On Thursday last our senior soccer girls headed to Athlone for a showdown with Connacht champions Convent of Mercy with a place in the 2018 All Ireland final at stake. The Pres Thurles panel is remarkably young, it doesn't boast a single sixth year student but what they lack in experience they certainly make up for in talent. The hotly fancied Convent of Mercy set the early tone with Pres Thurles goalkeeper Rachel Sweeney forced into two early saves.
Having weathered the initial storm a Pres Thurkes set about imposing themselves on the contest and did so in spectacular fashion as a beautifully weighted pass from Emma O'Sullivan released the ever dangerous Casey Hennessy who made no mistake with a clinical finish to fire the Tipperary girls into the lead. Visibly rocked by this setback Convent of Mercy struggled to regain a foothold in the game and Pres Thurles now making all the running had the ball in the Roscommon net again only for a very dubious offside flag to deny Emma O'Sullivan after a clever finish.
⏰ FT | @BOIstudents FAI Schools Senior Girls National Cup Semi Final | @rosconvent 0️⃣-2️⃣ @PresThurles | @AITSoccerClub | The Thurles side will now meet @movillecc on Feb21 in @Homefarm_FC for the Cup FINAL | pic.twitter.com/uEpFUloD85— FAI Schools (@faischools) February 1, 2018
The second half saw Convent of Mercy play with a stiff breeze at their backs and they were now making all the running as Katie Ryan and Ciara Dwan made several well times interventions to keep them at bay. Sarah Foley and Kate Cavanagh were defending superbly as the Roscommon girls continued to press. However Pres Thurles always carried a threat on the counter attack and a wonderful defence splitting ball from Aoibheann Clancy released Lauren McCormack who made absolutely no mistake as she doubled the Pres lead. Kate Sheridan and Queva O'Meara were enjoying great success down the right hand side providing a platform for much of the Pres Thurles attacking play.
Pres Thurles continued to defend in numbers and saw out the remaining minutes to secure a place in the 2018 All Ireland final where they will meet Moville Community College, Donegal on the 21st of February.
Final score: Pres Thurles 2 Convent of Mercy, Roscommon 0