they could not find a way past Louisa Healy.

Sweeper Hannah McLoughlin in front of her, meanwhile, belied her tender years in a superbly mature performance.


Railway had made most of the early running with Emma Smyth firing over while Michelle Carey twice tested Healy from mid-circle.

Loreto, though, hit the front in the 16th minute from their first corner with McGirr slamming home.

They held on until half-time courtesy of Healy’s dexterity in denying Zara Delany’s unorthodox deflection from Julia O’Halloran’s delivery.

The second half provided more of the same with Railway pouring forward but Loreto stood tall with McGirr notably charging down a series of shots to cling on for their famous win.

LORETO: L Healy, L Nagle, S O'Loughlin, S Evans, S McGirr, H Mulcahy, C Baker, H McLoughlin, L O'Leary, J McGirr, N Small, L Colvin, H Gallagher, C Vincent, K Crotty, L Mellon.

RAILWAY UNION: R Norton, K Dillon, Z Delany, J O'Halloran, K Fearon, E Smyth, E Lucey, H de Burgh Whyte, E Dolan, N Carey, O Fox, S Canning, M Carey, N Heisterkamp, G McLoughlin, A Heisterkamp.

Umpires: G Garrett, A Keogh

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about hockey