SANTA Sabina’s Kate Skillington, Castleknock Community College’s Tara O’Hanlon and St Joseph’s Rush’s Ruby Atkinson were all part of the Leinster Under-15 schoolgirls side that maintained their phenomenal record in the U-15 interpros with a stunning performance in the AUL Complex, Clonshaugh.
On match day one, Larkin CC’s Leah Tighe’s rocket nine minutes from time set up the defending champions nicely against Connacht, winning out 1-0 to Dom Coll’s crew.
Ringsend College’s Abbie Larkin was named player for the match her performance in a really enjoyable test for both teams which may have merited a draw over the 60 minutes.
It was honours even in the second game of the evening with Munster and Ulster finishing one apiece.
The Saturday afternoon fixtures saw Leinster claim the two points over Ulster. Tighe had her initial strike hit off the crossbar but Larkin was on hand to tap in at the far post on 17 minutes.
Their lead was doubled ten minutes from time when an audaciously high ball in the box was deemed to have crossed the line from an Eve O’Brien attack. Castleknock CC’s Tara O’Hanlon was the recipient of the player of the match following her dynamic performance.
It meant the side only required a draw in the tie to see them victorious. A goal in each half was enough to see off title contenders Munster in a really entertaining contest.
Larkin hit the back of the net with 11 minutes played when Aoife Kelly played a lovely ball to the feet of the Ringsend grad, who latched onto it from outside the box.
Daniel Ellison’s side extended their lead nine minutes into the restart with O’Brien showing some fancy footwork with both feet to slot past the diving Munster shot-stopper from distance.
Munster were plagued with injuries but kept looking for an elusive goal to bring them back into contention. However, Leinster’s defence were alert to the challenge and smartly saw the game out to ensure a worthy victory in the end.
As well as provincial honours this weekend, there could be more celebrations for the players involved.
The international management staff use this tournament as the key recruiting tool for their Republic of Ireland Schools selection.
Following the tournament, an extended panel will be invited back for trial on Saturday, November 30 in FAI HQ, Abbotstown.
The 68 players lined out this weekend will be hoping for a call-up in a fortnight’s time as Berkeley’s title defence will be on the line.