Thursday 18 January 2018

Leinster Girls Under-15 Final: So close for St Laurence

St Laurence's Clara Mulligan nips past Aoife Daly
St Laurence's Clara Mulligan nips past Aoife Daly
Aimme Keane, in the Scoil Chriost Ri Goal saves from Clara Mulligan, St Laurence' s
St Laurence College (Back) Aimee Forde, Jessie Morrissey, Courtney Maguire, Suranne Williams, Molly Murphy, laney O Connell, Paula Belenguer,Laragh Geoheghan,, Bobbi Downer , Nikita Cauley (Front row l-r) Lana Doyle, Angel Finnerty, maya Stubbs, Shaunna Lyons, Clara mulligan, Katie Doyle, Michaela Fox Walsh
Scoil Chriost Ri celebrate
Paula Belenguer, St Laurences, celebrates scoring
Erone Fitzpatrick, Scoil Chriost Ri gets in a shot as she is tackled by St Laurence's Jessie Morrissey
pic.5. St Laurence,s Clara Mulligan flys past Aoife Daly, Scoil Chriost Ri... in the Leinster Minor Schools Final..at Greenogue...pic Ray Cullen 24/03/2015
Scoil Chriost Ri (Back l-r) Sarah Fleming, Amy Byrne, Gillian Keenan, maeve Phelan, Aimee Keane Isabella o Toole, Chloe Langford, Emily Gowing, Kianara Dempsey (Front l-r) Zoe Keegan, Erone Fitzpatrick, Elaine Daly, Emma Lawlor, Aoife Daly, Eabha Dunne, Kerrie Costello, Emily Jacob
Scoil Chriost R's Emma Lawlor chases the ball with St Laurence's Paula Belenguer
Zoe Keenan, Scoil Chriots Ri, shoots as Clara Mulligan and Courtney Maguire try to block
Bobbi Downer, St Laurence's in a clash with Emma Lawlor, Scoil Chriost Ri
Emma Lawlor, Scoil Chriost Ri slips the ball past St Laurence's keeper Laney O Connell for the winning goal
Paula Belenguer, St Laurence's cracks home their second equaliser against Scoil Chriost Ri

ZOE Keegan’s late winner was enough to secure a second-sucessive Leinster Girls’ Under-15 crown for Scoil Chríost Rí at the expense of a Laurence dream.

The Portlaoise school’s defence of the title they won thanks to a penalty-shootout victory over Presentation Kilkenny 12 months earlier looked in danger as Paula Belenguer swept the Laurence girls into a second-half lead.

However, last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists were not about to suffer anymore final heartache and Emma Lawlor capitalised on Erone Fitzpatrick’s second assist of the day to equalise, before the latter made it a hat-trick of contributions by feeding Keegan for a dramatic late winner at Peamount United.

Unlike Chríost Rí – who lost their third of three consecutive finals to Loreto Kilkenny in 2013 and only recently saw their Under-17s beaten by Presentation KIlkenny in the U17 decider – Laurence were new to this stage.

In fact, this group – backboned by five First Year players awaiting their own Leinster final next month – earned the school a first girls’ semi-final spot, before humbling giants Eureka Kells 5-0 to reach the final.

Leinster Interprovincial star Belenguer was the hero that day with four goals and she almost immediately made an impact in Tuesday’s final at Peamount United FC with a jinking run and shot.

Goalkeeper Aimee Keane denied the attacker and watched as Emma Lawlor capitalised on a through ball from Fitzpatrick to curl home the opening goal at the other end midway through a cagey first half.

Belenguer’s run and cross on the right set-up Clara Mulligan to equalise at the back post minutes into the second period and the former completed the turnaround with a superb lobbed goal minutes later.

The Portlaoise girls looked in trouble, but Fitzpatrick’s cross from the right set up Lawlor, before a near identical delivery and finish from Keegan with only minutes left decided the game.

Scoil Chríost Rí, Portlaoise: Aimee Keane, Eabha Dunne, Aoife Daly, Maeve Phelan, Isabella O’Toole, Elaine Daly, Emma Lawlor, Chloe Langford, Zoe Keegan, Gillian Keenan, Erone Fitzpatrick, Amy Byrne, Kiahara Dempsey, Emily Gowing, Emily Jacob, Sarah Fleming, Kerrie Costello.

St Laurence College, Loughlinstown: Lacey O’Connell; Lana Doyle, Suranne Williams, Nikita Cawley, Aimee Forde, Angel Finnerty, Clara Mulligan, Molly Murphy, Shauna Lyons, Michaela Fox Walsh, Maya Stubbs, Courtney Maguire, Laragh Geogeghan, Katie Doyle, Bobbi Downer, Paula Belenguer, Jessie Morrissey.

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