For many years Rob Abbott has been the driving force of Indoor Hockey as chair of the Indoor Competitions. His hard work is paying off as you can read below in the article summarising a very exciting season! He’s provided us with a recap of the whole Indoor season. Thanks Rob!
Starting off with the Provinces.
Leinster saw its biggest League to date, with 22 Senior teams featuring, 12 on the Women’s side and 10 on the Men’s. After 8 days of group games and knock out stages. The semi-finals on the Women’s side were won by Muckross, who defeated UCD 3-2 in a shootout after an epic 5-5 draw, with Sophie Barnwell stealing the show with a hat-trick for Muckross. In the other semi-final Railway Union defeated North Kildare 4-0. The final was won by an experienced Railway side, who defeated Muckross 2-1. Lilly Lloyd and Lisa McCarthy scoring, Charly flavin scoring for Muckross – who missed a late stroke.
The men’s semi-finals saw Three Rock Rovers (TRR) defeat Monkstown 3-2 in a sudden death shoot out after a 5-5 draw in play, with Darragh Walsh netting an overtime corner to take it to a shootout. In the other semi-final Railway overcame a youthful YMCA side, they were trailing 4-2, but fought back to win 6-4. The men’s final was a goal fest, with TRR prevailing 14-7. All finalists from Leinster qualified for the HI finals.
Leinster also hosted a senior girls school tournament in which, Kings Hospital defeated Mount Temple in the final. On weds 26th January, their was a u14 school-girls tournament hosted by Drogheda Grammar, who went on to beat Muckross 6 -2 in the final. In March a senior boy’s tournament is to be hosted by Columba’s College.
Portrane hosted their under 14 tournament throughout January. A huge thanks to the Henchy Family and all the volunteers who make this a cracking event, with more and more teams entering each year.
Connacht also ran a successful Women’s competition in which Galway hockey won. They defeated NUIG in the final 7-3, with Emma Glanville standing out. Galway qualified for the national finals.
Munster were the last of the provinces to make an Indoor come back after years away from the game. This year they run a Men’s competition in which Limerick defended their title. They won all 4 of their matches, racking up a total of 29 goals! Unfortunately, no Women’s competition was run, but with a few new volunteers on board – I hope to see a return of a Women’s Indoor comp next year as well as more growth on the Men’s side.
Ulster Hockey, as usual, ran 2 very successful underage tournaments, u15 and u18s for both boys and girls, with a senior competition also organised.
Ards were successful on the Women’s side coming top of a 4-team group. Banbridge prevailed on goal difference on the Men’s side. Both teams qualified for the National finals.
The National Finals were hosted in the Kingfisher, NUIG. All the matches throughout the day were live streamed on the Eurohockeytv platform, with the voice of hockey Nick Irvine on commentary. Viewing figures for the day were just shy of 4000 – with 49 countries tuning in.
Railway Union Women’s retained their title for the 2nd year in a row by beating Muckross 2-0 in the final, Hannah de Burgh Whyte and Emma Smyth both scoring.
Railway’s Men defeated champions of the previous 4 years TRR in a dramatic shoot out. after the game finished 3-3. Bjorn Dasse standing out, by netting a hat-trick for Railway who came from 3-0 down.
Both Railway teams, will now go on to Represent Hockey Ireland in euro club competitions in Feb 2021.
Railway 7 Limerick 1
TRR 10 Banbridge 2
Final – TRR 3 Railway 3, Railway won 1-0 in a shoot out
Railway 3 Galway 0
Muckross 3 Ards 1
Final- Railway 2 Muckross 0
Women’s – 2019 /20 season saw the return of the International team, for the 1st time since 1990. The Women’s ventured down to south Africa for a 6-test series, which was great practice for their European venture. On the trip, they ran South Africa very close, but could not get a victory.
Their European campaign was a huge success though, they finished in 2nd spot in Bratislava, bringing home the silver medal and promotion to European 2nd division – in Jan 2022. They won 5 of the 6 games, beating Finland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Denmark, and Portugal. Losing to Spain. The team were coached by Dave Passmore and Mike Hughes, with Gareth Myburg as manager. Over the season, 17 women became senior International Indoor players.
Men’s – the Men returned to International action for the 1st time since 1987. Their European campaign was in Santander, Spain. In which they finished 3rd and bought home the Bronze Medal. Unfortunately for the men, 3rd spot was not enough for promotion. They drew with Wales and beat Slovenia in the group, losing to Spain and Scotland. In the bronze medal match we beat Wales 2-1. The team were coached by Kenny Carroll and Craig Stewart, with Rob Abbott as Manager. 12 players earned International caps.
European Club Indoor
Three Rock Rovers men ventured to Alanya, Turkey for the Euro Club Trophy. It was the first time in 27 years that were had a team in the B league. TRR managed to finish 6th out of 8th and maintain Hockey Ireland’s status in the league for 2021. After losing their first 3 games against English, Croatian and Dutch teams, TRR drew against Lousada (Portugal) meaning that they had to beat Swiss Champions Rotweiss Wettigen (only relegated to the league last year) in the final game to stay up. They managed to put in their best performance of the week with a 5-4 win. Stephen West saving a last-minute stroke!
Well Done to Liam Canning and Scott Crombie who coach the side, and Fraser Morris as manager.
Railway Union Women’s ventured to Porto, Portugal for the Euro Challenge 1 event. The finished in 2nd place and earned promotion to the Trophy for 2021. They beat Swedish, Portuguese, and Welsh opposition, drawing with Georgians and losing to eventual winners Dundee from Scotland. Orla Fox and Kate Dillon both featured in the top 5 scorers of the tournament.