Finals day in the Irish Hockey League saw two hard fought battles resulting in wins for Railway Union and Lisnagarvey. This review of the day’s play in the finals, courtesy of Hockey Ireland.
Railway Union Electric Ireland IHL (Women’s) Champions
Loreto (0) 0
Railway Union 1 (0) Julia O Halloran OP
Railway Union were crowned Electric Ireland Irish Hockey League champions securing a one nil win over their Leinster rivals Loreto.
The match today started off as a cagey affair with both sides appearing nervous and closed in their style of play as they took a quarter to settle into the match. Railway started looking the stronger of the sides with Jean McDonnell getting the first shot in of the day but Louisa Healy in goals dealt ably with the attempt.
Loreto too had early chances when Hannah Mathews’ pass to Niamh Small just skimmed away from her stick. Healy was again tested in the early phases but the goalkeeper of the tournament dealt well with the penalty corner routines on offer by Railway.
Half Time Loreto 0-0 Railway Union
Railway commenced the second half on the attack putting Healy into a full stretch to ward off the first Railway shot setting her side up for an immediate counter but to no avail. International Nikki Symmons was next to go close in the 45th minute but O’ Flanagan in goals for Railway saved the shot with ease.
Railway broke the deadlock in the 52nd minute when Julia O’ Halloran was set up for a first time close range shot which she fired home for a great goal and the eventual winner.
The final quarter of the game really opened up and both sides had chances as the hockey ensued end to end. Loreto looked to have secured the equaliser with less than a minute with a top class strike by Nicci Daly but it was deemed dangerous by the umpire and the goal was disallowed.
Loreto had another chance with a penalty corner on the hooter but their routine failed to produce the goods and Railway Union won the title for the second time in four years.
Lisnagarvey take IHL Men’s title:
Lisnagarvey 3 (0) Timmy Cockram 46m pc 56m; Stevie Arbuthnot 50m pc;
YMCA 1 (0) Jamie Tobin 52minute op
YMCA and Lisnagarvey went head to head at Comber Road to play in the finals of the IHL neither side having lifted the cup before.
Despite the lack of goals in the first half it was an exciting match which finished in a flurry of goals in the final 35. Garvey had the first real chance just 4minutes in with a penalty corner but an on form Woods in goals for YMCA kept the marksman at bay.
Minutes later Woods had to direct Cockram around the side of the circle to ward him off in a one and one just one of a number of great efforts by the man that was then named keeper of the tournament.
‘Garvey continued to pound the YM defence through to the half time whistle but a super defence dealt ably with the onslaught and create a number of counter attacking opportunities of their own but half time arrived scoreless.
YMCA opened the second half on the attack but were soon down to 10 when Bruton was shown yellow for an overzealous tackle on Arneill. During this time Woods was on hand once again to defend a Cockram drag and YM came close with a super free in which just skimmed beyond an attacking stick.
Lisnagarvey finally broke the deadlock with a Cockram drag flick in the 46th minute a goal which they followed up 4 minutes later when Cockram switched the set piece to Arbuthnot who dragged home to make it 2-0
Just minutes later Jamie Tobin showed a touch of class when super build up in midfield set him free to stay cool in front of Tormey in goals and make it 2-1.
Lisnagarvey sealed the deal finally making it 3-1 and putting the title beyond YMCA’ s reach when Cockram dragged home to make it 3-1.