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Queen's out to make it hot in Chilean Cup decider


Wonder winner: teenager Jessica McMaster scored a great goal to put Queen’s into today’s Chilean Cup final

Wonder winner: teenager Jessica McMaster scored a great goal to put Queen’s into today’s Chilean Cup final

Wonder winner: teenager Jessica McMaster scored a great goal to put Queen’s into today’s Chilean Cup final

Queen's are 60 minutes away from capturing their first Irish inter-varsities title for a quarter of a century after Jessica McMaster's wonder goal earned them a 1-0 win over Trinity in last night's semi-final at Jordanstown.

It was back in 1991, long before the teenager was born, that the Belfast outfit last won the Chilean Cup.

Queen's will meet title holders UCD in today's final after the Dubliners defeated Ulster University 1-0 in the second semi-final.

It's already been quite a season for McMaster, who will make her senior Ireland debut against Scotland at the weekend in Glasgow.

The 18-year-old joined Queen's from the Ulster Elks in the summer and has scored a goal a game in the varsities tournament, including one in the 6-0 group stage win over her former club, playing as UU.

McMaster's winner came shortly before half-time last night as she beat a defender and drove into the circle before sending a backhand shot high into the net for the winner.

Queen's coach Simon Bell said: "It was an absolute cracker and I was saying under my breath: 'don't shoot' as it seemed like an impossible angle to score from, but she took it really well."

"It was a very good game of hockey and Trinity were one of the best teams we have played all season.

"They provided us with some anxious moments and it took a good save from our goalkeeper, Megan Todd, to keep them out in the second-half."

Queen's had the bulk of the possession against the Leinster League leaders and only some dogged defending prevented a second goal from a couple of set-pieces after the break.

The Dublin side took off their 'keeper near the end in an ice hockey style bid to have an extra outfield player.

But the gamble failed to pay off and, indeed, the kicking back, who has goalkeeping privileges, made a miraculous stop from a Tori Hastings piledriver in the dying minutes.

Queen's will start as underdogs today against a UCD side that contains several Irish internationals, including former Ballymoney striker Katie Mullan.

Bell added: "We played them in the finals two and three years ago but I think we can get closer to them this time around."

"We can take heart from the fact UU ran them close and Trinity were beating them with eight minutes to go in one of the group matches."

Irish international Lena Tice got a second-half winner for UCD in their victory over UU later last night in the other semi-final.

UU manager John Cathcart said: "Our girls battled very hard in a game with few chances and can be proud of themselves for their efforts against a very good UCD team."

Earlier in the day, the depleted host team came from a goal down to beat Galway 2-1 to clinch their place in the last four with goals from Canadian international Anna Kozniuk and Judith Allen.

Meanwhile in the Ulster Premier League, Lurgan and Randalstown joined early pace-setters Ballymoney on six points after 4-0 and 6-0 wins over North down and Raphoe respectively on Saturday.

Results: yesterday: Chilean Cup: Pool A: UU 2 NUIG 1; semi-finals: Queen's 1 Trinity 0; UU 0 UCD 1; Saturday: UU 1 Queen's 6;

Ulster Premier League: Banbridge 0 Dungannon 0; Lurgan 4 (E Lindsay, S McClure, E McStea, L Wright) North Down 0; Raphoe 0 Randalstown 4 (E Clyde 2, CJ McDonald 2, K McDowell 2); Senior One: Ballyclare 3 (J Hanley, K Mancherson, C McCoubry) Cookstown 1 (R Stewart).

Belfast Telegraph