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24 May 2022

Hockey- Kilkenny Firsts put in strong finish to league season

Kilkenny 0 Three Rock Rovers 0

Hockey- Kilkenny Firsts put in strong finish to league season

The Kilkenny Ladies First team were looking to finish their league campaign on a high as they hosted Dublin side Three Rock Rovers in their last league fixture of the season on Saturday.

Both sets of supporters were treated to a fast-paced spectacle of hockey from the offset. An evenly matched opening quarter saw chances for both teams, but with defences on top, the first quarter played out without a goal for either side.

With promotion to Division One already secure, Kilkenny began to settle into the game. Club stalwarts Linda Caulfield and Sinead Connery took control of the middle of the field as Kilkenny looked the more threatening team in the second quarter.

The Cats were awarded a series of short corners in the second quarter, thanks to tremendous work by midfielders Gemma O’Dwyer, Paula Farrell and Megan Sherwood. Despite some well worked short corner routines, the Three Rock defence stood firm and denied the league leaders of any clear-cut chances.

Kilkenny forwards Sara Browne, Ava Murphy, Sue Shirley and Lily Grace stepped up the pace in the third quarter as the Cats were hungry for a goal. Skilful stickwork by speedy winger Micaela Sanderson earned her side yet another short corner which was cleverly deflected to the back of the Three Rock net by Ally Carter. Unfortunately for Carter, the umpires deemed the strike to be dangerous and the goal was disallowed, much to the relief of the Dublin side.

With only one quarter left for play and nothing to separate the sides, both teams took to the field of play and were determined to get the upper hand in the game. Kilkenny enjoyed large spells of possession with the ball but despite their best efforts, were unable to conjure up a goal. With neither team able to break the deadlock, the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

An impressive league campaign from the Cats sees them crowned as Leinster Division Two champions. The league victors have one remaining game which sees them take on Skerries Hockey Club in the Women’s Challenge Cup final in a fortnight’s time.

Kilkenny Firsts: Doireann McCurdy, Niamh Spratt O’Shea, Ciara Clarke, Clair Phelan (C), Sarah Wilson, Sinead Connery, Linda Caulfield, Paula Farrell, Gemma O’Dwyer, Micaela Sanderson, Ally Carter, Megan Sherwood, Sara Browne, Ava Murphy, Sue Shirley, Lily Grace.

Coach: Gavin Bourke.

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