Town keep Junior at bay for long periods to confirm Irish place in Trophy for 2019

Women’s EuroHockey Club Trophy
Pool B: Monkstown 0 Junior FC 2 (A Gil 2)
Anna Gil’s two penalty corner rebounds settled Pool B in the favour of Junior FC, marking their third successive win, but they were made to work all the way by hosts Monkstown.

And the losing bonus point was enough to confirm safety in the second tier in the competition without relying on a later result from the match between Lille and Krylatskoye.

Liz Murphy was once again in impressive form. Pic: Gerry/gpfoto.ie

Gil struck in the 10th minute from their second corner after an initial save by the excellent Liz Murphy saw the ball bounced off her pads and scrambled over the line.

Junior captain Carlota Petchame was showing some lovely touches but the Town defence, marshalled by Christine Quinlan and Natalie Esteves, again showed great composure in possession.

Sophie Moore almost stole in for an equaliser three minutes into the second half with Meritxell Grau called on to make a near post stop.

But Junior were always the more dangerous with Murphy brilliantly smothering a shot and Esteves volleying clear another sharp chance, keeping a minimum in the difference.

Paz Codina was next to be blocked by Murphy with a cracking close range shot met with a big palm. The pressure eventually told in the final few minutes when Gil scored an identical goal from a rebound.

The losing bonus point, though, meant Monkstown were guaranteed safety and there was an outside chance – if Lille won by three goals – that they could sneak into second place.

Those hopes were boosted when the French side led three times, first via Juliette Hannebicque-Leman in the sixth minute and then again via Marine Delannoy in the 12th, making it 2-1 in answer to a Krylatskoye goal from Iuliia Kazakova.

Alexandra Leonova levelled for a second time but Hye Lyoung Han’s second goal of the tournament put Lille in front yet again in the second half.

But they could not hold on and Ekaterina Shaburova scored for 3-3 and then Alena Digalieva netted the winner from a corner on 45 minutes.

The results from day three mean Holcombe face Junior FC in the final, MSC Sumchanka will battle CSP Krylatskoye for bronze while Monkstown meet Ritm Grodno for fifth. The seventh place playoff pits Slavia Prague against Lille.

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