Women’s EY Hockey League promotion-relegation playoff
Old Alex 2 (L Jacob, S Roopnarinesingh) Trinity 1 (N Sweeney)
Old Alex claimed the final spot in the EY Hockey League for 2018/19 as they ground out a 2-1 win over Trinity at Grange Road in the promotion/relegation playoff.
Lisa Jacob’s first quarter strike and a close range Sophie Roopnarinesingh tap-in won it, cancelling out Niamh Sweeney’s effort early in the second half, dropping Trinity back to the Leinster league after one season.
For Alex, it was promotion at the third time of asking, seeing off a side that pipped them to that honour via the playoffs a year ago at the same venue.
They started in the ascendancy with Jacob denied with a rocket from mid-circle that hit Carolyn Crampton full force. Crampton then recovered amazingly to keep out O’Mahoney who appeared to have plenty of time to score at the right post before the late intervention.
No matter, O’Mahoney created the first goal just a few minutes later when she got to the baseline and crossed for Jacob who was adjudged to have gotten the crucial touch amid a thicket of sticks and legs.
Trinity fought back in the second quarter, winning five corners but none unduly worried Jess Jecko between the posts while Sally Campbell fizzed a reverse across the face of goal.
An Alex corner on the half-time ended the first half action, the Milltown club ending the half at 1-0.
The students were quick to get level in the second half via Sweeney when Ailish Long drove down the left baseline. The ball popped up to Sweeney who applied an sharp upright reverse stick volley.
Parity only lasted three minutes, however, as Alex found space to attack with Jacob again at the heart of things, feeding to Georgia Dunlop on the right baseline. Her push made it through the tiniest of gaps for Roopnarinesingh to tap into an open net.
From there, it was time for the defence to take over. Trinity pushed on, pinning Alex back in their 23 for long periods but, in a packed zone, they never really got much traction in the circle. Erica Markey looped a reverse over from a narrow angle while two more corners were kept out by Jecko while Pia Diepman put in a superb display.
It got more and more frantic with Trinity’s attacks getting more desperate and Alex getting more assured to see out the 2-1 win.
Trinity: C Crampton, S Campbell, S Osborne, A Ryan, I Delamer, A Sullivan, A Dooley-O’Carroll, A Long, C McCullough, N Sweeney, R Burns, E Noone, L McCollum, J Long, E Markey, A Turley
Old Alex: J Jecko, G Dunlop, V Winn, F Connery, P Diepman, R Gray, A Roopnarinesingh, R Evans, L Jacob, L Lenehan, A Giblin, E Duncan, S O’Mahoney, H Kelly, S Roopnarinesingh, R Kelly, P Smithwick