Clontarf completed the Leinster sides to contest the EY Hockey League promotion playoffs, breaking into the top three on the last day of the season for a second successive season.
Indeed, their 3-1 win over Corinthian was a small landmark as the Bulls beat their first side – other than a student side – that formed part of the old Leinster Division One before the national league came in.They went 1-0 down after eight minutes from a turnover from an attacking free on Corinthian’s 23 metre line. The reds broke out and fed Dan Treacy and while he was marshalled wide by defenders and goalkeeper David Lawless, he finished well on his open side from a tight angle against his former club.
John Mullins levelled the game from Tarf’s first corner with a drag-flick and they took the lead from another set piece, player-coach Gareth Borland this time dragging home.
The second half saw few chances from play while both sides had corners. From one, a Corinthian body stopped the ball on the line and Borland stepped up to convert the stroke with 12 minutes to go.
The result meant they jumped back ahead of Trinity who had moved into the top three four days earlier with a 7-0 win over Fingal.
Elsewhere, Kilkenny beat Rathgar 3-2 at High School with Eamonn Walsh scoring a double. Gar had taken an early lead in the second minute before Walsh’s double and one from Ben Wallace. The hosts did have a corner on the final whistle but 16-year-old keeper Ian O’Keeffe saved it, meaning the cats had the win rather than a seventh draw of the campaign.
YMCA closed out their formal preparations for the playoffs with goals from Grant Glutz, Colin Jackson and Jamie Tobin.
YM and Clontarf go into the playoffs that get under way on the weekend of April 8 and 9. From Ulster, Annadale and Kilkeel are in the playoff places while Cork Harlequins are the second best of the first teams in Munster.
There remains a question mark whether Kilkeel will take part as their club constitution does not currently allow them to play on Sundays. If they withdraw, Belfast Harlequins are the side in position to take their place.
Leinster Division One: YMCA 3 (G Glutz, C Jackson, J Tobin) Weston 0; Corinthian 1 (D Treacy) Clontarf 3 (G Borland 2, J Mullins); Rathgar 2 (M Collins, A Malcolm) Kilkenny 3 (E Walsh 2, B Wallace)