Leinster joy for Coláiste Bríde
Coláiste Bríde 2 Scoil Chríost Rí 0
Coláiste Bríde took on Scoil Chríost Rí of Portlaoise in the Bank of Ireland Senior 'A' Leinster Schools soccer final in Leixlip on Thursday and went in as underdogs, having never beaten the Portlaoise side.
Coláiste Bríde played with a slight wind in the first half and started the stronger side. They immediately had Scoil Chríost Ri on the back foot, pressing high through their striker Aideen Byrne and winning possession high up the pitch.
They had a couple of half chances that didn't quite fall for Aoife Devereux, Aideen Byrne and Sarah Figgis.
Scoil Chríost Ri always looked dangerous on the break with two Irish internationals in their team and it looked clear from the offset that their game plan was to play quick ball in behind for their forwards to run onto.
They always looked dangerous so Coláiste Bríde's backline had to be switched on, with Grainne McCabe in goal doing a good job sweeping behind her back line.
Coláiste Bríde continued to press forward with chances falling to Sarah Figgis and Aideen Byrne, and they were unlucky not the score.
The deadlock was broken ten minutes before half time when Anais Curran played a great ball into the box that the keeper came to claim but she misjudged the bounce and it flew it into the net. It was a bit of luck that Coláiste Bríde deserved as they were the better team in the first half.
Scoil Chríost Rí came out much stronger in the second half, winning much more ball and driving forward. They still stuck to their game plan of trying to find the clinical ball in behind.
Only some great covering from Amy Long and Aoife Codd stopped them having clear-cut chances.
The second half was a much more physical game and Scoil Chríost Ri looked like a different side, moving the ball sharper and pressing quicker.
Despite having more possession Scoil Chríost Rí were limited to long-range shots and couldn't find that clinical through ball with Grainne McCabe thwarting them on a couple of occasions with her sharpness off her line.
Coláiste Bríde weathered the storm and started to get a hold on the game and began to have more possession with Anais Curran and Laura Butler playing a major role in the middle of the field.
With Scoil Chríost Rí pressing for a goal it left a lot of space in behind, substitute Amy Mitten came close on a few occasions but Scoil Chríost Ri's goalkeeper did well.
Anais Curran picked up a lot of ball in midfield and was unlucky not to score with a couple of long-range efforts.
Coláiste Bríde got the vital second goal with five minutes to go when Aoife Devereux made a great run from the right wing and found herself one on one with the keeper.
Her shot struck the post but she followed in a scored into an empty net.
The final whistle blew soon after and Coláiste Bríde won their first Senior Leinster tital.
With some great performances across the pitch it was their unity and their ability to outwork Scoil Chríost Rí from the first whistle that saw them come out on top.
They will now play in the All Ireland semi-final on January 30th against the winners from Ulster.
Coláiste Bríde: Grainne McCabe, Aoife Codd, Suzi Byrne, Leah Furlong, Amy Long, Aoife Devereux, Louise Butler, Anais Curran, Laura Butler, Sarah Figgis, Aideen Byrne. Subs. - Amy Mitten for A. Byrne (60), also Loren Doyle, Chloe Murphy, Gina Murphy, Moya Neary, Ava Kelly, Claudia Sinnott.