Irish Hockey League, Ladies 1sts news → IHL bonus point keeps Ladies 1sts in the hunt
Loreto Hockey Club 4 – UCC 1
Pool A, Irish Hockey League
Going into the tie nothing separated the sides on paper each claiming a win and a loss in the IHL pool rounds thus far, making the points all the more crucial. Within the first minute of the opening quarter Loreto had earned their first PC. The strike went wide of the posts, a pattern that would continue throughout the match.
Excellent stickwork from UCC Captain Ali O’Regan was dealt with by superb tackling from Loreto’s Sarah O’Meara. Equally Hannah Matthews & Aisling Campion were strong in defence for the hosts. Despite a second PC for Loreto it was 0-0 when the hooter sounded for the break. Play in the 2nd quarter was dominated in midfield. Loreto had to cope with the temporary loss of Nicci Daly who was sin-binned for a bad tackle. Four further PCs followed for Loreto but they failed to take advantage of this and the sides entered halftime goalless.
The 3rd & 4th quarters were certainly more energetic & the up-tempo pace led to a goalfest particularly compared to the first half. Thirty seconds into the half Loreto were penetrating the circle. The UCC keeper Zoe Cremins dealt well with strikes from Cathy McKean & Niamh Small who almost chipped it over Cremin’s pads. This translated to another PC and it seemed it was lucky number 7 for Loreto. Nikki Symmons switched the ball right to Ali Meeke at the top of the circle who then switched it back with Symmons popping it in the net. UCC responded quickly putting the pressure on the Loreto defence. After a series of rebounded shots a goal from O’Regan came to fruition for the Munster club making 1-1 entering the final quarter.
The 4th quarter saw Nicci Daly entertaining the home crowd with a reverse chip at goal but keeper Cremins saved well. UCC’s Miriam Crowley caused trouble for Loreto linking well with O’Regan. Nine minutes in Loreto’s Sinead McGirr earned the ball and relayed it to McKean at the top of the circle. The ball then fell to Catriona Tipping who hammered the ball into the goal making it 2-1 in Loreto’s favour. The visitor’s Olivia Roycroft made some strong tackles in defence but Loreto yet again earned another PC to add to their tally. This time Symmon’s trademark drag flick increased their goal count. A minute later it was 4-1 when all be it a scrappy goal was scored by Nikki Keegan. Indeed the final hooter sounded & Loreto will be delighted with the final scoreline earning the valuable bonus point for the win by 3 goals.
Photos courtesy of Neil Armstrong. More info on the Irish Hockey League here
Irish Hockey League 2010/2011