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three-sy does it as Leinster retain crown

LEINSTER boss Paul Howard was particuarly proud of the "mettle' shown by his side as they made it three FAI Schools Under-15 Girls InterProvincial Trophy successes in a row.

Rockford Manor SS goalkeeper Erica Turner and captain Ciara Maher - a Coláiste de híde student - claimed the limelight in Sunday's title-clinching 0-0 draw with Ulster at the AUL Complex in Dublin.

Turner's first-half save to deny Ulster striker Amy Boyle and Maher's goal-line clearance to deny the same player what looked liked being the match - and title - winner were crucial, but Howard was impressed wit the entire squad's effort over a dramatic weekend.

The Leinster boss acted swifty at half-time in Friday's opening-day clash with 2011 winners Munster to turn a goalless perforamance into a comfortable 2-0 win by the end.

The introduction of St Laurence College star Jessie Morrissey in particular injected life into Leinster's display as Aoife Fennell and Cara Cully got the goals.

CHASING

Coupled with Ulster's shock win over a strong Connacht side, the win meant Saturday's goalless draw with the Westerners was not damaging.

Munster could only draw with Ulster on day two, so the three in-a-row chasing champions were in the driving seat going into Sunday's winner-takes-all clash with Ulster.

In fact, Howard's side only actually needed the draw they would ultimately dig out to claim the title after Munster and Connacht drew 1-1 in the earlier clash.

"Myself and the coaching staff are extremely proud of the girls and performance they put in over the entire weekend," said Howard.

"People at the game on Sunday will always look to the two big chances Ulster had to win the game as decisive, but i think you make your own luck with your performance.

"Erica and Ciara showed exactly why they are the experienced leaders in our team with vital contributions to the game at key times.

"I think the mettle that they both showed at key times was typical of the attitude shown by the whole team throughout.

"Overall, what matters most is the work done by the coaching staff to bring these girls to representative level and the commitment they have shown, was vindicated."

Substitute Louse Masterson (Holy Family CS) had Leinster's best chance against Ulster when she was played through on goal after the break and rounded the goalkeeper, but could only find the sidenetting.

Leinster: Erica Turner (Rockford Manor), Ciara Maher (Colaiste De hide), Katie Burdis (Colaiste na hinse), Rosin McGovern (Loreto College), Shauna Martin (St Paul's SS), Jessie Morissey (St Laurence's College) Orla Casey (Colaiste Ciaran), Gillian Keenan (Scoil Chriost Ri), Isibel Carolan (St joseph's SS), Jessica Ziu (Larkin CC), Tara Cully (St Paul's SS). Subs: Robyn McEvory (Colaiste Na hinse) for Cully, 20, Louise Masterson (Holy Family CS) for McEvoy, 40, Aoife Fennell (Donabate CC) for Carolan, 57, Cully for Zeuw, 60, Paula Belengeur (St Laurence College) for Cully, 72.


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