Bulls blast their way to EYHL playoff place

Clontarf secured their place in the EY Hockey League promotion playoffs as they got the win they needed to stave off the threat of YMCA for the third and final berth from Leinster.

Against Avoca, Tarf started nervously, conceding three corners in the first seven minutes. One was charged down by the first runner, one was hit wide and the other saved excellently by 15-year-old keeper David Lawless making his full league debut.

After that, the Bulls started to dominate, creating a number of chances before breaking the deadlock in the 21st minute. Kevin Mullins blasted a reverse pass into the D for Kevin Murray to touch home behind his back.

The second goal came with the last touch of the half, a pitch length move which was smashed to the back post by Tom Noonan for Stu Bradley to tap in.

It gave the Mount Temple outfit a comfortable wedge and they built further on it three minutes into the second half, a turnover in midfield was in the net three touches later, Kevin Mullins slapping across goal for John Mullins to slide home.

The fourth came via a long corner shifted to Kevin Mullins who beat six players before smashing home on the top of the D.

Avoca got one back in the 55th minute when Jonathan Elmes was offered space in the Clontarf D from a long corner and he finished well. But the victory was completed a minute later when Kevin Mullins was again the supplier, this time for Noonan to tap into an empty net.

Tarf join Corinthian and UCD in the playoffs in a couple of weeks time.

It rendered YMCA’s 2-1 win over Corinthian, courtesy of goals from Eric Prehn and Ed Lawler, as academic as they ended the pool in fourth place in Division 1A.

As an aside, had clubs been allowed to carry forward points from the first phase of the season, YM would have finished second overall behind Corinthian, ahead of third place Clontarf with UCD in fourth.

In Division 1B, Connor Montgomery scored the only goal of the game for Dublin University to win this section on goals scored ahead of Kilkenny. Having won Division 3 last term, this proved a strong continuation of that form.

Leinster Division 1A:
Clontarf 5 (K Murray, S Bradley, J Mullins, K Mullins, T Noonan) Avoca 1 (J Elmes); Corinthian 1 (A Sutton) YMCA 2 (E Prehn, E Lawler)

Division 1B
Kilkenny 2 Weston 0
Saturday: Dublin University 1 (C Montgomery) Kilkenny 0

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