Women’s EY Champions Trophy
Hermes 6 (N Carroll 2, A O’Flanagan 2, R Carrigan, C Watkins) Ulster Elks 3 (M Frazer, E O’Leary, A Kozniuk)
Hermes eased into the women’s EY Hockey League Champions Trophy final as a trio of second quarter goals all but put paid to Ulster Elks’ challenge.
Elks had gone in front very early on when Megan Frazer picked up the ball 30 metres out and, with the Hermes defence back-pedalling, slammed into the bottom corner.
The lead only lasted a couple of minutes, however, as Hermes got on the board from their third corner just ten minutes in. It came from the penalty spot when Eimear Horan’s goalbound shot hit Jordan Page’s body on the goal-line. Chloe Watkins converted the stroke.
Naomi Carroll then put Hermes in front from their fifth corner, offering a ramp into the roof of the goal from Watkins’ assist. Anna O’Flanagan’s brilliant run opened the door for Carroll to sweep into an open goal for 3-1.
O’Flanagan then cracked in the fourth goal in the 27th minute from a turnover on the edge of the circle. Any thoughts of a comeback were dashed when O’Flanagan turned in Ellen Curran’s diagonal cross from the right wing early in the second half.
The rain began to teem down after that, slowing the pace of the game considerably. It aided Caitriona McGilp picking up the ball in the corner to set up the sixth Hermes goal, eventually working the ball in to Rosie Carrigan to finish.
Elks rallied with late goals from Emily O’Leary and Anna Kozniuk but Hermes were never truly threatened after their first half salvo.
It sets up a final showdown with Pegasus on Sunday at 2.45pm to determine who will be the inaugural EY Hockey League Champions Trophy winner.