Alexandra College prevail in epic encounter

Alexandra College 1/1 Eureka, Kells (AET) Alex won on penalties

The Oscar Traynor Centre in Coolock played host to the UMBRO FAI Schools Junior Girls Leinster Final on Friday last, 23 January:

This fixture saw the battle of two of the most successful girls teams in Irish schools soccer history, Alexandra College Dublin and Eureka Kells:

Alexandra started brightly with most of the possession culminating in the first chance of the game on 10 minutes with Emily Beatty narrowly missing the left top corner of the goal with a free kick which had Eureka keeper Jennifer Newman beaten:

The wind assisted Alex and they continued to pile on the pressure but were never able to penetrate the Eureka defence who had current Rep of Ireland Under 15 International Joanne Byrne (pictured) in fine form:

On 21 minutes Eureka created their first chance and gained the upper hand which they would have for the remainder of the game:

Leah Wilson went close only for a well timed sliding tackle by Erika Hinkson inside the box, any misjudgement would have surely resulted in a penalty:

Five minutes later Megan O Brien went close after a mazy run from Kellie Allen but the resulting shot was tame and was easily saved by Alex keeper Alicia Hollywood:

Hollywood was lucky to stay on the pitch on 30 minutes as she raced off her line to close down Allen as she had beaten the offside trap:  With Allen clear on goal Hollywood made a rash tackle outside the box resulting in the referee awarding a free kick and luckily only a yellow card:

Eureka had the ball in the back of the net just before half time but was disallowed due to an infringement on the Alex centre half Georgia Murphy:

The second half started as the first finished with Eureka putting Alex under great pressure:

Another run from former Under 15 International Kellie Allen followed by a great square pass across face of goal to Aine Bennett finished with Hollywood producing a save worthy of winning any game:

10 minutes into the second half Alex won the ball on the edge of their penalty box and a long pass from Grace Conway caught Eureka on the break: Emily Beatty showed great composure and neatly slotted the ball past Newman:

Eureka battled hard looking for an equaliser but Alexander College worked hard to hold on to their advantage: Eventually the pressure became too much and Megan O Brien found the back of the net and set the game up for two periods of extra time:

Both teams cancelled each other out in extra time resulting in the biggest lottery in football, penalty kicks, a cruel way to finish any game:

Megan O Brien stepped up first for Eureka and calmly placed the ball past Hollywood: Erika Hinkson went first for Alexandra College and saw her attempt saved well by Newman who guessed right: Nerves were obvious from both sides but Alexandra came out victorious 3/2 and retained the Umbro FAI School Leinster Junior title (U16):

Eureka, Kells: Newman, Poole, Reilly, Duff, Maloney, Allen, Byrne, Kavanagh, Walsh, Newman, O Brien, Goodwin, Carry, Bennett, Cassidy, Fagan:

Manager: Leonard Noone

Alexandra College: Kavanagh, Murphy, Hinkson, Lenehan, Byrne, Conway, Garvey, Beatty, O Donoghue, McEvoy, Hollywood, Mc Dermott, Schwartz, Alexander, Beatty

Manager: Dave Collins


Eureka: 1: Megan O Brien (Scored) 2: Joanne Byrne (Miss) 3: Kellie Allen (Miss) 4: Aine Bennett (Scored) 5: Aine Fagan (Miss)

Alexandra: 1: Ericka Hinkson (Miss) 2: Emily Beatty (Scored) 3: Hannah Mc Dermott (Scored) 4: Grace Conway (Scored)