Loreto move to the top with a 7-1 win


On a perfect day for hockey in Rathfarnham, what a performance by Loreto as they brushed aside the Northern challenge from Ards and produced their biggest win of the season so far.

Following the draw between UCD and Catholic Institute earlier in the day, Loreto knew that a win and 3 goals scored would be enough to put them top of the table for the first time this season. They went four goals better than that in a champagne display of attacking hockey.

It started so brightly with a lead goal in the opening minute. Yasmin Pratt’s solo run and shot giving her team the perfect start as she easily beat Naomi McKnight in the Ards goal.

After that it was a very close match for most of the first half. Ards are best on the break and used that tactic well. Their equalizer was deserved and a fine goal it was. Amy Benson’s dangerous cross from the right too hot for Lorna Bateman in the Loreto goal. Sophie Kidd’s clever touch setting up the always dangerous Zara Malseed for her 9th goal of the campaign.

Just before the half-time break, Christina Hamill showed her International quality as she won the ball, squeezed past two defenders and slotted home to give Loreto a narrow lead – and from there to the end of the match the result was never in doubt.

Five wonderful second half goals gave Loreto their biggest win of the season: from a penalty corner, Sarah Torrans scored from a narrow angle to make it 3-1; Aoife Taaffe got number four after Rachel Kelly went close; it was 4-1 at ¾ time.

The final quarter only got better for the Rathfarnham team as Ards were stretched to breaking point. Three magnificent goals from open play showed the gulf in class between the top and bottom of the EYHL.
Christina Hamill set up Sarah Torrans for number 5; Jasmin Pratt’s delightful pass put Síofra O’Brien clean through for number 6; and Rachel Kelly rounded off this magnificent display with a very well taken goal.

Six different scorers for Loreto bodes well for their confidence as they start their second half of the campaign at Monkstown next week. For relegation-threatened Ards it could be a real battle to avoid the drop – but they have some fine attacking players in Amy Benson, Sophie Kidd and Zara Malseed – they just need to concentrate on their next match against Belfast Harlequins.

EYHL Women’s 1st Division

UCD 1-1 Catholic Inst
Loreto 7-1 Ards
Old Alex 2-1 Monkstown
Railway 2-3 Pegasus
Belfast H 0-2 Pembroke Wdrs

In the other games in EYHL Women’s 1st Division, the league leaders were held by the Students in Belfield so Loreto’s big win pushes them top of the table on goals scored with just two points separating the top three.
Railway Union and Pegasus played out a five-goal thriller in Park Avenue: Lily and Kate Lloyd getting the goals for Railway. But Katie McKee, Sophie McDowell and a Pamela Glass winner enough to take all 3 points north.
Old Alex had a narrow win over Monkstown and that keeps them very much in the title race, just five points back but with a game in hand.

EYHL Men’s 1st Division

Pembroke Wdrs 1-6 Monkstown
Banbridge 2-1 YMCA
Instonians 1-1 Three Rock Rvs
Lisnagarvey 7-3 Cookstown
Glenanne 4-3 Annadale

EYHL 2 – Round 5

Men (Pool A)
Cork Church of Ireland 5-2 Cork Harlequins
Railway Union 2-6 Corinthian

Men (Pool B)
Kilkeel 2-5 Bandon
UCD 6-2 South Antrim

Women (Pool A)
Muckross 0-2 UCC, Muckross
Ulster Elks 2-3 Avoca, UUJ

Women (Pool B)
Cork Harlequins 2-3 Queens
Corinthian 2-0 Galway