24 May 2022

Hockey celebrations as Cats rise to the Challenge

Hockey celebrations as Cats rise to the Challenge

The Kilkenny Thirds celebrate their Shield success

Leinster hockey Women’s Challenge Cup final- Kilkenny 3 Skerries 0

Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club played host to a jam-packed weekend of Leinster hockey finals, where the last game of the weekend saw the Kilkenny Ladies firsts take on Skerries in the Women’s Challenge Cup final.

The Kilkenny supporters travelled in their droves, with a strong black and amber crowd roaring the ladies on as they looked to round off their fantastic season with a final win.

The game began at a fast pace, with chances emerging for both teams in the early stages. Wingers Ally Carter and Lily Grace looked to bag an early goal for Kilkenny, but the well organised Skerries defence held firm in the opening quarter.

Having settled into the game, the Cats hit the ground running in the second quarter and played some of their best hockey of the season. A well constructed move from Gemma O’Dwyer, Laura Walshe and Ava Murphy saw Kilkenny attack the Skerries circle with menace. After some intricate passing, the ball fell to Michaela Sanderson, who hit the back of the net.

Minutes later, the Cats were on the attack once again. Club stalwart Sinead Connery picked out Megan Sherwood who fed the ball to Sue Shirley high up the pitch. A wonder strike from the top of the Skerries circle saw Shirley score one of the goals of the season.

With the second half still left for play, Skerries upped the tempo and piled on the pressure, but Kilkenny defenders Ciara Clarke, Niamh Spratt O’Shea, Sarah Wilson and captain Clair Phelan used their experience to shut down any goal threat.

Kilkenny went in search of a third goal and their efforts were rewarded in the third quarter. A counter attacking move saw Connery intercept the ball and pick out winger Paula Farrell who delivered a quick pass to Kilkenny forward Sara Browne. After a tussle in the circle, Browne eventually slotted the ball into the corner of the net, giving the Cats a well deserved three goal lead and start the celebrations.

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

Leinster Women’s Div 9-11 Shield Final- Kilkenny 1 Wicklow 0

A determined Kilkenny side took on Wicklow in the  the Leinster Division 9-11 Shield Final.

Wicklow applied the early pressure but the Kilkenny defence of Laura Ward, Alex McClure, Freya Clerkin, Lisa Delaney, Millie Harwood and goalkeeper Lara Lanigan stood firm.

In the second quarter Kilkenny’s confidence grew. Catherine Court made some dynamic runs while Lisa Kennedy and Rebecca Peppard propelled Kilkenny forward.

In the third quarter, after sustained Kilkenny pressure, Pasquinna Sida converted expertly from the top of the circle. Romy Browne was instrumental in relieving pressure from the defence, making forward runs. Lydia Cody was unlucky not to further Kilkenny’s lead while Kathy Walsh and Catie Maley led the line in attack.

In what was a huge team performance Ella Whelan, Kate Lavelle and Elizabeth Boland were instrumental in getting Kilkenny to the final and preparing the team on the day. The girls put in such hard work and were deserving winners. Coach Paddy Dalton and Gordon Peppard were magnificent in guiding the team to a historic win. Thanks also went to Paul O’Donnell for umpiring on the day.

Kilkenny Thirds: Laura Lanigan, Millie Harwood, Laura Ward, Freya Clerkin, Alex McClure, Lisa Delaney, Romy Browne, Lisa Kennedy, Rebecca Peppard, Catherine Court, Ella Whelan, Pasquinna Sida, Lydia Cody, Kathy Walsh, Catie Maley, Kate Lavelle, Elizabeth Boland.

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