Esteves fires Monkstown to fifth place in Euro Trophy

Women’s EuroHockey Club Trophy
Fifth place playoff: Monkstown 1 (N Esteves) MSC Sumchanka 0

Monkstown completed their Euro Club Trophy campaign on a high with a 1-0 win over Ukraine’s MSC Sumchanka courtesy of Natalie Esteves’ 14th minute penalty corner goal.

The win saw them finish in fifth place in the competition, avoiding relegation from the second tier of European competition with something to spare.

Monkstown’s Christine Quinlan. Pic: Gerry/gpfoto.ie

Their performances were also enough to keep Ireland in sixth place on the nations list – despite UCD’s eighth place finish in London over the weekend in the elite Cup competition – and with it means Loreto will contest the top tier in 2019 and UCD the second level.

Against the Ukraine champions, the excellent Lizzie Murphy – later named goalkeeper of the tournament – made an early corner save before Town won a set piece of their own via Abbie Sarratt’s shot hitting a foot. Christine Quinlan’s shot drew a fine save.

From their second corner, won by Sadhbh Hoban-Logan, Esteves struck for the only goal of the game. During this spell, the tournament hosts were playing their best hockey, piling on pressure.

Murphy dealt well with a couple of break-outs from Sumchanka, maintaining their lead into the half-time break. Into the second half, Sinead Loughran put in a serious shift while Rachel Moore’s deflection drew a top save and Hoban-Logan also went close.

Polina Volokhova cleared another effort off the line and Lily Lloyd’s cross just evaded Caitriona McGilp’s stick. In the closing minutes, Sumchanka pushed on but could not break through and Monkstown had fifth place.

The tournament overall was won by Holcombe who beat Spain’s Junior FC with an audacious Beth Bingham effort, lobbing the goalkeeper to secure the win.

The news was not so good on the men’s front, however, as Scottish side Grange won the Euro Trophy in Vienna.

This was enough to move Scotland – as well as France and Russia – above Ireland on the Euro Hockey League rankings list, reducing the Irish quota to one from two. It means Three Rock Rovers will play in ROUND1 in Barcelona in October while Glenanne miss out and will play in the Trophy in 2019.

The Irish Under-21 men, meanwhile, started off their US tour in style with Julian Dale scoring a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Japan at Yale. Jonny Caren’s team will play the hosting USA twice this week while also playing Japan for a second time.

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