UCC Women’s Hockey reach Intervaristy Final
While the Irish Women’s Hockey grabbed all the headlines this weekend, it was a busy weekend on the colleges hockey scene as St Andrews played host to the 2019 Hockey Intervarsities.
On Friday evening, the UCC women’s team faced off against UL. Two early goals by Aebhfinn Burke and Lauren Ryan were followed by a third just before half time. A super ball worked in from the baseline by Saoirse Griffin to set up Aoife Collins for UCC’s third.
UCC continued where they left off, a superb team goal led to Rebecca Kingston working the ball in for Collins to touch the ball home. Jenny Clein played a superb ball into Muireann Scanlon at the top of the circle, a neat lay off was finished off by Ryan. It wasn’t long before Ryan completed her hat-trick, getting a superb touch on a rocket pass from Emma Cripps. Scanlon and Christina Dring add to the scoring to complete the 8-0 route to set UCC on their way.
On Saturday, UCC faced NUIG, and once again started brightly. UCC were made wait for their opening goal, as NUIG defended superbly in the opening exchanges. However, Clein cleverly won a ball in midfield, playing it into the path of Ryan who continued her scoring form by claiming the opening goal. NUIG determined to get back on level terms, however, centre back pair of Saoirse O’Leary and Cripps were on hand to deny the equaliser. Moments later is was Cripps to the rescue, as she crucially cleared the ball off the line. Into the second half and a moment lapse in concentration in front of goal allowed NUIG to equalise. However, it was UCC who kept pushing forward for the winner. Aoibhinn Martin smashed a reverse in from the top of the D but it was well saved by the inform NUIG keeper.
It was end to end stuff into the final quarter, Collins had a goal disallowed at one end while Hannah Humphries made an unbelievable stick save at the other end. A series of corners for UCC finally enabled UCC to take the lead once again. This time Collins turned provider for Dring. NUIG had one last throw of the dice in the dying moments but once again Humphries denied the Galwegians.
Sunday morning saw UCC play their final group game against University of Ulster. A vital game, having fallen at this stage in recent years, a result would see UCC through the Cup Final. UCC continued their blistering form in the competition with goals from Ryan, Scanlon and Dring.
UCC faced off against a strong UCD side in the Cup Final. Starting positively UCC took the lead when Dring’s shot found the bottom corner. Defensively, UCC stood strong against UCD’s constant pressure. Cripps putting in some crucial tackles, Humphries denying a certain goal with her pads and O’Leary clearing off the line. The pressure finally broke with UCD scoring two to go into the break with a narrow lead. Into the second half, and despite a superb performance from UCC, they couldn’t break down the UCD defence. Final score to UCD being 4-1.
UCC Hockey Development officer, Paudie Hartnett “we’re immensely proud of the girls this weekend. The performances have been exemplary and they’re a pleasure to work with. I’ve no doubt they’ll be back and will continue to push for silverware.”
Meanwhile the men’s Hockey team had mixed results in their Intervarsities, however a crucial 3-0 win over Trinity saw them through the semi finals and therefore securing a place in 2020 Intervarsities.