Women’s Division One/Two playoff
North Kildare 1 (Michelle Spillane) Three Rock Ladies 0
Michelle Spillane’s first half penalty stroke handed North Kildare a precious, first-ever place in Leinster women’s division one as they fought off a second half onslaught from Three Rock Ladies at Park Avenue on Wednesday night.
It came in the aftermath of her side’s only penalty corner as Spillane’s corner shot hit a foot en route to goal. Indeed, some might have argued justice as the initial move had seen the Kilcock side round Barbara Snow only for a foot to block the shot on the left of the circle. Joanne O’Reilly proved a danger throughout the first half, too, drawing an excellent sliding save from Snow.
But the second period was all about a fine defensive effort, keeping out seven penalty corners while Ita McMahon hit the outside of the goal and the right post from close range while Maeve Weld was superb between the posts.
North Kildare, however, held firm for the biggest result in the league history. In doing so they reversed a playoff loss to Three Rock a year ago after a fine showing in their first year in division two.
That time, the prize was a playoff date against Corinthian before Bray’s withdrawal from the top tier last September actually meant TRL’s win earned promotion. This time, though, a third place finish in division two showed plenty of momentum and gave the side confidence for the big date.
Speaking afterwards, skipper O’Reilly – a Leinster Junior interpro in the past couple of seasons – expressed her joy with the realisation of her side’s achievement in the wake of major developments at The Maws.
“It’s just unbelievable,” she told the Hook. “We just missed out on a playoff to Three Rock last season and they got up in the end. But we fought hard again this year and are thrilled to have taken the chance.
“There are a lot of clubs who stay junior for a long time but we got our new pitch and our playing numbers our going up. We’ve a team full of kids coming through and we’re just thrilled to get into division one
“About eight or nine of us have been here all the way through but we are delighted since we got the pitch, we have linked with the local schools and five or six U-18s have come in and that has been huge to pushing us forward.
“It was a massive defensive performance in the second half. We reckon we have one of the best keepers going – Maeve has been absolutely superb. Our defensive effort is a lot to do with her so we’re thrilled. Maybe we lost our discipline at times but we have such a solid back-line; they’ve been there all season and that really stood to us.”
12 Responses to “North Kildare earn first ever div one place”
April 19, 2012 9:42 am Del says
Congratulations to North Kildare. The ladies have been working really hard for the last few years and deserve this success.
Could luck next year.
April 19, 2012 1:58 pm taboos says
Congrats North Kildare,
Absolutely fantastic result. Really good for the game.
Hard Luck TRR. I’m sure you’ll be back in no time.
April 19, 2012 9:27 pm frances oreilly says
Well done Joanne and the team.onward and upward from here.
April 20, 2012 8:06 am Shocked says
As a player who has played against both TRR1s and NK1s this year I have to say I was shocked to hear that NK won in the playoffs. From what I saw on those days TRR were the superior team. I think NK will really struggle next year in div 1.
April 20, 2012 10:52 am Queso says
Congratulations to NK and commiserations to TRR.
Perhaps there might be a third showdown next season too!!!
April 20, 2012 2:40 pm john stevens says
Will the Doom & Gloom merchants jog on,
Congrats North Kildare on your achievement,
April 20, 2012 9:29 pm The White Pele says
Congrats to North Kildare, further proof that hockey is alive and well outside of Dublin. Prove the doubters wrong and stay up next season! Best of luck.
April 21, 2012 7:52 am barry says
Fantastic achievement by the girls, Nick and Vinny. Fully deserved despite what rubbish Shocked is talking, obviously some hidden bitterness involved. Onwards and upwards for the ladies in North Kildare, fully deserved
April 21, 2012 9:30 am Botanic says
Congratulations and well done to all in North Kildare
April 21, 2012 12:49 pm Great Achievement says
I’m somewhat on the fence on this one. Absolutely delighted for North Kildare & congrats on a huge achievement for the club. However, having played them for the last few years in division 2, I do think they are going to need to develop their game quite drastically to have any hope of staying up next year. There “hit & hope” style of play will be eaten up when they come up against the top teams.
Is does lead me to question how a team that cannot win division 2, can get promoted to division 1? It doesn’t make much sense to be honest especially when they finished 14 points behind league winners Loreto. I understand that there has to be some way for promotion/relegations to occur between division1 & 2 but I just don’t know how this helps the game?
I absolutely don’t want to take anything away from North Kildare’s achievement but the structure kind of baffles me……
April 21, 2012 12:59 pm Tom says
Congrats to Nth Kildare. Hopefully restructure of Division 2 and beyond can come about so all first teams have a pathway to Div 1 hockey. Well done.
April 23, 2012 1:47 pm Ireland says
I’m amazed at the number of knockers on here. Well sone to NK & best of luck for next season.
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