Scoil Mhuire after they won the SoHockey Munster Senior Schoolgirls Hockey Cup. Photos: Gerry Lee

Scoil Mhuire aim to make hockey history this week

The girls of Scoil Mhuire College are bidding to win the biggest schoolgirls hockey tournament in Ireland this week.

The city centre school hosts the prestigious Kate Russell All Ireland Schoolgirls Hockey Tournament in Cork Harlequins Hockey Club. It begins today, Thursday and runs until tomorrow 24 March when 1 of 5 teams from all over the island of Ireland will win the cup.

The tournament features the champions of each provincial area - which in girls’ hockey is Munster, Leinster, Connacht, Ulster and Leinster South.

Scoil Mhuire College earned the right to host the tournament when they won the SoHockey Munster Senior Schoolgirls Hockey Cup Final back in January for the first time in 48 years. They beat Regina Mundi in the final 5-1 to conclusively prove they are the best team in Munster this year.

The Kate Russell tournament is played on a round robin basis with each team facing each other over the 2 days so it’s a gruelling 4 games over 2 days for each team.

The last Cork team to win it was Mount Mercy in 2006, who also won it in 1991. Ursulines Convent Cork are the only other Cork team to win it, taking the title in 1989 and 1993. Crescent College from Limerick did take recent wins for Munster in 2015 and 2019 but Cork schools haven’t won for a long time.

Scoil Mhuire are bidding to reverse this trend although they have never played in it before. Champions Methodist College from Ulster haven’t made it back this year as Royal School Armagh are the Ulster champions this year. They will be joined by Wesley College from Leinster, Salerno College from Connacht and Kilkenny College who are South East champions.

Scoil Mhuire Coach David Egner said: “As with all tournaments, excitement and nerves are high, but this squad has plenty of interprovincial representation and Irish talent so we are confident of playing good competitive matches against the best the country has to offer.”

Scoil Mhuire face the Royal School Armagh in the first game at 9.30am on Thursday. They then face Kilkenny College at 12.30pm.

On Friday morning at 11am they are up against Salerno Secondary School before finishing their campaign against Wesley College at 3.30pm. All games take place at Cork Harlequins Hockey Club.