Gray and McGilp efforts combine to hand UCD maiden Leinster league crown
Women’s Leinster Division One
Old Alexandra 0 UCD 1 (Nicola Gray);
Railway Union 2 (Zara Delany, Julia O’Halloran) Hermes 2 (Sarah Patton, Caitriona McGilp) The combination of Nicola Gray’s penalty corner slap-shot and former Belfielder Caitriona McGilp’s late, late goal for Hermes secured UCD their first ever Leinster division one title by the narrowest of margins.
They took the title by virtue of more wins in the season, the primary recourse in the case of a tie on points. Needing a result to make Railway’s late game against Hermes live, Johnny Harte’s side fulfilled their half of the bargain with a narrow 1-0 win, an almost carbon copy of their home success against Old Alex.
As in that tie in February, Gray went for a sweep shot in search of a deflection but it actually made it’s way unhindered into the backboard for a 41st minute lead. Despite further chances, two gilt-edged ones falling to Leah Ewart, to make it more relaxed closing, UCD held on for the win.
Harte said afterwards “at least we asked the question of Railway. It must be hard to play under that pressure.” And so it proved as the Park Avenue outfit had to win to take their third league crown and while they looked in decent shape to do just that, they never got an all-important two-goal wedge and were sprung late on by Hermes.
The Booterstown side started well, carving out three good chances before Railway got a grip on the game, countering to score a classy goal, clinically passing their way through the circle to eliminate Mary Goode with Zara Delany on hand to pop home.
But Aoife Harte did her husband a huge favour when she created the first equaliser, stealing the ball on halfway and driving into the circle to lay on for Sarah Patton to score at the right post, the teenager’s first senior goal, in the 20th minute.
Julia O’Halloran restored the lead before the interval, though, when Kate Lloyd got her eyes up well to pick a classy pass to the Cork woman whose neat receive pulled the ball across her body to commit Goode and finish well.
Railway seemed to be reasonably in control but a yellow card set them off kilter in the closing quarter and Hermes earned a corner which found its way to McGilp who further enhanced her place as a College heroine, slapping home on the rebound, setting off euphoric celebrations from the watching UCD players. The Park Avenue side piled on the pressure, drawing one brilliant save from Goode but Hermes held on to hand the students the title.
Harte said afterwards that his side has not truly “ignited” yet this term but “are a good bunch of players, playing well. They make the odd mistake or two but they are students and are learning.”
It adds to the Jacqui Potter Cup won a fortnight earlier, making it a memorable few weeks heading into the final phases of the IHL.
Their title challenge looked dead in the water in January when they lost in successive weeks to Railway and Loreto but they responded with seven successive wins, enough in the end to clinch the title.
Glenanne 3 (Aoife Dalton, Cathy Brock, Audrey McCormack) TRL 1 (Ita McMahon)
Glenanne notched a strong win over Three Rock Ladies to end their league campaign on a high as they got the better of a Three Rock Ladies side who now turn their eyes to a playoff date on Wednesday, April 18 against North Kildare. Former TRL player Aoife Dalton got the first from a corner deflection while Audrey McCormack made it 2-0 when she burst into the circle and rounded the goalkeeper. Ita McMahon pulled one back with her first goal in a Three Rock jersey in the 45th minute but Cathy Brock’s corner rebound five minutes later closed out the win.
Loreto 5 (Nikki Keegan 2, Niamh Small, Jessica McGirr, Hayley Mulcahy) Trinity 0
Loreto closed out their Leinster campaign in style with a comfortable victory over a Trinity side who will be aiming to bounce back in time for the Irish Senior Cup quarter-finals. Niamh Small started the run with a reverse from Cathy McKean’s assist. Jessica McGirr has been a rich source of goals of late and the Loreto Beaufort schoolgirl nabbed her eighth of the campaign with the final touch from an excellent team move, worked from left back up to the front line where Nikki Keegan laid on for McGirr to finish from close range. Nikki Keegan’s back post finish made it three early in the second half, Hayley Mulcahy got her first senior goal from a corner while Keegan closed out the win.
Pembroke 1 (Emma Kielthy) Corinthian 0
31 Responses to “Gray and McGilp efforts combine to hand UCD maiden Leinster league crown”
April 2, 2012 10:36 am Observer says
Railway completed their campaign not losing a match, scoring more goals than anyone else and having a superior goal difference than anyone else that and that because UCD (who lost 2 matches) had more wins that they are deemed champions. Seems extremely harsh to this hockey fan.
Why is it different for the ladies section of the Leinster Branch. Are we not governed under a single body now?
What is the problem with a playoff. If posts on other blog items are anything to go by then surely the LB could have got a good crowd to a big game and garnered some much needed funds.
April 2, 2012 11:01 am Dr. Doolite says
There does need to be harmonisation of rules between ladies section and mens section. Ladies section rules and registrations are far too complex
April 2, 2012 11:47 am Helen says
There is no point in complaining about it now, both teams knew what they had to do to win the league, both were aware of the rules… Railway needed a win and couldn’t produce it, UCD might have been fortunate but they did what they had to do and railway didn’t.
Ps. Stephen are you going to do a piece on the lower division roundups?
Would be great to see
April 2, 2012 12:00 pm Stephen Findlater says
@Helen – yes, I’ve started the process on this but am welcoming all details to be sent on in the meantime! If you would like to contribute, send on your seasonal highlights to email@example.com !!
April 2, 2012 12:26 pm Observer says
Not a Railway fan or even a ladies hockey fan and Not complaining, Just wondering. Your absolutely right, but if no one highlights it will remain in place for another year (or even more)
April 2, 2012 12:51 pm Observant says
I completely agree with @observer, matches won is not the right method for determining league position between teams on equal points. At least goal difference incentivises high scoring wins and entertaining hockey, although a play-off would be the ideal scenario. By the way UCD are listed in second place on your league table, which is presumably set up to rank teams based on goal difference.
April 2, 2012 1:01 pm Stephen Findlater says
@observant – yup, the programme I use ranks by goal difference and I have not yet worked out how to manually over-ride this. I understand this is the same in women’s division six where Navan should be top on the wins basis but lie second on goal difference. Will hopefully have a solution to this soon.
April 2, 2012 8:26 pm hockey fan says
I also agree with Observant – would the results between the tied teams not be taken into account before goal difference and then games won – seems ridiculous that a team that has not been beaten in the league, has a superior goal difference and the least amount of goals conceded should not come out on top.
April 2, 2012 10:53 pm on the fence says
this rule re games won has existed since the times when there were 2 points for a win. Now teams get a double bonused for winning – they get 3 points and the deciding vote. It is unfair and has been a problem in the past to many clubs. The problem is at this stage in the season people are tired and no one can be bothered to change it to goal difference at the agm – so it goes on .. well done to UCD!
April 3, 2012 8:44 am Confused says
I would have thought that the alignment of rules and registrations would have been one of the first things to sort out when the long drawn out merger between the mens and ladies sections finally happened
April 3, 2012 9:37 am blimp says
UCD won more games, therefore on more occasions they were better than their opponents.
A win is a win, by 1 goal or 10 it is 3 points. Goal difference is fairly irrelevant. At the end of the day you have to be the best team on the pitch and leave with the W.
This could encourage top teams that are drawing a match to pull the keeper at the end, risk losing but push to win. Just wondering, how late was Hermes’ equaliser? Did RU pull the keeper and go for the win?
April 3, 2012 9:52 am collegeforthewin!!! says
everyone knew the rules, ucd did what they had to do, RU didn’t not, that simple!
April 3, 2012 10:53 am A says
When is the playoff for the Division 1 spot between TRL and North Kildare?
April 3, 2012 11:23 am John Cryer says
UCD won more games than railway – thats all that matters
Hence they are champions !
April 3, 2012 11:31 am Watcher says
I don’t think anyone is really arguing that UCD are champions – and deserved ones too – but the question seems to be to ask whether a playoff might be a better way to decide the outcome in future years.
I understand the LHA are trying to streamline rules to match each other in most cases and I think the playoff route is probably the best one here as many random factors can lead to sides being level on points at the end of a season; whether more wins or better goal difference is more important is a subjective judgement with your argument most of the time falling on the side which favours your own team.
Playoff or head to head at least offers direct comparison over who is the better side. Plus it adds a nice dramatic day out for players/supporters and the LHA which would be great to promote the sport.
April 3, 2012 11:33 am Stephen Findlater says
@A – as mentioned above in the text, April 18 is the date for the playoff – time and venue are to be confirmed in due course.
April 3, 2012 1:41 pm re: blimp says
I don’t think anyone is disputing the outcome. everyone was aware of the situation throughout the situation. I don’t think there is a need to be defensive of UCD.
I do think that your argument on having more wins, being better than your opponent on more occasions is flawed, surely by this reasoning RU were never worse than any opponent this league campaign? meaning UCD were?
Goal difference should make a difference, it goes to show how dominant a team can be, at both ends of the pitch. I just had a glance at the table and see that RU have scored more and conceded less than any other team.
Head to head with UCD they have a win and a draw. Meaning UCD have a loss and a draw. does this not mean that RU are better than UCD over the two games they played?
April 3, 2012 9:32 pm Proper education says
“RU didn’t not, that simple”
April 3, 2012 9:44 pm More losses says
More wins is a stupid decider, because it is completely outdated.
As mentioned it was used with a different points system (2 and 1). So it suggested that a win and a loss is better than two draws, somewhat understandable.
But with a 3 and 1 system, this deciding method suggests a win and two losses is better than three draws, which is absurd.
Head to head record or playoff the fairest way surely.
April 3, 2012 10:45 pm blimp says
I’m not on the defensive for UCD, but it is clear people are disputing the outcome. Not so much that RU lost and UCD won, but the rules used to determine it.
Head to Head, yes RU were better the UCD in my way of thinking. Over the 18 league games? No. RU were never worse, but not better on enough occasions.
Some teams are simply better at scoring loads of goals against weaker teams. Scorelines don’t always reflect the dominance of a team. Winning is the most important thing in sport and that should be encouraged.
Not meaning to take anything away from RU, my opinion would remain the same regardless of the teams involved. Just saying why I think winning is more important than not losing and winning is more important than goal difference.
April 3, 2012 10:57 pm Fair Play says
Very soon there will be a meeting between the clubs and the ladies committee of the LHA in relation to how things went this year – this is your chance to hightlight what you feel is not right and suggest how it can be improved!!
April 3, 2012 10:58 pm I have a question: says
does anyone from the dim and distant past know where the ladies section decided on how a team win a league, is this an EHF or FIH rule????
April 4, 2012 9:04 am hockeyhockey says
can people not just say congratulations to UCD for winning the league for the first time and leave it at that? Both teams knew what they had to do. UCD did their bit but Railway just couldn’t on the day. Yes they were unbeaten during the season but they drew more games than UCD did. I’d prefer to see two teams put everything forward for the win in the last 2 minutes than play it out for the draw. I would definately prefer to see that sort of match than one team hammering a ‘lesser team’ 9 0.
April 4, 2012 2:26 pm Observer says
Just to be absolutely clear. What UCD have done this year is a huge achievement and I unreservedly congratulate them on winning the league for the first time. To pull a whole new squad of players together and come out on top is a tribute to the team and indeed their coach.
My intention here was not to take away from that achievement but merely to highlight what I believe to be a flawed system for deciding a full year’s effort.
I hope it results in more than just a blog discussion and that the rules governing leagues across the LHA for men and ladies are harmonised for future campaigns.
April 4, 2012 2:49 pm flawed? says
I wonder if railway had won the league in the same manner that UCD has, would there be so many comments and remarks toward the “flawed” system?
April 4, 2012 5:59 pm @Proper Education says
April 4, 2012 6:07 pm conTRINgent says
everyone knew the rules, ucd did what they had to do, RU didn’t not, that simple!
April 5, 2012 1:12 pm UCD Hata says
Congrats UCD, if only you could play for the lads team too
April 5, 2012 10:24 pm Stickler says
If railway had of won the game this argument would be null and void. you can complain till the cows come home, But UCD are the league winners. And I will say congratulations to them. And i believe railway should be doing so as well. UCD did not make these rules, they played the league the way it should be played. and came out on top. whether or not these rules should change or not is irrelevant until all of the above go to the AGM and request a change. Well done UCD. you deserve the congratulations from other clubs for coming out as the best team in Leinster, not all this ridicule. And hard luck to Railway, couldnt of been any more down to the wire, made for a great campaign.
April 6, 2012 8:20 am fair play says
Cannot believe that there are so many comments on this.NOBODY ,NOBODY, NOBODY is disputing that UCD are wordy winners this year. They won the cup aswell. The point was made to highlight that if two teams nomatter WHO they are have the same amount of points at the end of a season means that they are equally as good as each other and that a better way to decide who wins the league should be looked at, thats all. In my opinion a playoff is the only answer as the league is long enough and a LOT of hard work goes into it. If it was the other way around and UCD lost out to their first league title because of the rules that are in place now and the other team won one more match than them would have been heartbreaking and thank God for them it was’nt. The league was won fair and square this year and congrats to UCD on doing so and having a great season.
There are always two sides to anything and you can look at them without thinging that someone is trying to take something away from you. The leinster branch are the people who can change this situation from every happening again. Maybe enough has been said.
UCD LEAGUE WINNERS 2011/12 congradulations and well done,very well deserved. I’m sure it won’t be your last.
April 6, 2012 8:47 am Railway Manager says
Congratulations to UCD. It’s great to see a college team with so much talent and ability. It also says something about the competitiveness of the league that it is decided on the last match!
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