Two early scores for the University College Dublin (UCD) Ladies’ Hockey team helped them secure their third Senior Cup in four seasons on Saturday. They beat Pegasus 3-1 in the final at the Lisnagarvey Hockey Club.
In the first quarter of the game, the Students scored a brace of goals to take an early lead. Hannah McLoughlin scored the first goal of the game after a penalty corner allowed her to push the ball into the back of the net.
Their second goal came after some impressive individual play from Michelle Carey, who juggled the ball on her stick past several Pegasus defenders before hammering it past their goalkeeper. Pegasus were unable to turn their chances into points for the remainder of the opening quarter, and UCD looked comfortable in their lead.
Both teams made best use of their opportunities for the remainder of the first half, although some brilliant goalkeeping in both nets, and some poor luck for both sets of attackers, meant that neither side found the back of the net.
Pegasus got the first goal of the second half in a similar manner to UCD’s first goal. After a penalty corner, Pegasus’ R Maguire received the ball with no one in front of her and fired the ball past UCD’s goalkeeper.
This would be the final score for Pegasus, not for a lack of trying. They put massive pressure on UCD for the remainder of the game, before Katherine Egan took the game out of reach with a goal in the final five minutes of the game. She finished off a brilliant team run up the pitch to score and secure their third title in four years.
UCD’s men’s team were unfortunate not to emulate their ladies’ counterparts on Saturday, falling to a 3-2 defeat to host team Lisnagarvey. This would have been UCD’s first men’s title in the Senior Cup.
Garvey scored their first goal of the game in a blitzkrieg of the UCD defence, with Ben Nelson finding the back of the net in just 75 seconds. Not to be out done, the Students fired back immediately through Andrew Meates’ goal, bringing the teams back to level pegging in the first three minutes.
UCD looked to make history as the first club to hold both the men’s and women’s title at the same time, going into the halftime break 1-2 up. Their second goal had come through a somewhat hap-hazard goal that was credited to Sam Byrne.
In the second half, the visiting side sat back on their lead and seemed to invite Garvey to play in their half. This tactic worked for much of the second half, as UCD were able to defend their lead with all 11 men playing defence.
Disaster struck for the Students with just 12 minutes left in the game as Nelson scored his second goal of the game and brought the scores level for an exhilarating final 10 minutes. This was despite Garvey being reduced to 10 players for five minutes as Andy Edgar was shown yellow for a hard shoulder challenge.
The winning goal for Garvey came just after Edgar was replaced by Andy Williamson after his suspension was over. Williamson finished off a good cross to take the lead with minutes left in the game.
UCD’s heartbreak was solidified after their last-ditch effort to equalise was stopped by the Lisnagarvey ‘keeper, before the final whistle sounded.
Stephen Kisbey-Green – Co-Editor