Railway still on track after Barnett penalty heroics

Women’s Irish Hockey League, semi-finals
Railway Union 1 (Alex Speers) Pegasus 1 (Vanessa Surgeoner), Railway win 4-3 on penalties

Railway’s hopes of a fourth IHL title in five years prevail as Rachel Barnett made three crucial saves at the latter end of their penalty shoot-out with Pegasus, allowing Sinead Dooley to slot the winning effort in the second semi-final.

Railway keeper Rachel Barnett made three vital penalty saves Pic: Adrian Boehm

Railway keeper Rachel Barnett made three vital penalty saves Pic: Adrian Boehm

Normal time and extra time ended 1-1 with the goals coming in a flurry between the 45th and 47th minute. Prior to that, Railway had the majority of the chances with Kate Lloyd’s deflection to Jean McDonnell’s crash ricocheting off the bar from the pick of the first half shots.

It was gritty stuff with not many flowing moves of note while Pegasus won the corner count 2-1. The early phases of the second half belonged to Railway, though. Pamela Glass got a clearance from McDonnell’s corner hit while Sharon Moffett shut down both Sinead Dooley and Alex Speers from point blank range.

Lloyd was also kept out from a one-on-one chance by Moffett before Speers made the pressure pay. Holly Jenkinson’s crash ball was half-stopped, falling the way of Speers who coolly slotted through the goalkeeper’s pads.

It awoke Pegasus and they were quickly on the offensive. Rhianna Campbell’s first time touch rebounded off the post from a swift right wing move that ultimately led to the Ulster champions’ goal from their third corner. Vanessa Surgeoner got it at the second attempt, a thunderous hit from the top.

Thereafter, there was not much to the tie in terms of chances in the closing 23 minutes of normal time. Surgeoner hit another corner into the net in silver goal extra time but it was rightly chalked off at a dangerous height while Suzanne Ferris was pegged back just in her shooting stride for an earlier corner infringement. That subsequent corner came to nothing, leading to the shoot-out.

It was nip and tuck at 3-3 after five rounds, Barnett’s toe poke to deny Glass sending it to sudden death. She subsequently kept out Ferris and Quinn before Dooley nabbed the winner.

Railway Union: R Barnett, K Dillon, K Lloyd, Z Delany, J O’Halloran, E Smyth, E Lucey, S Hawkshaw, S Dooley, O Fox
Subs: J McDonnell, R Clifford, M Doorly, E Dolan, A Speers, E Clarke, G O’Flanagan

Pegasus: S Moffett, H Grieve, N Graham, R Maguire, R Chambers, S Ferris, K McConnell, G Irwin, P Glass, S Quinn, V Surgeoner
Subs: T Doherty, N Pinkerton, R Campbell, A Jones, K Harvey, J Perry, L Paul

Umpires: K Collins, L Clifford

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