09 Apr 2018
UCD retained the women’s Irish Senior Cup title – their fourth in seven years – with an excellent win over Pegasus at Belfield.
UCD overcame Loreto in a tough match on Saturday to make it though to the Cup final on Sunday where the pressure was on as current title holders to retain the trophy.
UCD coach Miles Warren afterwards; "Against Loreto, we had a tough match on Saturday but we stepped up our game from the back to the front,"
"We were extremely effective when we kept it simple; we had threat from the back straight to the forwards and then some lovely finishing.
"Three were lovely touches in at the back post. You don’t score those unless your players are brave and in the right place. Everyone looks at UCD and think we are an incredibly attacking team but you can’t attack with the freedom we have if you don’t have the rock-solid defence. It isn’t just defenders – they are amazing individually and our goalkeeper has been fantastic – but a whole team ethic. It’s the team work rate and that’s what makes us so hard to beat."
UCD went in front in the 12th minute with a cracking ball from Lena Ticel that Emma Russell chipped into the roof of the net, and the students looked in great shape to retain the title. Captain Deirdre Duke had a number of pot-shots at goal as she looked a menace throughout while Pamela Glass made a series of last-ditch tackles to limit the damage.
It was a sister-act though as the second goal came seven minutes into the second half with Abbie Russell emulating her older sister when she scored at the back post from an Orla Patton cross and it was going to be tough now for Pegasus to come back from this lead and as UCD gained confidence and against a UCD side that has only conceded twice in the national level competitions since the turn of the year.
Veteran Katie Mullan made the game extra safe when she picked out the bottom corner with UCD’s only penalty corner of the game.
The nail in the coffin came for Pegasus as Sorcha Clarke completed the victory as she nicked in Sara Twomey’s hit across goal.
Warren commented again; "We looked like a new side today, completely different. The credit has to go to our players for being able to adjust and adapt. Once they did that, the game went very well."
With UCD current EY league table toppers it’s the perfect momentum-builder for the end of season Champions Trophy and the European championships in May. It will provide huge confidence among the students which is sure to see another exceptional season for UCD Ladies Hockey.
UCD Team: C Cassin, K Egan, L Ewart, E Curran, K Mullan, E Russell, A Richardson, L Tice, O Patton, S Robinson, D Duke. Subs: S Twomey, B Barr, S Clarke, A Russell, S Young, E Young, A Daly