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Methody girls clinch historic double with cup victory

By John Flack

Methodist College were crowned All-Ireland schoolgirls' champions for the first time in the competition's 36-year history as they lifted the Kate Russell Cup on goal difference after a dramatic day in Limerick.

The Ulster champions went through the tournament unbeaten in their four matches and put themselves in pole position after beating Loreto Kilkenny 4-0 and Alexandra College 3-1 yesterday.

The Methody players then had to endure an anxious two-hour wait to see whether their win over the Dublin side would be enough as Crescent Comprehensive took on Alexandra in the final game of the tournament.

The host team needed to win by three clear goals to deny the Belfast Telegraph Senior Cup holders the title. But Crescent could only manage a 1-0 win, meaning that Methody had done enough to complete an Ulster-All Ireland double for the first time.

Triumphant captain Katie Larmour, who was named player of the tournament, said: "It's a fantastic feeling especially as this is my last year at school although it was really nerve-wrecking watching the last match.

"Winning the Belfast Telegraph Cup for the first time since 1988 was brilliant and this is the icing on the cake."

Larmour finished with six goals in the four matches, adding two yesterday after hitting four on day one, while Rhiannon Coulter chipped in with a treble.

Methody had opened with a straightforward 4-0 win over South East champions Loreto as they crucially boosted their goal difference.

Jodie Savage broke the deadlock from a penalty corner switch after 12 minutes and Larmour then added a second with a magnificent solo effort.

The former Ireland Under-18 star then turned provider as she set up Coulter, who made it 3-0 in the 46th minute. Coulter got her second and her team's fourth with a minute left.

Methody had to come from a goal down in their second match of the day after Jan Cleary's set-piece put Alexandra College ahead in the 26th minute.

But three goals in the space of 12 minutes in the second-half turned the tide, Madison Bowyer equalising seven minutes after the restart.

Larmour made it 2-1 in the 49th minute from a penalty corner before Coulter wrapped things up.

Results: MCB 4 (J Savage, K Larmour, R Coulter 2) Loreto Kilkenny 0; Crescent 4 Salerno 0; MCB 3 (M Bowyer, K Larmour, H Coulter) Alexandra College 1; Crescent 1 Alexandra College 0.

Final placings: 1. MCB 10pts 2. Crescent 10pts 3. Alexandra College 6pts 4. Salerno 1pt; Loreto Kilkenny 1pt.

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