Cork C of I, Clonakilty and Newry win big on national stage

Women’s Irish Hockey Trophy final
Cork C of I 8 (Amy Roberts 3, Ali O’Regan 2, Kate Humphreys, Emma Barber, Louise Egan) North Down 1 (Lauren Brown)

The irrepressible Ali O’Regan and Amy Roberts saw Cork C of I romp to the women’s Irish Hockey Trophy for the first time at Belfield, blitzing North Down. Their run to the final was a breathtaking one, never once enjoying home advantage as they won at Muckross, Avoca, NUIG and Rathgar prior to this final date.

O’Regan got them up and running with a smart finish having initially been slowed up a stick tackle. Nonetheless, she shifted right of the out-rushing goalkeeper and clipped home. Lauren Brown levelled within a minute from her side’s first penalty corner, a clever move switched to the left before being worked to the right post for a tidy tap-in.

Roberts, though, popped home twice in as many minutes just before the break to swing the game the Cork side’s way. The first came via a penalty corner follow-up before she made it 3-1 at the break with a close range scrambled effort.

Their goals came in waves as two more goals came midway through the second half within a 100-second spell with Kate Humphreys nipping in to deflect Emma Barber’s corner shot. O’Regan got her second before creating two more in the closing phases. Louise Egan had finished off Mollie O’Mahony’s cross for the sixth goal before O’Regan cut loose down the right.

Her cross-shot looked bound for the bottom corner but Roberts made sure with a close range touch. O’Regan then raced clear of the defence before picking out Barber at the left post for the eighth goal with two minutes to go.

It was C of I’s first appearance in a national cup final since the 1999 Irish Junior Cup final when they were undone by Our Lady’s.

Cork C of I: K Murphy, E Barber, A O’Regan, O Crowley, J Barry, L Egan, A Roberts, K Humphreys, E Rumley, P Wolfe, C Hickey, S James, M Mahony, L Buttimer, J Coyne, E Coyne
North Down: C McKee, B Brittain, L Brown, B Moles, S Lewis, S White, N Adamson, L Clarke, J Hoey, R McBride, R Lucas, P Johnston, N Morton, R Mercer, R Mornin, R Hutchinson, A Trimble, R Mitchell-Cram
Umpires: F Davitt, I McNeil 

Women’s Irish Hockey Challenge
Botanic 0 Clonakilty 0, Clonakilty win 5-4 on penalties

Just three years since formation, Clonakilty won their maiden national title in dramatic fashion. In a nerve-shredding penalty shoot-out, Catherine McCarthy shot home the killer blow before Debbie Hurley saved for the fourth time low down in the eighth round of penalties.

The first half was a slightly ragged affair with both sides battling hard but unable to forge too many clear-cut chances. The second was more open with Clonakilty making most if the running with Hilary Chapple’s mazy runs from left midfield the catalyst.

Sweeper Gillian McAuliffe took one Freda Buttimer shot off the line while the west Cork outfit also dinged the post in a concerted forward push. Extra-time, though, was owned by Botanic with Aoife Nolan tearing forward at pace at regular intervals.

Twice in quick succession they though they had broken the deadlock two minutes into silver goal as Nolan and Maeve Madigan poked home from close range. Both times, their efforts were ruled out as the whistle blew for penalty corners in the scoring motion.

The Glasnevin club also had a corner saved on the final hooter as a combination of Hurley and Lisa Kemp combined to scramble the ball clear, sending the tie to strokes in which Clonakilty ultimately prevailed.

Botanic: U Farrelly, N Barry, A Nolan, M Madigan, A Parnell, I Kelly, N Fox, G McAuliffe, C Dowling, L Lehane, C Parnell, H Lynch, T Ryan, M Parnell, L McClean
Clonakilty: D Hurley, B Applebe, L Houlihan, L Kemp, C O’Regan, N O’Donovan, F Buttimer, S Forristal, J Brennan, P Maloney, K Jennings, H Chapple, S O’Brien, C McCarthy, E Helen, C Sexton
Umpires: A Robinson, C Oliphant

Men’s Irish Hockey Trophy final
Bandon 2 (Mark Kingston, Julius Haendel) Newry 4 (Colin McKnight, David Andr;ws, Kyle McCombe, Richard Nummy)

Newry completed a perfect season with their third title of the season, adding the Irish Hockey Trophy to the Linden Cup and Ulster Senior One crown they landed already this term. They bounced back from an early Bandon goal, artfully created by David Jennings and finished with a deft touch by Mark Kingston.

Colin McKnight’s touch at corner time and David Andrews rebound from a top drawer Ian Hosford save swapped the lead before half-time. Kyle McCombe extended the lead out to 3-1 but Bandon got a lifeline with six minutes to go when Julius Haendel combined with Jennings to snatch their second goal.

But any hopes of a stunning comeback were dashed when Richard Nummy killed the tie with two minutes to go to become the fifth different Ulster side to win the competition in its six year history.

Bandon: I Hosford, C Wood, M Jennings, C Kingston, N Martin, B Keoghan- O’Keeffe, G Kingston, M Deane, D Smith, M Beamish, A Smith, J Haendel, R Roycroft, D Jennings, A Beamish, M Lee, M Kingston, H Connell
Newry Olympic: R Hanlon, N Liggett, A Foster, N McKnight, D England, R Irwin, C Henning, R Nummy, J Greer, J Taylor, A Gilmer, C McKnight, N Davenport, D Andrews, K McCombe, J Glass
Umpires: P Henchey, M Coombes

Partners of The Hook