Coláiste Na Trócaire bidding for All-Ireland Glory

Rathkeale School, Coláiste Na Trócaire looking to get past Westport in All-Ireland Final

Best of luck to the Coláiste na Trócaire, Rathkeale girls soccer team taking part in the All Ireland Final. They are a credit to their community and their county. We spoke with captains Eadaoin Lyons and Kate Geary as well as coach Killian Phair about their path to today’s final.

This showdown promises to be a pulsating tie between two inform teams this season as the experienced Sacred Heart School, Westport and newcomers Coláiste na Trócaire, Rathkeale do battle for the first time in FAI Schools history.

On paper, newcomers Coláiste na Trócaire may be slight favourites as they dispensed of defending Champions Presentation Secondary School, Thurles in their Munster decider with a narrow 1-0 victory while in their National Cup semi-final tie, two first have goals from Phoenix Mulcaire Shire and Eadaoin Lyons was enough to see of the threat of last year’s beaten finalists Presentation Secondary School, Kilkenny. Two major scalps on route to the National Cup Final stages!

Cavan native, Killian Phair who is a PE teacher in Coláiste na Trócaire introduced soccer to the school in 2014 and the girls have relished the opportunity to compete at this level.

The squad qualified for the Junior Cup Final in 2015 but narrowly missed out on the honours to Convent of Mercy, Roscommon with a Grainne Whyte goal the only difference between the two sides that afternoon. The experienced gained at that level will stand to the players as many are this involved with the squad.

Likewise, Seamas MacEachmharcaigh’s crew have a long and distinguished history at this level. Seamas has been on the management staff of the Connacht Interprovincial squad for many years and the Westport contingency have a few National titles under their belts.

Sacred Heart School have secured Connacht and National futsal titles in recent years with the first year’s doing well at the fast paced game.

The Westport school have two major National titles, with the girls capturing the Minor Cup in 2006, the Junior Cup in 2008 and were beaten semi-finalists in 2009 losing out 1-0 to Loreto Convent, Letterkenny.

Most recently, the school were beaten finalists in 2013 at Minor level, falling to Presentation SS, Thurles in that encounter.

The Connacht Champions have been razor sharp this year, despatching arch rivals Convent of Mercy, Roscommon 2-1 in a closely contested Provincial decider. Likewise their National Cup semi-final saw them up against an experienced Carndonagh Community School.

They eventually won out 2-1 as a last-gasp winner by Anne Sheridan, who struck with extra time looming, broke Carndonagh hearts. Jenny Chambers had equalised right after Tara O’Connor netted the opener for Carndonagh with a quarter of an hour played.

The final has been billed to entertain and no doubt this will be the case when the teams line out on Tuesday afternoon.

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Raffaele Rocca