Roisin Begley’s final second strike helped Catholic Institute secure a little piece history as they landed their first ever win in the women’s EY Hockey League, beating Belfast Harlequins 3-2. Coach Dave Passmore admitted it was “a massive relief” to snatch the late winner given that they had conceded decisive scores in both of their ties since promotion to the top tier.
On Saturday, in the first of their double-header in Belfast, Insta were pushing for an equaliser against Pegasus but were caught by a final minute Alex Speers’ goal and fell to a defeat. A day later, Passmore was frustrated early on that his side could not make more of their chances as they fell behind to a Lucy Geddes’ strike.
A peach of a Laura Foley reverse-stick shot and Naomi Carroll’s fourth goal of the season saw the lead swap hands but Katherine Welshman’s penalty corner rebound looked set to be the defining moment. But Begley popped up with the winner from the last play, lifting Insta to four points from three games.
“It has been a steep learning curve,” Passmore said. “We have up to nine schoolgirls in the squad and it is a big jump for Munster schools games — it’s not just about the speed or the technical side.
It’s adapting to the decision-making, the strategy and the game management.
It’s why I love double-headers like this as a coach, particularly away from home. I know the clubs hate them because of the cost and so on but it gives you that time together as a group and you can work on more video analysis in a team environment.
“It also forces you to rotate your players more and build your base of players — we had some here who hadn’t played first team before so they got a great baptism of fire.”
After three rounds of matches, there is little to separate the sides. Reigning champions Pegasus are the only team left with a perfect record, backing up their Saturday win over Insta with a narrow 1-0 victory over Cork Harlequins today.
Niamh McIvor — with her first senior goal – strick with nine minutes to go, handing Pegs the narrow win. For the Cork side, it meant a return south with one point out of six for their efforts which came from Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Belfast Harlequins Julie Dennison gave the Belfast side an early lead which they held for a long time and they were two to the good when Serena Barr got her first goal for the club.
Michelle Barry kept Cork interest alive and they levelled from the second phase of a penalty corner via Alex O’Grady. It leaves Darren Collins’ team with two points from three outings.
In Munster Division One, UCC continued their winning ways with a 6-0 win over Limerick, making it five wins out of five, conceding just once. It keeps them three points clear of the chasing Cork C of I who saw off Belvedere 3-1. In men’s action, C of I ended Bandon’s 100% record with an imposing 3-0 win, Eoin Finnegan, Simon Wolfe and Andrew Salter doing the damage.
Simon Dring’s hat-trick powered UCC into the quarter-finals of the Irish Hockey Trophy as they swept past Munster rivals Ashton. Catholic Institute, however, bowed out to Rathgar 4-2 with Cork man Mark Holland crowning the win for the Dubliners.