12 Apr 2017
UCD followed up last Mondays Irish Senior Cup win by clinching the women’s EY Hockey League in dramatic fashion, coming from behind to see off Hermes - Monkstown 2 – 1 in an exciting back and forth tie. The away victory over the previously unbeaten outfit not only saw UCD dramatically clinch the title on the final day of the season but also guaranteed their place in European competition next year.
Going into the match both sides had yet to taste defeat this campaign and sat in first and second place in the league respectively, setting up a tantalising winner takes all showdown. UCD, showing no signs of complacency only 6 days on from their Senior Cup triumph, displayed their attacking intent early, dominating the first quarter and forcing a string of fine saves from Hermes keeper Liz Murphy.
Hermes - Monkstown began to look more threatening in the second quarter and were unlucky not to take the lead just before halftime when a powerful shot from Nikki Evans hit the crossbar. Clodagh Cassin was called into action several times and the UCD keeper made a number of top class saves to ensure it remained goalless at the break.
It was Evans who eventually broke the deadlock in the 38th minute for the home side after some strong build up play from Anna O’ Flanagan. Undeterred, UCD continued to press and were rewarded on the 44th minute when Lena Tice powerfully converted a penalty corner to restore parity. Knowing a draw wouldn’t be enough to secure the league however, UCD chased a second.
The decisive breakthrough came in the final quarter and was almost a carbon copy of the first goal, with Tice once again slotting home a penalty corner. Hermes threw everything at UCD in the final minutes as they tried in vain for an equaliser but couldn’t break down the away side.
Beating last season’s champions to the EYHL title is the latest in a string of remarkable performances by UCD this season which have also included triumphs in the Varsity and Colours fixtures, winning the Irish Senior Cup and being runners up in the Jacqui Potter (Leinster Cup) Cup. The girls have another chance to add even more silverware to their collection this year at the EYHL Champions Cup Finals weekend on April 28th/29th in Three Rock Rovers. We encourage you all to come down and show your support for the team, starting with their semi-final clash against Loreto HC.
Match highlights can be viewed at Video Wall