Methody land Kate Russell title after thrilling Salerno finale

Methodist College Belfast won the Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships for the second time as Jiwon Hong struck what proved to be the vital goal against Salerno at Dangan.

The tournament went down to the wire with Methody needing just a draw in the final game of the competition but a win for Galway hosts Salerno could have seen them nick the title.

And they put themselves in the frame as they led twice with Grace Walsh putting them 1-0 up only for Ruby Tindall to tie things up. Then a spectacular Anna Costello penalty corner early in the second half against had Salerno dreaming of bringing the title back to Connacht for just a third time in its 42 year history.

But Hong snagged the equaliser for Methody to make it 2-2 and they held on for that key result to stay clear in the round-robin table after two intense days.

Overnight, there was a three-way tie on four points with Holy Child Killiney with Crescent Comp and Kilkenny College looking to make a late charge.

It was the Limerick side who started off the day with Holly Doupe and Sarah Fitzgerald putting their first win on the board with a 2-0 success against the cats.

Game two was a thriller with both Salerno and Holy Child remaining unbeaten following a 2-2 draw.

Roisin Heaney finished off an outstanding goal, created by by Ailbhe Folan’s long run, and Folan also netted for the hosts with Olivia Napier and Alex Purcell getting the Killiney efforts.

That opened the door for Methody to jump into the lead when they won 2-0 against Kilkenny, Jen Lamont and Sophie Moffett on the mark.

Crescent guaranteed themselves a medal when Charlotte Horan’s penalty corner goal put them 1-0 to the good against Holy Child.

What shade everyone would get, though, was all to be decided in the final game where Methody added to their 2016 success in memorable fashion.

Kate Russell All-Ireland Schoolgirls Championships
Friday results:
Crescent Comp 2 (H Doupe, S Fitzgerald) Kilkenny College 0; Salerno 2 (R Heaney, A Folan) Holy Child Killiney 2 (O Napier, A Purcell); Kilkenny College 0 Methodist College Belfast 2 (J Lamont, S Moffett); Crescent Comp 1 (C Horan) Holy Child Killiney 0; Salerno 2 (G Walsh, A Costello) Methodist College Belfast 2 (J Hong, R Tindall)

Final Standings: 1. Methodist College Belfast 8pts (+3) 2. Salerno 6pts (+2) 3. Crescent Comp 6pts (0) 4. Holy Child Killiney 5pts (0) 5. Kilkenny College 1pt (-5)