Rising star Megan Connolly struck a hat-trick yesterday at Tallaght Stadium to help Cork’s Christ the King secure the Umbro FAI Schools Senior Girls All-Ireland Cup for the second time in three years.
Moville Community College from Donegal were rocked by two Connolly goals inside the opening three minutes and another Irish underage international star, Amanda Budden, headed a third on 13 minutes.
Sarah-Jane McDonald pulled a goal back for the northerners shortly after the interval but Laura O’Brien restored the three-goal cushion on 56 minutes.
Eight minutes later, McDonald was alert amid a goalmouth scramble to turn the ball home but any prospect of a late comeback vanished on 75 minutes as the standout player on the day, Connolly, of College Corinthians, completed her hat-trick.
She unleashed a blistering drive into the top corner after Sarah Geaney’s cross had caused hesitancy in the Moville penalty area.
CHRIST THE KING (CORK): Chelsea Nunan; Orla Murphy (Megan Dennehy 67), Michelle Murphy, Aisling Fox, Nicole Connolly, Amanda Budden, Laura Cooney, Niamh McGreevy, Laura O’Brien (Kate Leneghan 79), Megan Connolly, Sarah Geaney.
MOVILLE CC (DONEGAL): Leanna McLaughlin; Rebekah Henry, Melissa McDermott, Charmaine McDermott, Kathy McLaughlin, Shannon McDonald (Kathleen McNaught 60), Eimear Lafferty, Roma McLaughlin, Orla Farren (Nicole McDermott 55), Sarah Jane McDonald, Aine McLaughlin (Catriona Grant 78).
Referee: N Valentini (Dublin).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved