Loreto were denied a place in the IHL Finals weekend on goal-difference despite beating rivals Hermes in Belfield over the weekend. The girls needed to deny Hermes a loosing bonus point to qualify ahead of them but were dragged back to 2-2 in the final quarter. Loreto then went ahead through Nikki Symmon’s corner but they needed two goals and some brave Hermes defending kept them out at the end.
Official Match Report:
Hermes 2 Loreto 3
An end to end encounter at Belfield its Hermes who progress to the semi-finals of the IHL for their third
consective year courtesy of a superior goal difference with 3 teams tied on 12 points. The first quarter was played at a very high tempo and dominated by Loreto with McKean and Keegan leading from the front but at the hooter Hermes would be the happier as the game remained scoreless.
Loreto took the lead in the 19 minute when Sarah Barnwell slid in on the far post to put her side 1 up. This seemed to spur Hermes on with O Flanagan and Jacob both denied by good saves from Harkin in the Loreto goal. Loreto extended their lead when from their 3rd PC a Symmons drag got a nick off a Hermes defenders stick to give Gray no chance and send Loreto 2 up. It did not take long for Hermes to respond and in the 32nd minute Ane Connery scored a classy when she jinked her way past numerous defenders and smashed the ball home.
Half time 1-2
The third quarter remainded scoreless with Gray keeping her side in the game with super saves. Hermes were back level when O Flanagan scored with a rasping strike from the top of the D for two a piece. Loreto now needed to score twice as they had to deny Hermes a losing bonus point. They threw everything into attack and were rewarded in the 67 minute when from another PC Symmons scored from a low drag to leave the Hermes supporters a very nervy last 2 minutes.
With seconds to go Loreto were awared a dubious PC but Hermes’ Jacob blocked the effort and cleared to safety and the final whistle. Hermes qualify as runners up in this pool of death and will now play Railway Union in a repeat of last years IHL semi-finals.