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Junior Green Army hit their stride to beat Canada

FIH Women’s Junior World Cup
9th-16th place classification match
Ireland 6 (R Kelly, C Hamill, S O’Brien, C Perdue, E Paul, Y Pratt) Canada 1 (J Berger)

Ireland took out their group stage frustrations on Canada at the Junior World Cup in Potchefstroom, running up a healthy win to begin their classification series on the front foot.

The quarter-finals proved elusive earlier this week after single-goal defeats to England and hosts South Africa, leaving David Passmore’s side to focus on trying to land a ninth place finish via this knock-out classification series.

Ultimately, they were far too strong for Canada, running up 11 penalty corners, 21 shots on goal and 40 circle penetrations. Five first half goals laid the base with Rachel Kelly, Christina Hamill, Siofra O’Brien, Caoimhe Perdue and Emma Paul scoring before Yasmin Pratt made it 6-0 as Canada scrambled a late consolation.

“The whole game was so enjoyable,” said co-captain and player of the match Perdue. “We came out and played as a team and having a different goalscorer each time shows we link so well together. We need to keep this level of performance.”

Coach Passmore added: “I thought they were excellent from the start, putting pressure on them and going on the front foot. We were a lot calmer and more composed with the ball around the circle and goal shots which we hadn’t done in the first two games.

“We you go five-up relatively early, you can’t necessarily continue like that the whole game, especially when it is a tournament. You need to rest legs and rotate – what I am really pleased with is we have the squad of 20 and have rotated each game and there’s a really nice team feel to the group.”

The level of mismatch was on display from the outset with Kelly thumping in a first minute goal with a classy backhand strike, set up by O’Brien’s gliding run along the 23-metre line..

Christina Hamill, Nadia Benallal and O’Brien had great chances soon after before Hamill’s coolness saw her flick in the second in the 11th minute. O’Brien got her goal moments later from a penalty corner second phase, building a 3-0 lead in the first quarter.

Perdue and Paul added to the advantage from set pieces as they ran up nine first half penalty corners, going into the break at 5-0.

Pratt’s wonderful strike off the baseline following a powerful and pin-point long pass from Benallal, making it a half dozen in Q3.

In energy-sapping heat, the pace died off in the closing quarter and Canada – against the run of play – got one back from something of a scramble, Jenna Berger’s push making it over the line despite the best efforts of Caitlin Sherin.

Ireland will now play either Malaysia in the ninth to 12th place playoff game on Saturday (2.45pm, Irish time). The winner of that ties will meet either Austria or Zimbabwe in the last game of the classification series.

Ireland: E McLoughlin, E Paul, S Cole, S O’Brien, R Kelly, M Power, C Perdue, A Elliott, C Hamill, S McAuley, K-J Marshall
Subs: N Benallal, S Murdoch, A Horan, Y Pratt, C Sherin, L Mulcahy, H Micklem

Canada: I Sekhon, S Sajko, J Goodman, I Fraser, R Carvalho, A Kuzyk, S McCrory, M Scholz, D Husar, J Berger, N Goddard-Despot
Subs: L McKinney, B Anderson, M Kennedy, H Malhi, M Stelling, A Goddard-Despot, T Guy

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Armagh hosts June Smith All-Ireland Junior Girls Championships

Royal School Armagh are hosting the second edition of the June Smith All-Ireland Junior Schoolgirls competition today, welcoming Seamount College, Muckross Park, Loreto Kilkenny and Mount Mercy.

The Under-15 competition was introduced in 2019 and features the provincial winners from the closest age competitions in each area.

Armagh school are proud to have organised the tournament in-house and will have plenty going on around the pitch with food vans, ice cream van, coffee cart, sponsored player of the tournament and GK of the tournament prizes in place.

The tournament is named after June Smith who is from Galway and one of the first female umpires to be awarded her FIH Crown.

She was a driving force along with her husband Mike in Galway Hockey Club and they are responsible for where the club is today. Between them, June and Mike ran the Galway Hockey Club Mixed Festival Annual Tournament for over 25 years, bringing up to 36 teams from all over Ireland and the British Isles.

She set up the Connacht Umpires Association and was an active member, along with Mike, in facilitating many rules nights and coaching existing and upcoming umpires.

June taught at Salerno Secondary School for over 40 years where she was head coach of the hockey teams. Salerno hockey is still going strong today, as was seen recently at the 2022 Kate Russell All Ireland Tournament. June is very deserving Honorary Life Member of the Connacht Branch and of Hockey Ireland. The Connacht Branch describe June as “hockey royalty”.

June Smith programme book here: https://royalschool.com/3d-flip-book/june-smith-tournament/

Fixture schedule
9am: Royal School Armagh v Seamount College
9.45am: Muckross Park v Loreto Kilkenny
10.30am: Mount Mercy v Seamount College
11.15am: Muckross Park v Royal School Armagh
12pm: Loreto Kilkenny v Mount Mercy
12.45pm: Seamount College v Muckross Park
1.30pm: Loreto Kilkenny v Royal School Armagh
2.15pm: Mount Mercy v Muckross Park
3pm: Seamount College v Loreto Kilkenny
3.45pm: Royal School Armagh v Mount Mercy
4.30pm: Trophy Presentation

Wesley win the John Waring All-Ireland U-14 schools title

Wesley College were crowned the John Waring All-Ireland Under-14 Schoolboy champions as they won four of their five fixtures at Comber Road today.

They opened with a tightly-fought 0-0 draw with St Andrew’s – in a rematch of the Leinster Minor Cup final – before turning on the style.

They proceeded to win 3-0 against Newtown School with James Reid netting twice and Tommy Cullen getting the other. They followed with a 1-0 success against Bandon GS with Luke Murray on the mark and a 4-1 success against Banbridge Academy put them in the title frame.

Bangor Grammar were their nearest rivals, starting off with a 2-1 victory over Newtown before drawing with Banbridge and beating St Andrew’s 1-0 with an Oli Keenan goal.

They remained unbeaten after their fourth game, a 1-1 draw with Bandon with Keenan scoring again.

That made it winner-take-all when Wesley met Bangor but goals from Daniel Lydon and Cullen saw the Dubliners prevail 2-0 and secure the title. 

Bangor finished second on goal difference with Banbridge third just behind them after Charlie Tumilty’s goal earned them a 1-0 victory over St Andrew’s.

 

John Waring All-Ireland Schoolboys (Under-14) Championships

Round 1: Wesley College 0 St Andrew’s College 0; Bangor GS 2 (K Culbert, J Donnelly) Newtown School 1 (O Gavin)

Round 2: Bandon GS 0 Banbridge Academy 0; Newtown School 0 Wesley College 3 (J Reid 2, T Cullen); 

Round 3: Bandon GS 1 (D Wilson) St Andrew’s 2 (K Healy, T Lawlor); Banbridge Academy 1 (J Osborne) Bangor GS 1; 

Round 4: Bandon GS 0 Wesley College 1 (L Murray); Banbridge Academy 1 (C Tumilty) Newtown School 0; 

Round 5: St Andrew’s 0 Bangor GS 1 (O Keenan); Banbridge Academy 1 (A Ewart) Wesley College 4 (D Lydon, T Squires, L McKiernan, L Murray)

Round 6: Bangor GS 1 (O Keenan) Bandon GS 1 (B Gash); St Andrew’s 1 (P Burns) Newtown School 0; 

Round 7: Wesley College 2 (D Lydon, T Cullen) Bangor 0; Banbridge Academy 1 (C Tumilty) St Andrew’s 0; 

Round 8: Bandon GS 0 Newtown School 0

 

Final Standings: 1. Wesley College 13pts (+9) 2. Bangor Grammar 8pts (0) 3. Banbridge Academy 8pts (-1) 4. St Andrew’s 7pts (0) 5. Bandon GS 3pts (-2) 6. Newtown School 1pt (-6)

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EYHL Division 2’s big playoff weekend at Whitechurch Park

The journey to EY Hockey League promotion and Division 2 glory reaches its final destination this weekend at Whitechurch Park with eight hopefuls battling it out for glory. 

The host club made it through to the final four with a hugely impressive 5-0 home win over Cork C of I last weekend with Jessica McGrane scoring twice, adding to goals from Christina Seggie, Ciara Vincent and Lauren McGrane.

They will be hoping to delight the home crowd when they meet at 3pm on Saturday afternoon in their semi-final which doubles as a direct battle for one of the two promotion spots on offer.

Standing in their way are Monkstown who have been in imperious form this season, winning the Leinster League Division One and topping their group with eight wins out of eight.

Monkstown’s Anna O’Flanagan. Pic: Deryck Vincent

They have only lost one match across the Leinster league and EY Division 2. That was, however, their most recent one when – with the title in the bag – Corinthian were good value for a 3-2 success.

It ups the ante for this showdown and both sides are packed with goals. The McGranes between them have already accounted for over 30 goal between them for the reds while Town’s Olympians Chloe Watkins and Anna O’Flanagan, dovetailing with Emily Kealy, Sophie Moore and Olivia Brady, have helped the club score over 130 times this campaign.

The other women’s promotion place will be determined from an all-Ulster clash with Premier League champions Ards coming up against Queen’s in the fourth game on Saturday afternoon (5pm).

Ards Katie Kimber takes on Corinthian’s Camila Arbulo. Pic: Adrian Boehm.

Queen’s have quite a gap to Ards in their regional division – with plenty of games to catch up on – but they have shown in recent weeks their intent, running up high scores and clean sheets against Lurgan (4-0), Cork C of I (5-0) and UCC (5-0 in the quarter-final) to reach this stage.

A factor has been Zoe Wilson’s introduction. She joined the club in the middle of her recuperation from an ACL injury and has finally got to make her debut in recent times. The World Cup silver medalists has cracked home three goals in EYHL2 games already and, along with Erin Getty and Jessica McMaster, brings crucial know-how to the table.

Ards, meanwhile, progressed through their group stage unbeaten with seven wins in succession, adding to an opening day draw, with 28 goals along the way while they only faltered once in their regional league.

Olympian Zara Malseed is one of the most ruthless forwards around and there is a mixture of youth and indoor international experience in their line-up with Amy Benson, Katie Kimber, Alanah Doyle and Caroline Adams all donning the green at different points.

Queen’s following their 4-0 win over Lurgan

The men’s semi-finals begin the day’s action with another pair of enticing showdowns between Ulster and Leinster rivals.

In the quarter-finals, Instonians eased to a 5-1 victory over Bandon with Olympians Mark Gleghorne and Mikie Watt accounting for the first three of the goals to set them up for a date with Railway Union.

It is a renewal of their group stage rivalry with both sides winning a game each by a single goal to date. The Dubliners lost their unbeaten record on the final day of the Leinster league season when they fell to Avoca 3-2 last Saturday.

Nonetheless, it was enough to win the league crown ahead of the Blackrock side on head-to-head meetings, winning their first Leinster encounter 7-1. Railway backed that up with a Neville Cup final win on Sunday against YMCA and now go in search of more honours.

Instonians Mark Gleghorne. Pic: Billy Pollock

Theirs is a team built on vast experience with Kenny Carroll, Rob Abbott, Fergal Keaveney, Karl Chapple, Rob Devlin, Richie Forrest, Stephen O’Keeffe, David McCarthy and Mark English all around from their Irish Senior Cup final run of 2012. English has amassed over 80 goals this campaign in all competitions.

Inst, meanwhile, have lots of knowledge to draw on with captain Stephen Kelso, Chris Kirk, Ben Palmer, Andrew Corry and William Robinson all part of their side during their last campaign in the top tier.

The Shaw’s Bridge club are in a straight shoot-out with Cookstown, the other Ulster side involved in this weekend’s playoffs, as they go up against Clontarf at 12.30pm.

Railway Union with the Neville Cup last Sunday. Pic: Max Fulham

Both Inst and the Co Tyrone side are unbeaten in the Ulster Premier, drawing with each other, to show their strength with Cookstown putting it up to EYHL sides in the Irish Senior Cup, knocking out Pembroke and pushing Monkstown to the wire in the semi-finals.

They have a wealth of young talents coming through in Max Anderson, Jack Haycock, Ewan Cruickshank, Josh Anderson and Mark Cuddy, guided by old hands Ewan Butler, Mark Crooks and Paul Thompson.

Clontarf made it through a quarter-final thriller against Cork Harlequins last Saturday. They looked on course for a comfortable day out when Sam Grace scored a pair of goals but Jamie Venner nabbed one back and a Jack O’Meara equaliser sent the game to shoot-out – after a heavily debated David Vincent effort was ruled out. 

The Bulls prevailed with Timmy Cullen slotting their winner. John Mullins is a key presence having won a series of all-Ireland titles during his stint with Three Rock Rovers with captain David Power a strong influence in the spine of the side. 

Cookstown’s Max Anderson. Pic: Adrian Boehm

They are the only side in the final four yet to play in the top tier and so will be regarded as outsiders.

Each of Saturday’s winners will earn promotion along with a place in Sunday’s final where the EY Division 2 titles will be presented.

Adult tickets for each day are available on the gate for €10 with schoolchildren tickets €5.

 

EY Division 2 finals weekend (all at Whitechurch Park)

Saturday 9th April 2022

Men

Semi-finals: Railway Union v Instonians, 10.30am; Cookstown v Clontarf, 12.30pm

 

Women

Semi-finals: Monkstown v Corinthian, 3pm; Ards v Queen’s, 5pm

Sunday 10th April 2022

Men’s final: 1pm

Women’s final: 3.30pm

Clontarf’s Timmy Cullen celebrates his shoot-out winner. Pic: Deryck Vincent

John Waring Championship returns for first time since 2019

The John Waring All Ireland Schoolboys Championship returns for the first time since 2019 on Wednesday 6th April 2022 with Lisnagarvey’s Comber Road playing host to the event.

It features six of the top school teams at Under-14 level for boys each season, namely the two finalists from the Provincial Minor Cups in Leinster, Munster and Ulster qualify.

Leinster will be represented by Wesley and St Andrew’s; Bangor and Banbridge Academy are the two Ulster sides while Munster’s Newtown School and Bandon – who will be going for an All-Ireland double – are in the mix.

Pitch 1 (9:00-16:00) Blue

Pitch 2 (9:00-16:00) Green

10:00-10:20

Wesley College

St Andrew’s College

10:00-10:20

Bangor GS

Newtown School

10:40-11:00

Banbridge Academy

Bandon GS

10:40-11:00

Newtown School

Wesley College

11:20-11:40

Bandon GS

St Andrew’s College

11:20-11:40

Banbridge Academy

Bangor GS

12:00-12:20

Wesley College

Bandon GS

12:00-12:20

Newtown School

Banbridge Academy

12:40-13:00

St Andrew’s College

Bangor GS

12:40-13:00

Banbridge Academy

Wesley College

13:20-13:40

Bangor GS

Bandon GS

13:20-13:40

St Andrew’s College

Newtown School

14:00-14:20

Wesley College

Bangor GS

14:00-14:20

Banbridge Academy

St Andrew’s College

14:40-15:00

Bandon GS

Newtown GS

 

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Ireland denied Junior World Cup quarter-final berth by hosts South Africa

Women’s Junior World Cup

Ireland 0 South Africa 1 (J-L du Toit)

Ireland’s dream of a Junior World Cup quarter-final berth came to an end as a single Jean-Leigh du Toit goal saw hosts South Africa edge them out 1-0 in Potchefstroom.

After Saturday’s 2-1 loss to England, for a second successive game, it was the penalty corner realm where the game was won and lost as coach David Passmore was left to rue “what happened in the circles” as his side put in a huge shift but could not take the big chances.

“I can’t fault the girls for their attitude and their application but we have to improve the delivery and accuracy of our penalty corners,” Passmore added.

“It’s about now getting above our world ranking of 12th; we’ve got the possibility of finishing ninth and if we can get three wins now, it will be a good World Cup for us.

“We are disappointed to lose; we thought we could get out of this group and I think we have played well enough – I don’t think we were third best in this group but hockey is about what you do in the circles.”

It was a tense affair in the first quarter with no chances accruing for either side. Mikayla Power and Nadia Benallal’s driving runs caused moments of danger but the South African defence held up well while Sarah McAuley was a big presence for Ireland.

The contest caught fire in the second period with the Junior Green Army nicking the first of three penalty corners in this phase while Siofra Murdoch’s reverse stretched Mishka Ellis to the limit. Sarah McAuley’s sweep at goal was well-taken off the line from Hanrie Louw at the left post.

But South Africa had the bigger openings. Du Toit served notice of her threat when her first corner shot went off Holly Micklem’s in-step and hit the inside of the post.

Bianca Wood miscontrolled from a golden chance at the end of a pitch-length counter but the relief was short as du Toit gave the hosts the lead with 20 seconds on the clock before half-time.

This one looked to be guided to a slider on the right post but a heavy defensive touch saw the Irish wrong-footed as the ball rattled into the backboard.

David Passmore’s side upped the ante in the second half with Yasmin Pratt going close on two occasions, one a venomous volley that goalkeeper Ellis brilliantly blocked at point-blank range.

South Africa, meanwhile, were running up a heavy penalty corner count – they ended with 10 in total – which required plenty of last-ditch defensive work. Ellie McLoughlin came off the bench to bat away a few of them with Lisa Mulcahy brilliantly deflecting Kayla de Waal’s flick at goal over the bar.

Caoimhe Perdue was inches from an equaliser from Ireland’s fifth corner five minutes from the end; Christina Hamill’s trickery almost unlocked the door while Aoife Taaffe drew another double-stop from Ellis in a late volley of chances but South Africa held on to leave Ireland on the outside of the quarter-final spots.

They will now contest the ninth to 15th place playoffs which get under way on Thursday with opponents to be confirmed later today.

Ireland: H Micklem, E Paul, E Reid, N Benallal, M Power, C Perdue, A Horan, Y Pratt, C Hamill, S McAuley, K-J Marshall

Subs: A Taaffe, S O’Brien, S Murdoch, A Elliott, L Mulchay, E McLoughlin, S Cole

South Africa: M Ellis, M Ramasimong, K de Waal, H Louw, T Kock, B Wood, E Molikoe, C Ferreira, O Zulu, S Laubscher, J-L du Toit

Subs: A Welham, M Le Roux, J McLaren, J Thomas, C Den Bakker, C Maree, A Claasen

Women’s Junior World Cup

Pool A: Ireland 0 South Africa 1 (J-L du Toit)

Standings: 1. England 6pts (+4) 2. South Africa 3pts (-2) 3. Ireland 0pts (-2)

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Corry hails total squad effort as Garvey land men’s EYHL crown

Men’s EY Hockey League – day 18 round-up
Banbridge 4 (J McKee, J Moffett, Ph Brown, D Finlay) Lisnagarvey 4 (O Kidd, B Nelson, A Williamson, J Lorimer)
Lisnagarvey survived a real final day scare to land the men’s EY Hockey League title following a heart-stopping final day of the season.

The Comber Road men needed just a draw to secure the title ahead of Three Rock Rovers and they looked to be cruising with 15 minutes to go as they led 4-3 against Banbridge while the Dubliners trailed against Monkstown.

But three wild minutes made for a tense close to an epic campaign as Rovers turned things around with Ben Johnson and Harry MacMahon both scoring to land a 3-2 success at Rathdown in the dying seconds.

Simultaneously, Banbridge levelled through Jonny McKee from the penalty spot to make it 4-4 while Garvey needing to hold on for the last eight minutes.

There were Bann chances but their Ulster rivals hung tough to allow James Corry to lift the regular season title for the third time in this full-season format.

For skipper James Corry, he said the only word they got of what was happening elsewhere came in the closing 10 minutes.

“We heard Three Rock had won 3-2 and we had just gone 4-4 with Jonny McKee scoring that stroke. It was basically just to hold out and hope for the best but I think we managed it well; there wasn’t that many chances for Banbridge. Obviously, there were a wee bit of nerves! It was always going to be tough and Bann would never make life easy for us!

“You could nearly tell by the atmosphere of the crowd Three Rock had won because the Garvey fans were very quiet.”

It was an afternoon of roller-coasting emotions as Garvey led 1-0 and 2-1 with Ben Nelson and James Lorimer scoring, Josh Moffett getting the credit for the Bann goal which went in via a defensive foot. 

Philip Brown levelled at 2-2 from a corner and they put the cat among the pigeons when David Finlay put the Havelock hosts in front. Vitally for Garvey, Andy Williamson equalised and, with 20 minutes left, Ollie Kidd gave an extra buffer before the late nerves began to set in once again.

McKee’s stroke had hearts fluttering but Errol Lutton’s side took the spoils, taking the league on goal difference and a guaranteed European spot.

Looking back on the season as a whole, Corry cited their 2-2 draw with Corinthian as the result which lit the fire in the team after a rollercoaster mid-season run which saw the lead change hands in the league for six successive rounds. 

After that, Garvey were imperious, crucially beating Three Rock and running up five successive wins, scoring 23 goals in the process.

“That result against Corinthians where we were 2-0 up with two minutes to go, we always said we hope don’t lose the title on that one. It gave us the kick up the backside that we needed. Any big game we have had in the past few weeks, we seem to have dealt with them pretty well. 

“I don’t know what it was; every team will have those off days but we played well that day and just got caught those last few minutes. We bounced back superbly and credit to the boys.

“The depth in the squad; we have had a lot of players out with injury and Covid and have used about 22 boys. When people aren’t stepping up, others have stepped up to the task. We were missing James Lorimer and Andy Williamson for the Three Rock games, our two flickers, but Ollie Kidd and Andy Edgar stood up and got one each. The younger boys have that bit more experience and can deal with the pressure.”

 

Monkstown 2 (J Duncan, J Henry) Three Rock Rovers 3 (B Johnson 2, H MacMahon)

Three Rock Rovers dug out another last-ditch comeback to ensure the men’s EY Hockey League season drama went down to the final minutes as they snatched a 3-2 win over Monkstown having trailed going into the last 10 minutes.

The first half was a scoreless affair but high on quality with both sides counter-attacking at pace and winning a couple of corners; goalkeepers David Fitzgerald and Conor Quinn were the key men, making a number of good blocks.

The second half burst to life with three goals in as many minutes seeing Town edge into a 2-1 lead. Lee Cole made a brilliant tackle on the edge of his own D and ripped a pass up to Jazze Henry whose first time touch set Jeremy Duncan through on the gallop. He was shadowed wide but still clipped a perfect shot into the top corner.

Rovers were level with an exquisitely executed move between Matteo Romoli, Evan Jennings and Ben Johnson who burst through the middle and slid home a shot on his backhand. 

The sky blues returned to the lead within seconds with David Nolan bursting through the middle; his shot was blocked by Quinn but Henry swooped to slap in to make it 2-1 in the 39th minute.

It remained that way until nine minutes to go as Rovers had one disallowed for a foot guiding the ball into the roof of the net. They got level when a right-wing surge broke the way of Johnson who roofed a reverse from the top of the D, another spectacular goal.

Rovers took off their goalkeeper to chase an equaliser but were almost undone when Rex Dunlop’s foul conceded a yellow card and a penalty corner. The combination of Romoli and goal-line specialist Harry MacMahon cleared from Lee Cole and Geoff Cole strikes on goal, the latter at waist-height.

In the next play, Rovers picked the ball off the Monkstown defence with Romoli finding Ryan Spencer who flicked to the back post where MacMahon was waiting to score his first of the season.

 

Pembroke Wanderers 6 (E Albers 2, J Dale 2, E Foy, A Sothern) UCD 2 (J Filgas, E Ramsay)

Pembroke got the result they needed to stay alive in the men’s EY Hockey League and, after a nervous 45-minute wait, had their place confirmed in the top tier for 2022/23.

They did, however, fall behind just 30 seconds into this contest against already relegated UCD with Peter Lynch feeding the ball into Josh Filgas who pushed for a deflection but the ball made it all the way to the backboard unimpeded.

Less than two minutes were on the clock when Pembroke equalised as Julian Dale’s cross was picked up by Ewout Albers who snuck in a near post shot. It was his first goal for the club in the EYHL and he added another 10 minutes later with a cracking reverse from the top left of the D.

 

Ewout Albers scores Pembroke’s first goal. Pic_ Adrian Boehm

A sprawling Eric Foy cracked in another from mid-circle and it was 4-1 soon after when Nick Burns picked out Alan Sothern with acres of space to run into. The ace marksman thrashed this one into the top corner. 

UCD replied with Ewan Ramsay deflecting a corner move into the top corner to cut the gap back to 4-2 at half-time. The second half was more circumspect with the third quarter scoreless before Dale finished the campaign with a flourish. He fired in a brilliant shot for 5-2 with 11 minutes to go. 

He dragged in another to complete the part of the equation they could control, leaving just a nervous wait to see how YMCA would do against Corinthian.

 

Corinthian 1 (M Neill) YMCA 2 (A Walker, R Henderson)

YMCA copper-fastened their place in the EYHL quarter-final with the result seeing the reds drop down to the second tier in ninth place, falling below Pembroke.

The first half was tense and nervy with chances at a premium with the pick of the openings falling to Ethan McInerney but his reverse was deflected over the bar.

The Y went in front in the second half to put Corinthian in jeopardy, knowing Pembroke were well in the clear at Serpentine Avenue, with Adam Walker propelling a corner shot into the top corner.

YMCA found out mid-match their place in the top six was confirmed but they did not take the foot off the gas as they doubled their lead at the start of the fourth quarter. Harry McCarthy embarked on a long run before setting up Ross Henderson to finish off. 

With everything on the line, Corinthian piled forward and ran up a number of corners and got one back when Max Neill scored despite a mistrapped setup at the top. They earned another series of corners chasing the draw they needed but Paebo Lembethe scrambled one off the line while Jakim Bernsden brilliantly saved another to break the Corinthian hearts.

 

 

Glenanne 2 (S Boucher, A Clayton) Annadale 0

First half goals from Shannon Boucher and Adam Clayton gave Glenanne a 2-0 win that saw them move up to fourth place in the table and a home quarter-final date with Monkstown next Saturday.

Boucher tucked in at the back post from a right-wing cross in the ninth minute and Clayton deflected in the second in the second quarter. Dale finish in seventh place as a result.

The match was Richard Fairman’s last as Annadale coach as he announced he will be stepping back from his role due to family commitments.

It brings to a close three years in the role, two of them interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. This season, they ended a run of 25 top tier games, dating back to February 2019, without a victory when they beat UCD 4-0 to steer them to safety..

John Stephens, Annadale Club Chairman said: “We would like to thank Richard for all he has done for the club during his time here. His commitment and enthusiasm throughout these times was second to none. We totally understand him wanting to spend more time with his young family and everyone at Annadale Hockey Club wish him all the best for the future.”

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Lisnagarvey survive heart-stopping late drama to win men’s EYHL

Lisnagarvey survived a real final day scare to land the men’s EY Hockey League title following a heart-stopping final day of the season.

The Comber Road men needed just a draw to secure the title ahead of Three Rock Rovers and they looked to be cruising with 15 minutes to go as they led 4-3 against Banbridge while the Dubliners trailed against Monkstown.

But three wild minutes made for a tense close to an epic campaign as Rovers turned things around with Ben Johnson and Harry MacMahon both scoring to land a 3-2 success at Rathdown in the dying seconds.

Simultaneously, Banbridge levelled through Jonny McKee from the penalty spot to make it 4-4 while Garvey needing to hold on for the last eight minutes.

There were Bann chances but their Ulster rivals hung tough to allow James Corry to lift the regular season title for the third time in this full-season format.

It was an afternoon of rollercoasting emotions as Garvey led 1-0 and 2-1 with Ben Nelson and James Lorimer but opened the door when they fell 3-2 behind in the second half.

Vitally, Andy Williamson equalised and, with 20 minutes left, Ollie Kidd gave an extra buffer before the late nerves began to set in.

McKee’s stroke – his second of the day – had hearts fluttering but Errol Lutton’s side took the spoils, taking the league on goal difference and a guaranteed European spot.

For Three Rock, this competition remains the elusive one for their trophy cabinet as they finished second for a third successive time, goal difference the key factor for a second time.

They will hope to bounce back in three weeks time at the EY Champions Trophy at Havelock Park where they are going for a fourth successive title.

Both Garvey and Rovers are straight into the semi-finals while Banbridge will meet YMCA and Glenanne host Monkstown in the quarter-finals next weekend.

The Glens were strong 2-0 winners over Annadale with Shannon Boucher and Adam Clayton on the mark – Dale miss out on the playoffs as a result.

At the bottom, Pembroke produced the great escape as they beat UCD 6-2 with Ewout Albers scoring twice, his first goals for the club’s first team, with Julian Dale also netting twice.

They still needed a favour from YMCA who did just that, beating Corinthian 2-1 to confirm their playoff place while the reds dropped into the bottom two as a result.

In the promotion playoffs, Instonians eased to a 5-1 victory over Bandon with Olympians Mark Gleghorne and Mikie Watt accounting for three of the goals.

They advance along with Clontarf who needed a shoot-out to eliminate Cork Harlequins after normal time ended 2-2.

On the women’s side, Queen’s defeated UCC 5-0 while Corinthian got the best of Cork C of I by the same scoreline, marking a rough day for the southern city, ending hopes in each competition of reaching the top tier.

Men

EYHL Division 1: Banbridge 4 (J McKee 2, Ph Brown, D Finlay) Lisnagarvey 4 (O Kidd, B Nelson, A Williamson, J Lorimer); Corinthian 1 (M Neill) YMCA 2 (A Walker, R Henderson); Glenanne 2 (S Boucher, A Clayton) Annadale 0; Monkstown 2 (J Duncan 2, J Henry) Three Rock Rovers 3 (B Johnson 2, H MacMahon); Pembroke Wanderers 6 (E Albers 2, J Dale 2, E Foy, A Sothern) UCD 2 (J Filgas, E Ramsay)

EYHL2 Play-offs – Quarter-Finals: Clontarf 2 (S Grace 2) Cork Harlequins 2 (Brophy, J O’Meara), Clontarf win shoot-out 4-3; Instonians (M Gleghorne 2, M Watt, S Kelso, C Kirk) Bandon 1

Women

EYHL Division 2

Quarter-Final: Corinthian 5 (J McGrane 2, C Seggie, C Vincent, L McGrane) Cork C of I 0; Queens University 5 (Z Wilson, J McCarlie, C Whiteside, R Quinn, E Getty) UCC 0

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Junior Green Army edged out by England on World Cup debut

Women’s Junior World Cup
Ireland 1 (C Perdue) England 2 (M Giglio, V McCabe)

The Junior Green Army were left frustrated from their first ever Junior World Cup fixture as they came up against an English defensive penalty corner brick wall to deny them in Potchefstroom.

In a late volley of attacks, Ireland ended up with eight penalty corners but goalkeeper Millie Welch and her defensive team repelled everything Ireland could throw at them to secure a precious victory.

David Passmore’s side had started brilliantly, taking the lead in just the fourth minute through co-captain Caoimhe Perdue but strikes from Millie Giglio and Vikki McCabe in the second half saw the English prevail 2-1.

“You can be the better team and play the better hockey for much of the game, particularly the last quarter, but it is about taking your chances,” Passmore reflected afterwards.

“I was really pleased with how we started because it was a historic day, our first performance at a World Cup. England had already got their tournament nerves out of the way yesterday.

“The English corner defence was excellent and, hands up, the better team won in that respect. Overall, really happy with the performance and conviction of the team – we will come back fighting on Monday to get a result against South Africa.”

With this group shortened due to Ukraine’s inability to travel, it means England are assured of top spot thanks to a 3-0 win over host South Africa on Friday. Ireland need a draw or better to join them in the last eight.

“South Africa have to come out to win it and there’s no way we will just come out to draw,” Passmore added. “That’s not our mindset or mentality. Being a host can be a great thing other than when you are under real pressure so we have to exert more pressure on them!”

Early on, Ireland got off to a dream start when Wesley schoolgirl Mikayla Power drove through the middle to win a penalty corner which Perdue slapped powerfully, taking a wicked ricochet into the top corner.

The advantage did not last long, though, as Katie-Jane Marshall was deemed to have pushed Maddie Axford in the circle illegally and Giglio stepped up to score from the penalty spot.

England had the best of the second quarter with Ellie McLoughlin making some key blocks down low while Claudia Swain deflected over the bar.

But were unbowed and they built a lot of momentum in the second half with Aoife Taaffe’s direct approach drawing some big fouls. There was panic stations when Emma Paul and Anna Horan corner shots spun and bounced and led to melees with England twice left scrambling the ball off the goal line as the chance would not stick.

Rachel Kelly also could not take in a ball when well placed as England clung on for their win and Ireland face a big Monday showdown.

Ireland: E McLoughlin, E Paul, S O’Brien, M Power, C Perdue, A Elliott, Y Pratt, C Hamill, L Mulcahy, S McAuley, K-J Marshall
Subs: H Micklem, E Reid, A Taaffe, S Murdoch, R Kelly, A Horan, C Sherin

England: E Wood, E Guckian, S Martin, L Mackenzie, B Alexander, M Giglio, B Brough, M Axford, E Burnley, K Curtis, M Long
Subs: M Mason, E Allroggen, M Welch, T Butterworth, V McCabe, G Gardens, C Swain

Monday, 4th April: Ireland v South Africa, 10am, Potchefstroom

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England first up for Junior Green Army in South Africa

After four months delay, what is another day as the Junior Green Army will belatedly get their World Cup campaign up and running on Saturday afternoon against England.

In this frequently adjusted tournament, David Passmore’s side had been due to play Ukraine on Friday morning but, despite their Herculean efforts to take part, this week saw those hopes formally end. It means Ireland are now in a three-team group with two to advance to the quarter-finals. 

** You can read more about Ukraine’s efforts to take part in Mary Hannigan’s Irish Times article here

“We are delighted to be here in this beautiful venue and excited to get going,” said Passmore ahead of the event. “It is such a disappointment that Ukraine won’t be here and we send our best wishes and support for them. 

“Our aim while we are here is to be the best we can, individually and collectively, and if we can, who knows where it will take us. Of course, we want to win every game!”

The first fixture is now against a reasonably well known opponent, Ireland having travelled to England for a training camp a couple of weeks ago and having enjoyed a series win over GB last summer.

But just 10 of the 20 players were named for the December date for this World Cup, showing quite a turnaround in the interim with 13 teenagers involved.

South Africa, in the final group game, will be a more experienced line-up and some well-known opponents with Kayla de Waal, Tamlyn Kock and Olympian Edith Molikoe part of the indoor tour party to Gormanston in February.

“It is a massively important event for the development of these players,” Passmore added of the special opportunity to test their mettle on such a stage and against different style of opposition. 

“They have been in our system for three or four years but developing outside of Europe and playing teams from all around the world on a different continent, only then can you establish and understand where they are going in hockey.” 

Domestically, it’s phase one of the women’s EYHL2 playoff series with Corinthian up against Cork C of I and Queen’s hosting UCC.

In both cases, the hosts will be the favourites. Corinthian built up for the date with a good value 3-2 win in midweek against Monkstown, ending the sky blues perfect record in Leinster and EYHL2 competition.

Cork C of I, though, have won their last two trips on the road – at NUIG and Lurgan – which ultimately saw them through. 

UCC go to Queen’s without the services of key player, the Potchefstroom-based Caoimhe Perdue. 

Saturday 2nd April 2022

Women

Junior World Cup

Pool A: Ireland v England, Potchefstroom 4pm

EYHL Division 2

Quarter-Final: Corinthian v Cork C of I, Whitechurch Park, 1.15pm; Queens University v UCC, Malone Playing Fields, 12.45pm