Loreto 1 Old Alex 1, IHL October 18th 2009
The conditions were perfect for the game and it started with end to end hockey with both teams having short periods of attack followed by periods of defensive play. Alex won a short corner 10 minutes into the game, which yielded a superb strike from Lucy Cotter that was saved by Loreto goalkeeper Louisa Healy.
Loreto went on the counter attack immediately and a reverse stick shot from Nikki Keegan forced a save from the Alex goalkeeper, Pamela Smithwick. Three minutes into the second quarter Loreto won a short corner from which Hannah Matthews had a strong shot on goal, which was saved again by the Alex keeper Smithwick. Alex went on the counter attack and Louisa Healy left her goal to come out to clear an incoming ball.
Loreto went on the attack from the tip off in the second half, and were stopped in their tracks by a superb tackle from Rachel Griffith just inside the circle. Loreto continued their attacking form with a run down the line from Cathy McKean who crossed a ball into Ali Meeke, which was then cleared wide by the Alex goalkeeper. After the Alex free out the ball came to Loreto’s Nikki Symmons who played a beautiful aerial ball down to Cathy McKean, who was stopped in her tracks by a solid tackle from Alex captain Ann-Marie Cullen. Loreto continued in attacking mode with further shots on goal from Cathy McKean and Catriona Tipping, but neither were converted to goals.
The final quarter started with an attacking movement from Loreto, which resulted in a shot on goal from Cathy McKean saved by Pamela Smighwick once again. Alex went on the counter attack, Barbara Fitzgerald won a short corner for Alex, which was then converted into a well worked goal by Nicola Gray. Alex looked threatening once again when a Loreto free was intercepted by Alex player Danielle Costigan, but Loreto managed to clear the ball up the field. Loreto then went on the attack through a lovely run down the wing by Caitriona Tipping. Loreto had two long corners before they were awarded a short corner. The short corner hit an Alex foot and a second corner was awarded. It went to the top of the circle for a beautiful strike from Hannah Matthews, which was then deflected into the goal by Cathy McKean. Loreto kept the pressure on for the final few minutes of the game until it ended 1 – 1.
At half time the two team mascots had a sumo match. The Loreto mascot “Lucy the Lioness” was just outdone by the victorious Alex Lioness in the final round.
Prior to the game the two club presidents, Fiona for Alex and Cara for Loreto fought a keenly contested sumo wrestling competition. The result was inconclusive but footage is now available here so judge for yourselves!