Railway Union and Three Rock Crowned National Indoor Champions
National Indoor Finals
As can often be the case in indoor hockey, there were goals galore and tight encounters alike in this years’ National Indoor Finals at the Antrim Forum.
Railway women and Three Rock notched up double digit tallies in their respective semi-finals, while Ards had a slightly closer affair with Galway with a score of 2-0 at half time before the current title holders found another gear. Railway’s men left it late to seal their place in the final as Cookstown scored the opening goal in the second half only for Railway to come back and score three times in the final 10 minutes.
Railway’s women were looking to bring the National Indoor title back to Leinster for the first time since the start of the decade. Isobel Joyce got her side off to the ideal start inside the opening 30 seconds with a tap in in front of goal following a great baseline run and pass from Orla Fox. Fox got her own goal shortly after from the first penalty corner of the match. The experienced Railway side were relentless in their pursuit of goals and a good run by Lily Lloyd drew the initial save but Anna-May Whelan was on hand to fire home the rebound and give her side a 3-0 lead. Ards pulled a goal back as Frankie Brown’s penalty corner shot hit a defender’s foot on the line and Rebecca Weir calmly slotted home the penalty stroke. Ards started the second half well but Railway’s pace and pressure caught them on the break and Whelan got her second goal of the game. Joyce got Railway’s fifth from a seemingly impossible angle down the right-hand side. Ards had little choice but to remove their keeper and opt for a kicking back as they continued to chase the game but the open goal was taken advantage of by a Railway break and Cecilia Joyce solidified Railway’s victory and their place as champions.
The men’s final began with Railway arguably starting the brighter against Three Rock Rovers but it was the latter who took the lead as Luke Madely finished off a great team move. But a minute later and the game was level again as Eoin Macarthur flicked the ball through Carr’s legs at the other end. It was Madeley again who stuck his side out in front with a well worked penalty corner switch. Ben Walker scored somewhat of a solo wonder goal in the 19th minute following a great save from Stephen O’Keefe. Walker picked up the ball on the half way line and evaded 3 Railway defenders before scoring into the goal on his reverse to make it 3-1 at the half time whistle. Three Rock were awarded a penalty stroke as O’Keefe charged from his goal and took Jodie Hoskings out; Ross Canning scored into the corner to extend his team’s lead. Railway Union continued to make circle penetrations but had to opt for a kicking back as the clock wound down. The pace of Rovers was unyielding and characteristic of the side that took their chances today both Walker and Canning doubled their tallies to secure the 6-1 victory.
9.30am – Ladies Semi Final 1: Ashton 0v11 Railway Union
10.30am – Ladies semi Final 2: Ards 5v1 Galway
11.30am- Mens Semi Final 1: Limerick 2v17 Three Rock Rovers
12.30pm – Mens Semi Final 2: Cookstown 1v3 Railway Union
1.30pm – Ladies 3rd/4th place game: Galway 3vs3 Ashton. Galway win 2-1 in penalty shootout
2.30pm – Mens 3rd/4th place game: Cookstown 8vs3 Limerick
3.30pm – Ladies Final: Railway Union 6-1 Ards
4.45pm – Mens Final: Railway Union 1vs6 Three Rock Rovers