Winning Run Comes To an End

The first game of 2018 was to be a major disappointment as it means that UCC men’s hockey club have finally lost a match this season. In a repeat match up of the Peard Cup final UCC will have nothing but themselves to blame as CofI took their chances exceptionally well to run out 2-1 winners.

UCC began the game on the back foot and CofI had all the territory and possession for the opening 15 with UCC doing well on defence. The lack of Hockey since the break of term though showed with passes not sticking and each player taking that one step too many on the ball.

The CofI opening goal came around the 20th minute just as UCC were beginning to grow into the game. A ball into the circle found a CofI front man who had his back facing the goal and on the end line. UCC looked to have every angle covered but an improvised reverse stick flick could not have been executed any better as it flew into the top corner.

This looked to have been the wake up call college needed and after some better possession and a great team move Eoin Finnegan scored yet another important goal to equalise with 6 minutes left in the half, firing home emphatically from close range.

The second half was a more even half than the first, CofI had more possession and territory but UCC looked dangerous on the counter. Shrew Power was a constant threat and always looked like he could create something while on the ball.

UCC did have plenty of short corner opportunities and Sam Grace was unlucky not to hit the target with a powerful flick. Less than 5 minutes later CofI hit back and did so well through a quick counter attack that ended up with a reverse stick cross being deflected in on the slide.

With that there was only 10 minutes left and UCC responded with a constant onslaught of attacks. CofI however were determined not to concede and put all 11 men behind the ball. With less than five remaining UCC withdrew their keeper and played with 11 outfielders to somehow muster up a goal. This tactic could have worked out but a short corner with 90 seconds remaining was blocked down superbly well.

The match finished shortly afterwards and while player rustiness and the nature of student teams going home for Christmas can be acknowledged they were certainly not the reason behind this defeat. CofI got had a fantastic performance to make the league more exciting than ever!

UCC’s man of the match: Shrew Power.