UCD defeat Old Alexandra to claim Jacqui Potter Cup

Early goals from Emma Young and Ellen Atkinson prove decisive as students finally land elusive trophy

UCD have won just about every domestic honour on offer in recent years but the one competition where success eluded them over the last decade was the Jacqui Potter Cup.

They finally put an end to that particular drought at Grange Road on Thursday when they beat Old Alexandra 2-1 in the final.

Their success was all the more impressive because they were without six of their first-choice players, goalkeeper Ellie McLoughlin, Hannah McLoughlin, Sarah McAuley, Michelle Carey, Katie-Jane Marshall and Niamh Carey all on international duty at Ireland's training camp in Lilleshall this week, Alexandra having to make do without Deirdre Duke and Lena Tice for the same reason.

But despite those absences, after 10 minutes it looked like it would be a comfortable enough afternoon for the students, by then Emma Young and Ellen Atkinson having put them 2-0 up.


Alexandra pulled a goal back through Jess McGirr in the second quarter and 70 seconds from time they were awarded a penalty stroke after Abbie Russell was upended in the circle. But Laura Gunning, standing in for Ellie McLoughlin, made a superb save from Sarah Robinson, getting her boot to the ball to send it looping over the bar.

Success, then, for the UCD coaching team of Lisa Jacob and Fiona Connery over their Alexandra counterparts and former international colleagues Cathy McKean and Eimear Cregan. Four female coaches on the sidelines was a unique sight in the competition, one Jacob hopes will become more common in the future.

“There’s no reason why so many more women can’t do it,” she said. “They just need to lean in to that discomfort and go at it because lots of people need to hear from those voices.”

UCD: L Gunning, A Elliot, C Byrne, C Cope, K Egan, E Lavelle, S Cole, A Naughton, E Paul, E Young, C Theunisz. Subs: R Kelly, E Ryan, S Young, E Atkinson, G Keane.

Old Alexandra: H Micklem, E Ryan Doyle, J McGirr, S Robinson, N Evans, N Sweeney, G Estrenjer, E Russell, A Russell, M O'Donnell, O Bools. Subs: R Herrington, L Power, M Power, C Fitzpatrick, A Hethrington.

Umpires: A Keogh and C Coulter Reilly.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times