YMCA won the men’s Division One shoot-out, winning the Leinster top division for the first time in 37 years as their 10-1 win over Rathgar gave them the crown on goal difference.
With the Y level on points going into the final day with Corinthian and UCD, their three-goal advantage ultimately was augmented significantly, meaning that the calls around the grounds were less frantic as the games – all played at the same time – wore on.
Following a nervy opening 20mins, the YM game sat at 1-1. However news from the other games was encouraging as it appeared Corinthian and UCD were also struggling.
The reds went 1-0 down against a post-Trinity Ball Dublin University while UCD ended up drawing 4-4 with Dublin North.
YM, though, were soon pulling away, building up a 4-1 lead at half-time against Rathgar and they left nothing to chance in the second half, adding a further six goals.
Hat-tricks from both Thom Ritchie and Jamie Tobin as well as goals from Ben Campbell, Daniel Ellison, Grant Glutz and Sam Hyland sealed the title.
It ended a dramatic campaign, one that could have been very different for the Wesley-based club had they not had their defeat to Dublin University over-turned due to a registration infringement.
It was the difference between top spot and third place in the division. It means they skip past the first phase of the EYHL promotion playoffs and straight to Cork on April 28 and 29 where they will join, provisionally, Ulster’s first time champions Kilkeel and Munster’s Bandon.
An IHL2 spot, at the very least, is also secured alongside Corinthian while UCD’s draw means they have to wait and see. Should the students miss out on promotion, they will hope Railway can survive in the national division to give them an IHL2 ticket.
In the first round of playoffs – set for Alexandra College – Corinthian and UCD will be joined by UCC, Bangor and Instonians. One side from that series will join the three provincial champions in the final playoffs.
Leinster Division One: Dublin University 3 (R Nichols, H Craig, B Arrowsmith) Corinthian 7 (I Stewart 3, J Perdue 2, T Gibbs, A Sutton); YMCA 10 (T Ritchie 3, J Tobin 3, D Ellison, G Glutz, S Hyland, B Campbell) Rathgar 1 (S Gould); UCD 4 (A Tutty 2, J Henry 2) Dublin North 4 (S Dempsey 2, R West, L Metcalfe)