herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Hockey: Andrew's have the right stuff

Booterstown quality tells to see off Anville
St Andrew's 4 Mount Anville 0

St Andrew's incredible year continues as they added the schoolgirl's Senior Premier League and Minor A Cup title to their schoolgirl hockey trophy haul this year with a pair of wins at Grange Road last week.



Chloe Watkins matched her cousin David's exploits from a day earlier, inspiring Andrew's to a Leinster senior double, scoring twice and creating two goals for Sarah Woodroofe.

In the final reckoning, 4-0 was a harsh reflection on a cagey tie with Mount Anville, with both sides in the ascendancy at different moments, but the Booterstown school finished superbly, notching three goals in the final four minutes to seal the tie after Watkins had brilliantly opened the scoring in the first half.

Up to that 21st minute strike, Mount Anville had shaded the opening exchanges, Jane Fennelly and Aisling Naughton combining to win an early corner.

Indeed, Naughton tormented down both flanks with her pace, but Andrew's grew into the tie with Woodroofe and Harriet Kinsman going close.

And they took the lead via a superb counter-attack. Niamh Atcheler launched an overhead from the edge of her own circle, finding Watkins on halfway and, with Anville players committed to attack, found acres of space.

She raced goalwards and, while she was shepherded onto her reverse, the midfielder fizzed a low bullet past Nicola Walsh.

Naughton earned another two penalty corners to no avail before the break, while another run 20 seconds after the interval was fired just wide by Jessica Ryan.

Jenny Maguire also saw a shot slip by the post as Mount Anville enjoyed another decent patch.

But Andrew's had the star quality to take full control in the closing stages as Gillian Pinder made a trademark burst, ending with Walsh saving well low down, while Sophie Marshall had two decent chances.

The key moment came, though, following Ciara Noble's very harsh sin-binning, adjudged to have dangerously taken down a high ball.

Reduced to 10 players and chasing the game, the gaps began to appear and the insurance goal came Andrew's way when Pinder's reverse-stick shot was deflected onto the post by Harriet Kinsman. Walsh deliberately pushed the rebounding ball over the endline, leading to another rough decision -- a penalty stroke rather than the probable corner.

Watkins was not about to develop a guilt complex and slammed home from the spot.

And she still had time to truly stamp her mark on the final with two superb assists for Woodroofe in the closing three minutes, both with pinpoint right-wing crosses.

The school now advances to the Kate Russell Cup in Galway later this week where they have been pitted in a group with Salerno and Royal School Armagh in the All-Ireland season-ender.

In the minor final, Andrew's prevailed on sudden-death penalty strokes after normal and extra-time could not produce a winner. Abbey Sarratt netted the vital stroke for a 4-3 win.

St Andrew's: T Ellis, N Atcheler, L Stephens, V Taaffe, L Pinder, H Sarratt, C Watkins (capt), G Pinder, S Woodroofe, S Marshall, H Meredith, H Kinsman, S Kavanagh, J Lavery, A Spain, L Gray, L Moran

Mount Anville: N Walsh, F O'Donovan, K O'Connor, C Noble, R Murphy, K Walsh, K Williams, A O'Connell, S Moore, A Naughton, M Crowley, L Smith, J Maguire, L McCarthy, J Ryan, J Fennelly

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