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Girls Hockey: Pinder calls the shots as Saints prevail

ST ANDREW'S remain on course to retain their Leinster Schoolgirl's Senior Cup title as they had the edge in class to end the run of Mount Anville on semi-final day at Grange Road yesterday.

They even managed to survive the early departure of Ireland senior international squad member Niamh Atcheler who jarred her knee while 'A' international Chloe Watkins was sin-binned in the second half.

But Andrew's have a wealth of talent at their disposal and it was another with Ireland experience, Gillian Pinder, who ran the show on the day.

Her lovely, lazy dribbling style caused all manner of problems as she drove at the heart of the Mount Anville defence, wreaking havoc at every turn. She drew the best out of Ciara Noble and goalkeeper Nicola Walsh earning three early penalty corners as the Booterstown school flew out of the blocks.

And a Pinder pass set the wheels in motion for Andrew's slick opener, finding Sophie Marshall down the right wing and her measured cross eliminated Walsh to leave Watkins with a simple task to roll home from four yards.



STYLISH

Mount Anville fought back gamely, Lisa McCarthy the driving force in midfield, the 16-year-old providing a high-quality opponent for the stylish Watkins.

Aisling Naughton's incredible pace meant there was always a threat down the flanks while Jenny Maguire was inches wide with two corner strikes.

But Andrew's always held the balance of power and they made the game safe in the second half when Pinder burned three tackles to shoot from the circle's edge. McCarthy blocked brilliantly but could not control the ricochet which spun perfectly in Shauna Kavanagh's direction and she made no mistake from close range.

Watkins was shown a yellow card soon after for a rash tackle, offering hope to the sizable Anville support. Naughton tore in from the right but struck just wide of Tiffaney Ellis's near post but, restored to 11 players, Andrew's went closest to scoring again.

Pinder played through Marshall and her powerful aerial was brilliantly gloved away by Walsh.

It mattered little, though, as Andrew's played out a comfortable closing period to qualify for next Tuesday's final against Alexandra College at Grange Road.

St Andrew's: T Ellis, N Atcheler, L Stephens, V Taaffe, L Pinder, H Sarratt, C Watkins (capt), G Pinder, S Woodrooffe, S Marshall, H Meredith, H Kinsman, S Kavanagh, A Spain, L Gray, J Lavery

Mount Anville: N Walsh, L McCarthy, A Naughton, C Walsh, J Maguire, K O'Connor, J Ryan, J Fennelly, C Noble, G Appleby, R Murphy, L Smith, A Crotty, N O'Connor, A O'Shea, A O'Connell, K O'Donovan


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