EYHL 2 MEN’S QUALIFICATION PLAY -OFF
BANGOR – 4 PORTRANE – 3
Bangor ended up in this playoff because they ended up in 3rd place in the Ulster Premier League.
Given that Cookstown were getting relegated out of the EYHL Division thus taking up one of the EYHL 2 slots on offer to Ulster, Bangor by virtue of coming 3rd got forced into the play off against a Portrane side that took up the Leinster slot. Given that Corinthians and UCD from Leinster Division 1 had already secured promotion to the EYHL there were less places available so Portrane were also in a play-off.
The first quarter was petering out seemingly until the 14th minute when Bangor took the lead with a Rhys Cunnigham field goal. Early in the second quarter Portrane were awarded a penalty stroke which was converted by Anthony Glutz in the 19th minute. Portrane took the lead on 24 minute through a Sean Graham goal from open play and led 2-1 at half time.
Nathan Belshaw got Bangor back on level terms in the 44th minute with another goal from open play. Bangor then took the lead in the 57th minute when Ryan Burgess converted a penalty corner.
Portrane responded through a second goal of the match for Anthony Glutz this time from open play in the 65th minute. The game was heading towards a shootout until Ryan Burgess converted a last minute penalty corner to give victory to the Ulster side it finished Bangor 4 Portrane 3.
**BANGOR:** Christophe Kent, Daniel Irvine, Benjamin Law, Matthew Armstrong-Sanchez [C], Nathan Belshaw, Callum Duncan, Mark Rutherford, Samuel McMillan, Ryan Lyall, Ryan Burgess, Jamie Lyall , Adam Duffield, Rhys Cunningham, James Holley, Robbie Brown
**PORTRANE:** Daniel Graham, Rory McKeon, John Skehan, David Graham, Anthony Glutz, Ossian Elmiger, Sean Graham, Adrian Sweeney, Christopher Neville [C], James Dunne, Cameron Shoebridge, Nicholas Pio, Dylan Eustace, Imran Khan, Andrew Darroch, Tom Mulvey
EYHL WOMEN’S CHAMPIONS TROPHY FINAL
UCD – 0 LORETO – 1
UCD went into this game not having beaten Loreto in either of their two EYHL Women’s Division encounters this season. The game in Beaufort had ended in a 2-1 win for Loreto and the return fixture had ended in a 2-2 draw. UCD had pipped Loreto to the title on the final day of the season and there was no reason ahead of today’s final to thing this game would be anything but close.
And that was what we got at least in the opening stages.
A closely fought tense opening corner produced very few chances and no goals. Loreto were temporarily down to 10 players as early as the 3rd minute when Aoife Taaffe was green carded. Charlotte Cope received a green card for UCD in the 10th minute but neither side could capitalize on their opponents temporary reduction to 10 players.
It remained scoreless also in the second quarter, Sara McAuley sitting out on a green card for UCD in the 17th minute and the half time score was UCD 0 Loreto 0
Sara McAuley was also yellow carded in the 32nd minute temporarily reducing the students to 10 players in the 32nd minute. The deadlock was broken however during the third quarter. Former UCD player Rachel Kelly, came back to haunt her former team by opening the scoring for Loreto in the 37th minute from open play to make it 1-0. It remained 1-0 at the end of the third quarter.
There was no further scoring in the game and it ended 1-0 to Loreto. Loreto qualify for the EHL and UCD will qualify for the second tier European competition.
**LORETO:** Lorna Bateman, Kate Crotty, Zoe Dunne, Lisa Mulcahy, Ella Pasley, Caitlin Sherin, Mia Jennings [C] Yasmin Pratt, Grace Donald, Grace McLoughlin, Christina Hamill, Nicola Torrans, Sara Torrans, Aoife Taaffe, Rachel Kelly, Síofra O’Brien
**UCD:** Norah Mc Ginty, Leah O’Shea, Grace Keane, Katherine Egan, Charlotte Cope, Caoimhe Byrne, Katie-Jane Marshall, Lucy Cope, Sophia Cole, Niamh Carey, Sarah McAuley, Hannah McLaughlin [C], Eva Lavelle, Áine Naughton, Ali Griffin, Lisa Baldwin (GK)
EYHL MEN’S CHAMPIONS TROPHY FINAL
BANBRIDGE – 3 LISNAGARVEY – 1
Banbridge and Lisnagarvey have a long established rivalry from their days in the Ulster League. The games between them are considered derbies and they have long been in contention for titles at the same time. Lisnagarvey won the League title in 2022 and were leading the charge for this seasons title until February when they were overtaken by Banbridge who eventually were crowned 2023 champions.
Lisnagarvey qualified for the semi finals of this competition by virtue of their runner-up slot in the this season’s EYHL Men’s Division. Banbridge by virtue of winning the League were in the opposite semi-final and dispatched Glenanne in yesterday’s contest by 4-3. Lisnagarvey beat Monkstown by 2-1 in their semi-final. Two very tight semi-finals and this contest seemed likely to follow in that vein.
Banbridge got off the mark as early as the 3rd minute through a Louis Rowe goal where he converted a penalty corner. It is said that the penalty corner is the most important set piece in the sport of hockey. Well let us present you with this game as exhibit A in support of this theory because all the goals in this game came about as a result of the set piece.
There was no further scoring in the first or second quarter and it was 1-0 at half-time. Jake Rowe increased Banbridge’s lead on 40 minutes converting a penalty corner. Four minutes later Joshua Moffett added a third goal from yet another penalty corner to make it 3-0.
Heading towards the end of the fourth quarter, Lisnagarvey finally got on the scoresheet for what would prove to be a consolation goal. Andrew Williamson converting a penalty corner but it was to no avail for Lisanagarvey because a few minutes later when the end of match hooter sounded the final score was Banbridge 3 Lisnagarvey 1.
The Champions Trophy, League Trophy and Irish Senior Cup treble has suddenly become a potential target as Banbridge return to the Irish Senior Cup Final at UCD next weekend with the first two already in the trophy cabinet.
**BANBRIDGE:** Luke Roleston; Alexander Tierney [C] , Johnny McKee , Peter Brown, Jake Rowe, Eugene Magee, Sam Farson, Owen Magee, Mark Cowan, Louis Rowe, Charlie Rowe, Joshua Moffatt, Hugh McShane, Mark Barlow, Matthew McKee, David Finlay
**LISNAGARVEY:** James Milliken, Jonathan Bell, Jonathan Lynch, Mark Mc Nelis, James Corry [C], Peter McKibbin, Andrew Williamson, Daniel Nelson, Harry Morris, Andrew Edgar, Oliver Kidd, James Lorimar, Matthew Aughey, Daniel Murray, Craig Getty, Mackenzie Connor