O’Halloran strikes gold as Loreto lament Daly denial
Electric Ireland Women’s Irish Hockey League final
Railway Union 1 (Julia O’Halloran)
Julia O’Halloran’s 52nd minute smash earned Railway Union their second national title but chaos 13 seconds from the full-time hooter is likely to prove the indelible memory in a competition which seems to annually throw up major controversy.
Extra-time looked the likely recourse when Nicci Daly roofed a sublime shot from a narrow angle on the right of the circle but a beautiful late reprieve was not Loreto’s to be had.
Just prior to her shot rippling the net, the umpire’s whistle peeped, citing the shot to be dangerous, though few others in the ground saw it that way.
The aftermath drew vehement complaints and a debate first with fellow umpire, the captains and a walk toward the technical bench, quickly reverted back to the umpires, as confusion reigned.
No recourse to change the decision was offered, leaving an uneasy feeling around the Comber road surrounds.
Railway coach Mick McKinnon felt for Loreto’s plight but was keen to focus on his side’s exploits, saying afterwards: “I’m so proud of our girls so I’d rather talk about them and I hope it doesn’t take the tarnish off what is a victory.
“I feel for Loreto but it’s not our doing. Two minutes before, we felt we should have had a corner. It is very harsh on Loreto with the timing but its swings and roundabouts with umpire’s decisions.”
The upshot is Railway will now represent Ireland in Europe next season, the first time the country will have a place in the revamped EuroHockey Club Champion’s Cup.
It continues their incredible season, unbeaten in all competitions in normal time and on for a rare IHL and Irish Senior Cup double.
The first half was tight with chances scarce with a couple of penalty corners each the main openings of note with defenders like Hannah Matthews and Isobel Joyce excelling.
The latter was only playing due to a late release from Irish cricket duties in England which were rained off, joining the panel at the last minute with her twin sister Cecelia.
And Cecelia was pivotal in the only goal, crashing a ball from just outside the 25 that was miscontrolled by a Loreto defender, falling perfectly for O’Halloran to clatter home.
It was a lead that was comfortably held until the late Alamo charge. There was a warning shot 80 seconds from time when a routine free-in found Lizzie Colvin unattended, her shot bouncing wide.
A repeating situation, though, saw Sarah Clarke pick out an unmarked Daly for a rare shot of quality before the whistle intervened.
A last second penalty corner went a begging, too – perhaps sympathetically awarded – for the Beaufort side, but the ultimately laurels went Railway’s way.
McKinnon was delighted to pick up the major silverware – the second time his side has won the IHL – citing the depth of panel as a defining factor.
“I’m so proud of our girls and I’d rather talk about them. There have been 20 to 22 who have contributed. We found out last night that Cecelia and Isobel were available and that meant two had to drop out of the squad. They took it brilliantly, contributed superbly and I can’t speak highly enough of the squad, not the team.
“There have been different performers at different stages. Grace O’Flanagan this weekend has been outstanding and I’d like to single her out. Ultimately, though, it’s a squad effort.”
Looking to their European odyssey, he is looking forward to a shot at playing the very best in the world.
“The girls are getting an opportunity to play the best players in the world; what more can you ask for? It’s a reward for their hard work and I really hope what happened at the end doesn’t tarnish that.
“We’re unbeaten in normal time – the only game we lost is on strokes – so it’s not like we fluked the final. But obviously I’ve a lot of time for Loreto, their players and coaching staff and hopefully they can bounce back and I wish them all the best next week.”
Railway Union: G O’Flanagan, I Joyce, S Walsh, J McDonnell, E Smyth, E Lucey, E Dolan, S Dooley, O Fox, A Speers, J O’Halloran Subs: K Dillon, H Jenkinson, K McKenna, C Joyce, Z Delany
Loreto: L Healy, A Meeke, N Daly, S McGirr, N Symmons, N Keegan, R Keegan, L Colvin, N Small, S Clarke, H Matthews Subs: C McKean, O O’Shea, H Mulcahy, S Evans, J McGirr
25 Responses to “O’Halloran strikes gold as Loreto lament Daly denial”
May 6, 2012 10:32 pm In my opinion says
I reckon umpires got it right.
May 6, 2012 11:25 pm Stickler says
May 7, 2012 7:12 am Believer says
Goal of the season. One of the best goals I have seen in ladies hockey and it gets disallowed. Clearly they where having a shot on goal with 13 secs left.
Congrats to all at railway fantastic achievement. Should be an interesting weekend next weekend
May 7, 2012 10:01 am hockey says
Fantastic goal.. but you can see why the umpire might have called it when you look at the railway player jumping out of the way
May 7, 2012 10:03 am hockeyfan says
It was an amazing goal by nicci daly. It’s an Irish international hitting the ball. It went so quick that I don’t think te umpire coulda got the whistle in her mouth and blown it. We need video umpires in IHL. If it was a mens game the goal woulda been allowed!
May 7, 2012 11:05 am supporter says
is it not dangerous for the loreto player in front of the goal? hard way for loreto to loose, next weekend will be very exciting if its to be a loreto railway final
May 7, 2012 12:30 pm Hockey Fan says
shanme for loreto – best goal in history of ihl
shame for railway – completely takes the gloss off their win.
better team lost unfairly
May 7, 2012 1:13 pm flo says
Very sad news from Australia. I’m always amazed at how players manage to avoid serious injuries from a hockey ball. What is the rule on danger? It look to me like 3 players had to duck duck out of the way on that shot (2 Railway, 1 Loreto).
May 7, 2012 1:33 pm peter says
of course thats a goal. cant blame attacker for who is in the way. her job is to hit the ball at the goal and score. she did. brilliant strike.
May 7, 2012 3:28 pm ingognito says
pause the video on 0:19. look at the angle she shoots from. look at the players in the way. both sides to this argument have a strong case. it’s a shame – cos loreto feel robbed and railway’s win looks tarnished. i wish loreto the best of luck next weekend, i wouldn’t fancy being queens and facing loreto’s backlash. i congratulate railway – not losing a single game in normal time all season long and having nothing to show for it wouldn’t seem fair either.
here’s hoping the senior cup weekend for the ladies (and the men) can carry on the excitement and interest that the olympic qualifiers started those few months ago!
May 7, 2012 3:30 pm in my opinion.. says
Hockey Fan how can you say better team lost unfairly? Railway held about 65% of the possession in my opinion and how more scoring opportunities than Loreto. I am not denying that Loreto are not a fantastic team but on the day Railway were better. So think that comment is a bit unfair…
May 7, 2012 4:32 pm Amazed says
Didnt see the game. Just watched video of goal there now. A cracking strike. As for ‘danger’ from my point of view absolutely none. No one appeared to be in the way of the ball and certainly from looking at the video nobody ‘ducked’ out of the path of the ball. Very bad luck. But these thing happen all the time. Part of the game
May 7, 2012 4:50 pm Mole says
I think the danger comes from the fact that if the people in the way of that shot hadn’t reacted as fast as they did we would be looking at either a Railway player not having any teeth left or a Loretto player only having the use of one eye, lying in a hospital bed with a fairly severe concussion.
May 7, 2012 6:14 pm Hockey Fan #1 says
are drag flicks dangerous? yep but they’re still allowed. Goal should have stood
May 7, 2012 6:40 pm @mole says
‘I think the danger comes from the fact that if the people in the way of that shot hadn’t reacted as fast as they did we would be looking at either a Railway player not having any teeth left or a Loretto player only having the use of one eye, lying in a hospital bed with a fairly severe concussion.’
What reaction? Look at the video. The ball does not appear to go near either a railway or Loreto player. I honestly dont see any danger there at all.
As above- drag flicks are fired in head height and a defender either has to react or take it in the face? Isnt that equally dangerous?
May 7, 2012 8:23 pm dajaffa says
If you pause the video at 20 seconds (at a certain point – it being pretty fast) you can clearly see that a Railway player has to duck to avoid getting hit in the head so I don’t see how people have said that it wasn’t dangerous.
In my opinion a shot on target is pretty much fair game though and it should have stood – though I’d say if it had struck a player a free out would have been awarded as the angle was so tight it’d have been difficult to judge whether or not it was on target.
May 7, 2012 8:33 pm flo says
can we ask ray? to me this is not like defending a drag flick because the players know what is coming. Also this was a packed D in this case and nobody would have expected her to undercut the ball from that position.
There are definitely two ways of looking at this.
May 7, 2012 11:19 pm Rules are Rules says
A shot on target is a goal! it ended up in the back of the net as a result of the best shot all season, if this was in mens hockey it would have been the goal of the year, but as normal women’s hockey seem to have a different rule book as to what is or isn’t dangerous!
VERY unlucky for loreto, who knows what would have happened in extra time..?
Bit congrats to railway a very exciting ISC lies ahead!
May 8, 2012 12:00 am blimp says
@Flo, you should expect anything/everything to possibly happen and prepare for it. It’s not that they know what’s coming, it’s whether they choose to stand in a dangerous position versus being caught out.
The rule is one that applies to shots at goal and open play.. “A ball is considered dangerous when it causes legitimate evasive action by players.”
But then if a player is intentionally putting themselves in a position that could lead to dangerous play, then there should be no ruling on danger. This is why dragflicks at post players aren’t dangerous.
It should be judged on whether the player had no ability to get out of the way, or had the option but chose to stand there. One RU player definitely chose to stand between the Loreto player and the goal. The second, well I dont think she actually even reacted that much, there was a Loreto player between her and the path of the ball and she was already crouched so didn’t really duck.
Thought it was a cracking goal, and think in these situations it should be ruled in favour of the attacking team as I doubt RU would have complained at all if this goal had have been allowed.
May 8, 2012 9:49 am Nothing like good auld Debate says
The player undercut the ball (zero control) from an acute angle through 3 players(one of whom reacted to get out of the way), they were not standing in the goal mouth preparing to face a drag flick.
May 8, 2012 11:31 am blimp says
Zero control? You’re telling us that an Irish international has zero control over where she hits the ball? That sort of shot doesn’t happen by accident.
May 8, 2012 6:00 pm interested says
Did not see/attend game.Appreciate the brief video.Who blew? Did 3.20 tweet come after discussion with umpires;appears to indicate whistle blown on danger basis before shot hit net.Interesting to note earlier tweets 2.52/2.53/2.55/2.56/2,57/3.00.
May 9, 2012 10:44 am Stephen Findlater says
@interested – I don’t have the exact timings of the twitter updates to hand. The initial suggestions with the other journos was that there was some sort of technical foul, i.e. a debate over whether the ball being not moved five before going into the circle as the original free appeared to occur a metre or two inside the 25. However, the replays ruled that out as the free ended up being taken outside the 25.
The danger ruling was suggested to me after posting a number of the tweets and was not originally considered by myself or the other people around me. Spectators at that end of the field said that the whistle had gone whilst the ball traveling into the goal but just before it crossed the line. I couldn’t hear the whistle from where I was standing so can’t confirm this but appears to be the consensus.
Hope this clears up my take on events.
May 9, 2012 10:22 pm han the sash says
firstly, terrific stuff to be able to have video coverage available of such a contentious incident.
there are great skills on show in the video clips from last weekend which is great for the game.
this particular incident highlights a facet of the game that in my opinion is not clear in any way and this will not be an isolated case where there is vast indecision and vague interpretation from the umpires on this issue.
just one question though, ray in one piece on this site said something to the effect of “umpires should never penalise skill”. surely this is what the umpires did in this instance?
May 10, 2012 4:07 pm about time says
Looking at the clip, the umpire blew as soon as the ball left the ground, she was looking for danger or leading to danger, hindsight is a wonderful thing, wouldn’t it be great if we were all so perfect that we did not make mistakes, but it happens, no goal could have been awarded because the whistle was blown BEFORE the ball crossed the line, maybe IHUA will take this on board and help and train our umpires.
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