O’Donoghue lands second Belgian title in succession

Shane O’Donoghue claimed the Belgian Audi Hockey League title for the second successive year, playing a key role in KHC Dragons final victory over Racing Club de Bruxelles.

The Templeogue man opened the scoring in Sunday’s second leg of the final – Dragons won the first leg 4-3 – en route to a thrilling 3-3 result that saw the Antwerp side get over the line.

O’Donoghue – a nominee for world hockey’s Rising Star award in 2015 – rippped home a drag-flick before compatriot Conor Harte levelled the game at 1-1 early on.

The KHC Dragons side Shane O'Donoghue helped to the Belgian league title. Picture: John Ceulemans

The KHC Dragons side Shane O’Donoghue helped to the Belgian league title. Picture: John Ceulemans

Racing took a 3-2 lead into the closing stages but Arthur van Doren’s goal to tie the game eventually was enough for Dragons to win the tie 7-6 on aggregate.

David Harte, meanwhile, helped Dutch club SV Kampong to third place in the Hoodfdklasse, the world’s strongest national club league. His side beat HGC 5-1 and 4-2 to land the victory that brings with it qualification for the Euro Hockey League next season.

Next weekend, the goalkeeper will aim to become the first Irish man to win that EHL title. Kampong take on Spain’s Atletic Terrassa in the semi-final before facing either Amsterdam or Germany’s Harvestehuder THC.

On home turf, Ulster won the men’s junior interprovincial title on Sunday afternoon in dramatic fashion, winning on penalty strokes over Leinster after the sides had finished the round-robin stages with identical records.

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