A pair of stunning strikes from Keri Sweeney and captain Caoimhe Walsh fired defending FAI Schools Senior B champions Mulroy College to Ulster glory in Gweedore today.
Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair 0 Mulroy College 2
Sweeney scored a wonderful solo effort just 21 seconds into the second half before a Walsh wonder goal sealed the deal for Maria Carr’s team as they retained their Ulster crown.
It had been a game of chess until that moment Sweeney set off on a slalom that would end in the opening goal.
Walsh had come close with a free kick on the stroke of half-time, having earlier rattled the top of the crossbar with a long-range free.
Mulroy had early openings with Walsh and Sweeney playing in Laura Dugera, but the Pobailscoil Ghaoth Dobhair rearguard held strong.
It wasn’t all one-way traffic, however, and it took an improvised bit of goalkeeping by Mulroy stopper Claire Friel to keep Chloe McCole at bay. Friel got down well to block on the edge of the box with Roisin Rodgers’ follow up falling just over the bar.
Mulroy threatened again as Walsh prompted Leah Duggan, but she was thwarted by a brave block from the excellent Étaín Haicéid.
On the resumption of the second half, Sweeney broke the stalemate, weaving her way through before delicately slipping the ball past Marie Devenney.
The Pobalscoil ‘keeper saved well from Duggan while the involved Eimear Friel drove wide at the other end.
Walsh, the two-goal hero in last year’s All-Ireland final against Passage West, doubled the lead with a cracking second goal for Mulroy.
A clearance from Haicéid was seized by the Derry City midfielder, who sent a majestic effort floating beyond the reach of Devenney.
Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair maintained their endeavours, but Walsh’s goal had put the tie beyond their reach and the Milford scholars were close to a third, but sub Megan Ryan – who impressed in the second half – shot wide from 20 yards.
With the Ulster silverware now safely wrapped up, Mulroy embark on a quest to retain their All-Ireland title.
Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair: Marie Devenney, Étaín Haicéid, Lorna Ferry, Laura McFadden, Maria Harkin, Ciara Kavanagh, Chloe McCole, Eimear Friel, Maebh Mac Giolla Bhride, Roisin Rodgers, Ciara Ní Churraín. Subs: Zoe Ní Bhaoill for Harkin (43), Maebh Ní Bhaoill for McCole (53).
Mulroy College: Claire Friel, Siobhan Sweeney, Eimear Sweeney, Rachel Roarty, Colette McLaughlin, Kerri Sweeney, Kellyann Buchanan, Caoimhe Walsh, Laura Dugera, Thea Duffy, Leah Duggan. Subs: Megan Ryan for McLaughlin (half-time), Megan McGee for Duggan (60).
Referee: Martin Coll.