Iosagáin's Sheehan settles matters for Leinster girls

Gavin Earley

TWO wins and a draw saw Leinster retain their FAIS Leinster Girls' InterProvincial Tournament title in Dublin last weekend.

Another 1-0 win on the final day – this time against Munster – ensured the title remained with Paul Howard's side for another 12 months at least.

Last year's victory was only secured by a last-minute Eleanor Ryan Doyle penalty against Connacht, but the late heroics came in game two this time around.

After cruising to a 4-1 success over Connacht in the opening game on Friday evening at the AUL Complex in Clonshaugh, the holders found Ulster a tougher proposition.

The 2010 winners took an early lead on Saturday and – despite Lauren Kelly striking the woodwork twice – held it until the final stages, when Alex Kavanagh of St Michael's Secondary School in Finglas struck a stunning equaliser.

The point, coupled with the four-goal win the previous evening, put Leinster in the driving seat heading into Sunday's decider with 2011 winners Munster.

Booterstown's Coláiste Íosagáin striker Niamh Sheehan settled the game in favour of the hosts and secured a third title in seven attempts.

Sheehan and Kavanagh had both grabbed a brace in the opening-day victory, leaving the pair on three goals each for the weekend as Leinster's only goalscorers.

However, with only two goals conceded, manager Howard rightly praised the overall contribution – even off the pitch.

"That was the toughest and most competitive tournament I have certainly been involved in over seven years, so to win it was fantastic," said the Leinster boss.

"It took a massive effort from all the girls and, I have to admit, the help from their schools and parents to get us to this point cannot be forgotten either.

"Overall, I think the strength of the competition bodes well for Allister Harvey's Ireland U15 girls come the Bob Docherty Cup next year."

LEINSTER: Naoisha McAloon (Ratoath, Coll), Isobel Finegan (Holy Faith, Clontarf), Ciara Maher (Col de híde), Chloe McNamee (St Oliver's CC, Oldcastle), Tiegan Ruddy (St Wolstan's, Celbridge), Katie Robinson (Donabate CC), Nimmy Chemaou (Coláiste Cois Life), Niamh Sheehan (Col íosogáin, Booterstown), Lauren O'Callaghan (St Mac Dara's CC, Templeogue), Niamh Farrelly (St Joseph's, Coll, Lucan), Leah Reybet Degat (Sutton Pk), Alex Kavanagh (St Michael's , Finglas), Jade Reddy (St Mary's, Oldcastle), Aoife Burdis (Col na hInse), Lauren Kelly (St Paul's, Monasterevin), Erica Turner (Rochford Manor).