Railway Union 2 (H de Burgh Whyte, K McKenna) Old Alex 1 (A Connery)
Kate McKenna’s goal out of nothing continued Railway Union’s dominance in the Jacqui Potter Cup as they won for the sixth time in nine years, making it four trophies in one day for the Park Avenue club.
They just about prevailed against an Old Alex side inspired by the brilliant Aine Connery and Lisa Jacob who agonisingly missed last-ditch chances to send the tie to a shoot-out.
As it was, McKenna’s snap-shot from breaking ball in the 45th minute – following a hopeful ball from Niamh Shaw that was miscontrolled – decided the day. She was one of two All-Ireland ladies football senior champions on show along with Molly Lamb and showed her relish for the big stage.
Recent years have seen Railway benefit in this final from opponents missing due to international commitments but they were the ones down key players this time with Sarah Hawkshaw and Anna May Whelan on the sidelines.
Nonetheless, the Sandymount side started the better with Zara Delany bounding forward at every opportunity. They hit the front in the 21stminute from a penalty stroke, awarded for an Alex body blocking a shot on goal, Hannah de Burgh Whyte doing the necessary.
Alex bossed the second half, however, and were level following Jacob’s beautiful spin to lay off to Emma Russell whose nudge was finished off by Connery.
Railway got their instant reply before spending much of the last 25 minutes on the back foot, including a last second chance for Spanish exchange student Paula Pena.
The holders clung on, however, to continue their brilliant run in this competition and an awesome day for Railway in general as the club won four trophies from four games on St Patrick’s Day.
Their second team took the Jacqui Potter Shield with a shoot-out win over Loreto II. Cliona McCullough bounced in for Railway to take a 1-0 lead at half-time but Loreto fought back to equalise when Caitriona O’Kelly returned to the pitch after an injury to score from a deflected penalty corner.
That came with four minutes to go, forcing the shoot-out where scores from Lucy Crowe, Martha McCready and McCullough earned the victory with Riona Norton making the vital saves.
It was an eventful day for Crowe who scored the only goal of the Junior Jacqui Potter Shield final as Railway won 1-0 against Old Alex.
Michael McKenzie doubled up after a good team move and corner injector Fergal Keaveney cleaned up the third after the initial shot was blocked. Imran Khan got one back from the penalty spot but McKenzie restored the three-goal advantage at half-time with a one-handed reverse.
Railway completed this win when Elmo McCarthy played a lovely through ball to David Sheil who crossed for Daragh Curley to finish off.
Old Alex: P Smithwick, A Connery, P Diepman, A Connery, R Evans, L Jacob, E Russell, H McDermott, E Duncan, E Hinkson, F McDermott
Subs: R Gray, L Lenehan, H Kelly, R Kelly, P Pena
Railway Union: C Crampton, O Fox, E Lucey, H Jenkinson, J Long, K Lloyd, K Fearon, M Lamb, N Shaw, N Sweeney, Z Delany
Subs: H de Burgh Whyte, K McKenna, K Orr, C McCullough, L Lloyd
Umpires: R Christie, G Garrett
St Patrick’s Day cup finals
Leinster Jacqui Potter Cup final: Railway Union 2 (H de Burgh Whyte, K McKenna) Old Alex 1 (A Connery)
Jacqui Potter Shield Final: Railway Union II 1 (C McCullough) Loreto II 1 (C O’Kelly), Railway win shoot-out 3-2
Jacqui Potter Junior Plate final: Old Alexandra 0 Railway Union 1 (L Crowe)
Neville Davin Cup final: Portrane 1 (I Khan) Railway Union 5 (M McKenzie 2, R Devlin, F Keaveney, D Curley)