The Kilkenny College senior girls’ hockey team has captured the South East Cup for the second time in two years.
Last year, having broken the deadlock of many years in the wilderness, they came through by overcoming Loreto Wexford. This year it turned out to be local opposition Loreto Kilkenny on the same home ground on the Castlecomer Road.
Coming into the game as favourites having won the league in comfortable style, it looked on paper as if it would be an easy run for the College girls to the winning post. However, the first few minutes did not look that way as Loreto pressed initially and won a penalty corner. This was efficiently dealt with and the game settled down to an even competition.
Halfway through the first half, a penalty corner for the College yielded the breakthrough when Emma Duncan fired in the rebound and it looked to the huge crowd lining the pitch that Kilkenny College would settle down and take control. However, the score remained 1-0 at half time with both sides still well in contention with much outfield balance play by both sides.
Within minutes of the second half, Kilkenny College stamped their superiority up front by two quick goals coming from corners and scored by Amanda Haslam and Emma Duncan. Amanda added a fourth later in the match making it a mountain for Loreto to climb.
But the girls from across the Nore never gave up with several forays into the College defence. Clodagh Cassin was called on more than once to keep the sheet clean – as was second ‘keeper Alison Caldbeck who got a late run in the game.
Following a minute’s silence after the match for Aoife, a young player who passed away recently in Wexford, the Cup was presented by Paul Martin who umpired with the match with Emmet Hughes. And so the College emulated their success from last year and now look forward to hosting the Kate Russell Competition in the College in March.
Squad: Kim Pratt (co-capt), Anna Boland (co-capt), Amanda Haslam, Nicola Fryday, Rebecca Jackson, Cheyenne Holmes, Judy Dick, Debbie Young, Emma Duncan, Katherine Geoghagan, Courtney Forbes, Katie Raeburn, Lauren Minion, Lauren Thomas, Keri Willis, Clodagh Cassin (GK) Alison Caldbeck (GK). Coach: Richard Willis; Manager: Lesley Threlfall.