St. Clare’s capture historic National Cup title


FAI Schools Senior ‘B’ Girls National Cup Final (Under 20, Small Schools)


Friday, February 2, 2024


St. Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton 3-1 Coláiste Mhuire, Askeaton

Áine McLaughlin (1), Megan Rooney (62), Lauen Devaney (71)                                                  Gemma Leahy (39)


ST. CLARE’S COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL, MANORHAMILTON captured their first ever National Cup title when they overcame a resilient Colaiste Mhuire, Askeaton in the FAI Schools Senior ‘B’ Girls National Cup Final in Athlone Town AFC on Wednesday afternoon (January 31) in wind swept conditions. 

Anthony McDonald’s squad was bolstered by the return of Megan Rooney who was injured for the semi-final against Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair and also Amy Malone who was cleared to play following a concussion she sustained in that game in Letterkenny.

Manorhamilton got the dream start when the industrious Áine McLaughlin converted within the opening minute. She unleashed a powerful strike from the left wing which the keeper couldn’t hold onto as the ball trickled into the back of the net

The midfield battle was extraordinary and both defences were very difficult to break down for long periods of the game.

Coláiste Mhuire equalised as half-time beckoned. Grace Fitzgibbon lofted the ball into the danger zone for colleague Gemma Leahy to slot home from close range. 

A crucial goal at the optimal time as it was all square at the break.

The next goal was vital in this contest as weather conditions worsened. It was the Connacht Champions that managed to take the lead again midway through the half.

Megan Rooney broke free on the left flank to see the keeper off her line so she attempted a marvellous lob which sensationally smashed the back of the net for St. Clare’s second of the afternoon.

With nine minutes remaining, Captain Lauren Devaney got their third with a fabulous individually effort leaving Neville no chance between the posts.

An historic day for both teams as they reached their first National Cup Final.  St. Clare’s were just more clinical with some sublime goals to take the silverware.

St. Clare’s will relish the victory with a first in any sporting code for the school. No doubt McDonald will be already planning on how to retain the Cup for next season with his young crew.

Coláiste Mhuire will switch their focus on the Junior ‘B’ Girls Cup as they look forward to a Provincial decider against rivals Coláiste iósaef CC, Kilmallock.

ST. CLARE’S COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL, MANORHAMILTON | Cadhla Moffitt, Sarah McGagh, Eve Caprani, Sadhbh Maguire, Grace Devaney, Lauren Devaney ©,  Megan Rooney, Amy Malone, Eimear Keaney, Anna Devaney, Aine McLaughlin

SUBS USED | Erin Rooney for S McCagh (74), Sarah Mulvaney Kelly for Rooney (76), Nessa Fox for McLaughlin (79)

SUBS NOT USED | Elsie Moffitt, Jacinta Gilbride, Maebh Connolly, Mia Connolly,

EXTENDED SQUAD | Shauna Fallon, Aoife Fallon, Isobel Hennessy, Latiesha McBride, Nadine O’Hagan, Ceola Kelly, Jessica Attard, Molly Gilligan, Lily Ferguson, Aimee McGagh, Cara Keegan

TEACHERS | Anthony McDonald, James Lee


COLAISTE MHUIRE, ASKEATON | Hannah Neville, Anna Fitzgerald, Jennifer Kelly, Rebecca Fitzgibbon, Aimee Sheahan ©, Grace Fitzgibbon, Maebh Mulcahy, Evelyn Fitzgerald, Abi Fitzgibbon, Ruth Sheehy, Gemma Leahy

SUBS USED | Leah Kelly for Mulcahy (33), Jane Kelly for Sheehy (HT), Áine Gallery for J Kelly (65)

SUBS NOT USED | Anna Madigan, Sarah Maune, Caoimhe Hourigan,

EXTENDED SQUAD | Alannah Byrnes, Kerry Moane, Aine Moran, Sophie Meade, Lilly Shanahan, Xi Xi Prenderville, Ava O’Mahony

TEACHERS | Íde Trant, Stephen Hackett


MATCH OFFICIAL | Ryan Maher (Athlone)


Photographs courtesy of Willie Donnellan