Letterkenny Institute of Technology will face Waterford Institute of Technology in Tuesday’s WSCAI Division One final.
UCD ‘B’ 1
LyIT overcame UCD ‘B’ on Thursday at the Port Road Campus after goals from Denise Doherty and Sarah Faulkner gave them an interval cushion.
UCD pushed and pressed for most of the second half and Sorcha Mullen pulled one back on 85 minutes to mean a nervy conclusion.
LyIt had shown their defensive mettle in the quarter-final when they overcame UCC ‘B’ by a single goal, which was scored by Shannon McDonald on 15 minutes after she was assisted by midfield partner Sarah Faulkner.
Against UCD, things were as tight and even an early goal for the hosts didn’t prove to be a settler.
Faulkner, on 17 minutes, scampered down the right and her centre across the six-yard line was met by Orla Farren. Megan Madonna, the UCD goalkeeper, saved but Doherty was left with a tap in to put LyIT one up.
The home side, despite the early goal, saw much less of the ball from then on. UCD were useful in possession and Sophie Pratt was unfortunate not to level matters.
Ten minutes before half-time, LyIT managed to break from their defensive shell and Faulkner again skipped down the right with purpose.
She was joined by teamates streaming from midfield but Faulkner took on the shot herself and slammed in at the near post.
Without much of the ball, LyIt had somehow established a two-goal cushion.
UCD, on 61 minutes, thought they’d got back into the match when a corner was cleared and Susan O’Riordan slammed into Ciara Gallagher’s top corner.
However, referee Marty Quinn, disallowed the goal, with it later being learned the UCD player has shouted “leave it” - a seldom implemented rule but a rule nonetheless. It was a let-off for LyIT.
Five minutes from time, though, the visitors’ pressure finally told when Sorcha Mullen.
Niall McGonagle’s side held on to book their place in the final against a WIT side that hammered Trinity College Dublin 5-0 in the other semi-final.
The final will take place in Drom, Salthill, kicking off at 2pm.
“UCD were technically very good and I was a little surprised at just how good they were,” McGonagle said.
“But I thought our defensive organisation was excellent, particularly in the second half when we were under an awful lot of pressure.
“We’re playing against a very good Waterford Institute of Technology team in Salthill but in a final anything can happen.”
LyIT: Ciara Gallagher; Bridgeen McLaughlin, Charmaine McDermott, Annette Pearson, Jennifer O’Reilly; Danielle Doherty, Orla Farren, Shannon McDonald, Aine Higgins (Megan Doherty 15); Sarah Faulkner, Denise Doherty.
UCD: Megan Madonna; Kate Caldwell, Claire Murphy, Samantha Mater, Lisa Condon; Amy Barlow, Jamie Rochardson, Teresa Jarriel, Susan O’Riordan (Aisling Corcoran 76); Sorcha Mullen, Sophie Pratt.
Referee: Marty Quinn.