Kilkenny College 4 Loreto Kilkenny 1
Kilkenny College were victorious in the South East cup final on Wednesday 24th January, after an absorbing hour of hockey. The action was keenly constested between both sets of players, in front of a good size crowd and beneath striking sunshine in Kilkenny College.
Within fifteen minutes, both teams had scored, Loreto taking the lead from a corner rebound which fell to Hannah Kelly (Old Alex Hockey club, Dublin), who calmly reversed beneath the covering defenders. Soon after however, Kilkenny College had replied through a corner of their own – once again a rebound derailing the defensive effort. Both teams settled into a rhythm thereafter, a stalemate at half time – with an even corner count.
Restarting with renewed intensity, Kilkenny College gained momentum early on in the second half, and a series of corners provided chances which again were kept out by diligent defending. Ten minutes on however, and Kilkenny College nudged ahead through Elva Kerr – a poachers finish owing largely to the inspiration of Sophie Thomas. Loreto Kilkenny immediately replied with a quick counter attack yielding a short corner opportunity. The clever routine was only kept out by an outstanding pawed save from Ellie McGloughlin.
As the game grew on, more chances appeared for both attacks, and Kilkenny College took full advantage of this. Their own corner routine now providing two efficient strikes from Hilary Balding and Yasmin Pratt. Loreto would not be disheartened, and continued to create chances – via corners and open play, but Kilkenny College eventually prevailed.
Both teams can be immensely proud of the spectacle and the skill that was on show throughout. Players such as Charlotte Cope, Sophie Thomas, Grace Donald, Yazmin Pratt and Hilary Balding were prominent for the winners, whilst in Loreto colours Lainey Gilsenan, Hannah and Rachel Kelly and Ruth Gardiner contributed hugely to the contest.