5 October 2023
~9 minutes read
Presentation College, Athenry win Rod Houston Cup
PRESENTATION COLLEGE, ATHENRY were crowned Rod Houston Cup Champions for 2023 following their heroics yesterday morning in Lilleshall National Sports Centre (Wednesday, October 4).
The Galway girls remained unbeaten in the three-day series as the team notched up five goals without concession.
They enjoyed narrow victories over the Welsh Champions, Caerleon Comprehensive School (2-0) and English Champions, South Hunsley High School (1-0) as well as local rivals Loreto SS, Kilkenny (2-0) who they faced in the National Cup decider last May to ensure their invitation to the annual tournament.
This was the second consecutive appearance for Presentation College at this event as they came a gallant third a year ago.
They’re the third Irish representative side to win gold. Presentation College, Kilkenny was crowned Champions in 2017 and Carndonagh Community School claimed top spot in 2019.
The Republic of Ireland also had two runners-up finishes with Ursuline College, Sligo in 2016 and Sacred Heart School, Westport in 2018.
MATCH DAY THREE, GAME FIVE
Presentation College, Athenry 2-0 Loreto SS, Kilkenny
Abbie Duffy (33), Anna Jordan (41)
Following a cagey opening half the teams were scoreless at the interval but the in-form Abbie DUFFY converted from the penalty spot three minutes into the restart to ensure an early advantage.
The Athenry lead was doubled eight minutes later when Anna JORDAN scored a beauty to claim a huge stake on the title.
The Kilkenny girls fought until the very end as Emma Hogan, Aiblhe Ní Chasaide and Anna Keogh couldn’t infiltrate the Athenry rearguard with Jane Brennan stopping everything that came her way.
Sinead Feeney could have made it three nil with two minutes remaining but the impressive Sofia Blackmore pull off a magnificent save to keep it at two.
MATCH DAY THREE, GAME SIX
South Hunsley High School 4-1 Caerleon Comprehensive School
The defending Champions South Hunsley HS had a comprehensive win over their Welsh counterparts but only pulled away late in the second half to ensure a runners up spot.
Hollie SUTTON had scored first for the English girls but Amelia COLLINS cancelled out that effort to go in one all at the break.
South Hunsley applied the pressure in the final twenty as their hard work was rewarded with further goals from Connie BAKER, Lucy HOPE and Sara HARRIS.
MATCH DAY ONE, GAME ONE
Loreto SS, Kilkenny 0-2 South Hunsley High School
Connie Baker (37), Annabelle Cawthra (52)
The Kilkenny side opened their account at this tournament against defending Champions South Hunsley School in the first game in Lilleshall National Sports Centre yesterday afternoon (Monday, October 2).
Muireann Kenny had a fabulous lob from distance that was inches wide of the upright to see the first opportunity scorned with eight minutes played. Moments later the impressive Emma Hogan narrowly missed out on a goal as the ball dragged wide of the near post.
It was scoreless at the interval.
Connie BAKER netted a gem seven minutes into the second period to give South Hunsley an early advantage.
Sara Harris could have made it two half-way through proceedings but her effort slide past the post.
With eight minutes remaining, Captain Annabelle Cawthra doubled their tally with a super strike to see them win out 2-0. A superb start to their title defence.
MATCH DAY ONE, GAME TWO
Presentation College, Athenry 2-0 Caerleon Comprehensive School
Lily May Feeney (34, 48)
Presentation College, Athenry captured a hard fought victory as a second half brace courtesy of Lily May Feeney was enough to see past Welsh outfit Caerleon Comprehensive School in an entertaining encounter.
Jane Brennan had to pull off a magnificent save to deny a bullet from Amelia Collins with twenty played.
The teams went into the break scoreless.
FEENEY pounced four minutes into the restart to grab her first following a well worked set piece from set piece specialist Anna Jordan.
Her second came midway through the half as a defensive error from Caerleon saw FEENEY pick the ball up on the edge of the box to slot past the keeper.
MATCH DAY TWO, GAME THREE
Loreto SS, Kilkenny 1-1 Caerleon Comprehensive School (Kilkenny won pen 3-1 for bonus point)
Emma Hogan (18) Amela Collins (39)
The drama continued this morning (Tuesday, October 3) with a draw for Kilkenny in their penultimate outing against the young Welsh dragons.
Ailbhe Ní Chasaide forced an excellent save from Georgia Messer between the sticks four minutes in.
The deadlock was eventually broken quarter of an hour later when birthday girl and team Captain Emma HOGAN snatched a beauty past Messer.
Caithin Rees was introduced four minutes before half-time and her impact was almost immediate as her first touch saw her break the offside trap to produce a wonderful shot on goal but the Kilkenny netminder Sofia Blackmore was equally impressive and denied the Welsh an equaliser.
Loreto with the marginal advantage after the first thirty minutes.
Yesterday’s goal-scorer Amelia Collins was on form and she tested Blackmore with a rocket but the industrious shot-stopper was able to palm the ball over the woodwork.
Again Messer was the busier of the goalkeepers and ensured a swift response to a dangerous Ailbhe Ní Chasaide cross with a brave intercept to keep her side in contention.
It was that girl again, Amelia COLLINS who converted the equaliser on 39 minutes with a neat finish.
The Leinster scholars responded immediately with the talented Emma Hogan crashing the ball agonising off the upright.
With the sides level at one apiece at the final whistle, the teams shared a point apiece. The penalty shoot-out would decide who got the bonus point available and a cool Kilkenny held their nerve to win out 3-1.
MATCH DAY TWO, GAME FOUR
Presentation College, Athenry 1-0 South Hunsley High School
Lily May Feeney (45)
Another decisive performance from the Athenry team saw them dent the defending Champions hopes of retaining the title outright as Feeney captured her third goal in two games.
South Hunsley played Presentation College last season in the final game of the series and completed a 3-1 demolition to lift the crown for the first time. However, tide had turned this morning following a titanic battle between the sides.
Thirteen minutes on the clock and Hollie Sutton had a screamer to the top bin saved acrobatically by the fingertips of Brennan.
The only goal of the game came midway through the second half as Anna Jordan delivered a perfectly placed ball into the box from a corner. The ever-present Lily May FEENEY was on hand to head home at the far post with a beautiful effort that left Haddon no chance.
The Galway crew hung on to keep a clean sheet and advance to the final game in the morning which sees a repeat of May’s National Cup decider which Athenry won on penalties following a one all draw.
LIST OF PARTICIPATING SCHOOLS
PRESENTATION COLLEGE, ATHENRY | Jane Brennan, Cadhla Fox, Aoibhín Hannon, Ailbhe Mannion (JC), Brooke Corcoran, Anna Jordan, Kacie Lally Duffy, Abbie Duffy (JC), Tegan Kilkenny, Lily May Feeney, Sinéad Feeney, Elsa Heaney, Aisling Higgins, Sophie Murray, Angel Gbadamosi, Áine Duffy
TEACHERS | Patrick Conroy, Lucy Smith, Dom Coll
LORETO SECONDARY SCHOOL, KILKENNY | Sofia Blackmore, Eilish Keating, Stella Butler, Holly Drennan, Cadhla Boylan, Eva Tynan, Anna Keogh, Muireann Kenny, Emily Farrell, Ailbhe Ni Chasaide, Emma Hogan ©, Sophie O’Riordan, Isabel Walsh, Lily Ryan Murray, Aoife Brennan, Evie O’Brien
TEACHERS | Paul McGinley, Barry O’Neill, Karen Costigan, Padraig Fitzpatrick
SOUTH HUNSLEY HIGH SCHOOL, ENGLAND | Matilda Haddon, Izzie Flower, Freya Palmer, Lucy Hope, Connie Baker, Daisey Short, Annabelle Cawthra ©, Alicia Tyler, Isla Garnett, Hollie Sutton, Ava Clarke, Isabelle Burnitt, Amelia Stirrup, Poppy Seward, Lucy Jefferson
TEACHERS | Laura Dixon Brown, Darren Short
CAERLEON COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL, WALES | Georgia Messer, Connie Davies, Neave Davies, Anna Davies, Imogen Summerhill, Izzy Clay, Yasmin Mainwaring ©, Amelia Collins, Eloise Lakelin, Caitlin Rees, Alex Bright, Isla Benavente, Poppi Smith, Poppy Small, Libby Jones, Eva Hillier
TEACHERS | Judith Livesey, Chloe Chapman
SAFIB Rod Houston Cup (U14 Girls’ Home Nations Tournament)
Venue | Lilleshall National Sports Centre, Shropshire
Monday, October 2
Presentation College, Athenry 2-0 Caerleon Comprehensive School, KO 5.15pm
Tuesday, October 3
Caerleon CS 1-1 Loreto SS, Kilkenny (Loreto won 3-1 on pens) KO 10am
South Hunsley HS 0-1 Presentation College, Athenry, KO 11.15am
Wednesday, October 4
Presentation College, Athenry 2-0 Loreto SS, Kilkenny, KO 10.30am
Caerleon CS 1-4 South Hunsley HS, KO 10.30am
Points | Athenry 9, South Hunsley 6, Kilkenny 2, Caerleon 1.
The Cup is named after Mr. Rod Houston. Rod is a retired School teacher and was President of the Scottish Schools FA for many years. He held the position of Treasurer and Secretary of the Schools Association Football International Board (SAFIB) and is honoured to be associated with this competition that promotes girls football to a larger audience. This competition has been in existence since 2016.
ROLL OF HONOUR
2016 | St. Ivo School, Huntington (Runners Up Ursuline College, Sligo)
2017 | Presentation Secondary School, Kilkenny
2018 | Bohunt School, Wokingham (Runners Up Sacred Heart School, Westport)
2019 | Carndonagh Community School, Donegal
2020 | NA (COVID-19)
2021 | NA (COVID-19)
2022 | South Hunsley High School (Third Place Presentation College, Athenry)
2023 | Presentation College, Athenry (Third Place Loreto SS, Kilkenny)
NIGEL BROWN AWARD
The accolade for outstanding contribution was made to Caerleon Comprehensive School Captain Yasmin MAINWARING for her team leadership skills.
PREVIOUS IRISH REPRESENTATIVE SQUAD LISTS
2016 | URSULINE COLLEGE, SLIGO | Megan Byrne, Emma Corcoran, Allanah Gallagher, Shona Dalton, Oda Carty, Sophie McDonagh (Captain), Helen Monaghan, Aoife McLaughlin, Laura Oates, Cathy Harrison, Sarah Gillen, Sophie McGoldrick, Eden Rooney, Emma Shanley, Ingrid Shiels
TEACHERS: Deirdre Cullinan, Carmel Donelon ASSISTANTS: Darragh Healy & Laura McGinn
2017 | PRESENTATION SS, KILKENNY | Ellie O’Neill, Louise McInerney, Katie Ryan, Caroline Barron, Sarah O’Gorman, Niamh Phelan, Sarah Barcoe, Keara Ryan, Rachel Whelan, Ellen Molloy, Kate Furlong, Emma Shortall, Sarah Hudson, Alannah Cody, Sarah O’Donnell, Aoife Doyle
TEACHERS | Wendy Roche & Monica Kearns
2018 | SACRED HEART SCHOOL, WESTPORT | Katie McNea (Captain), Ella McHale, Aenea Breslin, Sophie Scahill, Ashling Duffy, Sorcha McArney, Aoife Staunton, Leila O’Malley, Maggie Chambers, Laura Moran, Cliodhna Casey, Abi Conway, Maya O’Toole, Emily Chambers, Milly Allen, Eimear Geraghty, Laura Masterson
TEACHERS | Fiona Casey, Annemarie O’Malley ASSISANTS | Declan Moran, Megan Nugent, Jennifer Coughlan
2019 | CARNDONAGH COMMUNITY SCHOOL | Samantha McLaughlin, Suzie Lafferty, Ellie Long, Ailish Doherty, Imogen Diver, Seaneen Crumlish, Cora McCaul, Alanah Brennan, Aisling Doherty, Fiona Dohery. Clara Gill, Aoife McCarron, Erin Grant, Niamh Devlin, Jenna Gallagher, Julia Grant, Rachel McLaughlin, Courtney Gallagher
TEACHERS | Conor Doherty, Kevin McCarron, Danielle Doherty
2022 | PRESENTATION COLLEGE, ATHENRY | Lauren Kearney, Leah Mullins, Sarah Egan, Soirise Counihan, Niamh Kilgannon, Mollie Noone, Sophie Hogan, Katyln Walshe, Aimria McNamara, Ciara Mullins, Katie Noone, Lauren Gannon, Chloe Taylor Keane, Abbie Donoughue, Jessica McGlynn, Aoibhe Corcoran
TEACHERS | Joe Finnerty, James McDonnell, Emer Kilgannon, Dom Coll