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Thursday 02 May 2024
Dominican extra special in Schools’ Cup final

Belfast school Dominican College have won this year’s Electric Ireland Schools’ Cup for senior girls’ teams.

They defeated holders Holy Cross College 3-1 in an entertaining decider at Dungannon’s Stangmore Park, scoring twice in extra time to secure the trophy.

Teams featuring girls in school years 12 to 14 take part in the senior competition – and it was Dominican’s first success in the Electric Ireland-sponsored senior cup.

The match, which was a repeat of the junior final from two years ago and featured many faces from that day, was played out in front of a raucous crowd with both schools well supported.

The two coaches involved in the 2022 junior decider were in the dugouts once again - Jessica Foy with Dominican and Gerald Boyle with Holy Cross.

This year’s final followed a similar pattern from the one two years ago with both sides all square at full-time and Dominican being clinical with two goals in extra time.

Strabane’s Holy Cross, winners in the previous two years, started the stronger of the two sides and were camped in the Dominican half.

They were awarded a penalty, but the taker hit the bar, and that seemed to shake the girls of Dominican into life.

The north Belfast side started to apply pressure and they opened the scoring through Anna Walsh.

Dominican continued to push but Holy Cross stood firm. And just before half-time Holy Cross conjured up a leveller – and it was a peach of a goal. A pass found Ellen McDermott on the edge of the area and she took a touch before smashing the ball into the top corner.

In the second half the two teams went toe to toe, with neither willing to give the other side an inch.

Every ball was battled for, every attack was snuffed out, with both sides displaying the heart and prowess that had helped earn their places in the final.

Both teams had their chances to secure glory but in the end extra time was required. And it was Dominican who proved clinical at that stage.

Dominican captain Erin Morrison, who had driven her team forward throughout the game, produced the goods when it mattered. She stepped up to take a free-kick on the edge of the area and fired the ball into the top corner. It was a lovely strike.

Holy Cross pressed again, showing the character which had seen them victorious in the previous two years.

However, it was left to Lucy Loughans to have the final say. Lucy, who had not stopped running and battling from the first kick of the game, found herself leading the charge in a Dominican break.

Some nifty footwork on the edge of the box saw her beat a couple of defenders before slotting the ball into the bottom corner to ensure the cup was heading to north Belfast.

The trophy was presented to Erin Morrison and the Dominican team by Northern Ireland senior women's team captain Marissa Callaghan.