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Alyssa's strike keeps Wallace High's cup dream alive

Belfast Telegraph Schools' Cup hockey

By Graham Hamilton

Ulster U18 star Alyssa Jebb was the toast of Wallace High as they reached only their second Belfast Telegraph Senior Schools' Cup final.

Alyssa scored the winning goal as the Lisburn girls knocked out Royal School Armagh in the second semi-final at Lisnagarvey yesterday, her goal coming right at the tail end of the first half following a penalty corner.

The half-time hooter had sounded, but rules say the set-piece must still be taken, and although the first strike was blocked, Jebb prevented the ball from going out of the circle and shot past keeper Rachel Martin.

It was just the perfect way to end the first period, taking a little steam out of an Armagh side that had fought back from a goal down and were beginning to get on top as the break approached.

It was top scorer Rachel Houston who had put Wallace ahead in the 16th minute when she got on the end of a Jasmine Kirkwood effort to deflect past the keeper and then Kirkwood almost added a second.

But Armagh's Hannah Irwin began to show her class and first she had a shot strike the base of the post, then she stole possession and shot narrowly wide, before she equalised with a crisp shot from the top of the circle.

Wallace, though, weathered the storm and when they won a penalty corner in the dying seconds of the first half, it was Jebb who found the net from the second phase to set them up nicely.

Both teams had their spells of pressure in the second half, with Armagh skipper Irwin coming close with a shot on the reverse, and at the other end Kirkwood and Jane Kilpatrick came close.

It was Alana Doyle who almost forced the game into extra time but Wallace keeper Nakhita Dowie just got a touch to deflect her shot wide of the post.

ROYAL SCHOOL ARMAGH: Rachel Martin, Lauren Wright, Joanna Berry, Poppy Smith, Lucy Finney, Alana Doyle, Katelyn Johnston, Yasmin Morrow, Hannah Irwin, Olivia Berry, Stacey Livingstone, Jemima Stevenson, Ruth Davidson, Amy Dunne, Katherine Magowan, Emma Whiteside.

WALLACE HIGH: Nakhita Dowie, Alex Patterson, Anouk Morwood, Rebecca Ayerst, Harriet Matchett, Alyssa Jebb, Jane Kilpatrick, Bethany Dumican, Jasmine Kirkwood, Emma Whan, Rachel Houston, Emma Coalter, Megan Getty, Sophie McKee, Holly McClure, Megan Bell, Rachel Steele.

Royal School Armagh 1

Wallace High School2

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