Fearghal Kerin was at the National Hockey Stadium as UCD dominated the Ladies’ Colours game from start to finish.
Ladies Hockey Annual Colours: UCD 2 – Dublin University 0
Despite a much depleted side, UCD Ladies put Trinity to sword in a snow-covered Belfield last week. The Hockey Colours tournament was one of very few outdoor competitions to be contested in the college last week as a result of the dreadful weather conditions, but the temperature will have been barely noticed by an ecstatic Ladies’ side who dominated their opponents from start to finish in a comfortable, though still entertaining clash.
All the sweeter for the UCD Ladies was the fact that it was their victory that pushed their club over the line in terms of winning the Colours title as a whole. The Ladies’ Firsts game was played in the second round of games, and with victory, came an unassailable 5-1 lead for UCD that was added to by a further win for the Mens’ Firsts in the day’s other marquee clash.
Though a dead rubber tie in the overall context of the Colours Competition, the Men were delighted to add a victory against the traditionally stronger Trinity side in the days final game, winning 2-1 courtesy of goals from Robbie McFarlane and Luke McSharry giving them the lead before the Trinity men pulled back a late consolation.
“Though UCD sat back, they were still undoubtedly in control and you always sensed that if a goal were to come, it would be to make the score 3-0 rather than 2-1”
The Colours competition is the highlight of the hockey calendar in both colleges, with hockey a major sport in both. UCD is lucky to have such fantastic facilities, certainly in comparison to its opposition’s Santry base which pales in comparison to the number of top quality facilities available in Belfield.
That the UCD Ladies’ side managed to record such an impressive victory was all the more impressive given they were missing several players from their usual match day squad. The game coincided with Irish training camp, which meant that Róisín Flynn and Lisa Jacob were absent for the biggest game on the calendar. Without two players whose quality is endorsed by their status as Ireland players, UCD will be delighted at the ability of others to show leadership on the day.
The UCD players also found themselves missing several members of the squad who are currently on placement as part of their college courses and were forced to forego the opportunity to face off against their College Green rivals.
Despite the absentees, UCD managed to control Dublin University from start to finish, allowing the visitors very few chances. Megan Tennant-Humphrey’s was quietly effective, cleaning up what little chances Trinity fashioned, but in truth they rarely looked like scoring.
The weather was hardly conducive to fine hockey either, though the pitch was in good shape all things considered. All the early pressure came from the hosts, and Holly Jenkinson opened the scoring with one of the scores of the day.
UCD caught Trinity on the hop with a short corner, allowing Jenkinson to drill a straight shot which clipped the stick of a Trinity player making a vane attempt at a block before hitting the net. At 1-0, UCD went for the kill, while Trinity sank further and further into themselves, with their attempts at playing in the UCD half becoming increasingly sparse.
Minutes later, with half time approaching, Orlagh O’Shea all but ended the game as a contest. A mix up in the Trinity defence allowed the impressive O’Shea to strike what was a scrappy goal. The nature of the goal notwithstanding, UCD’s performance in the first half meant they were good value for the commanding lead at half time.
The second half was quieter than the first. UCD seemed content to soak up Trinity pressure while still not allowing them create a chance. Though UCD sat back, they were still undoubtedly in control and you always sensed that if a goal were to come, it would be to make the score 3-0 rather than 2-1. Playing the whole second half in second gear, however, was enough for UCD and they rode out the second half comfortably to take the victory.
Coach Mary Logue will be particularly impressed with the contributions of Catriona McGlip and Rachel Burke. The women dominated the middle of the field and were key to Trinity’s lack of worthwhile possession, as well as displaying admirable control of the ball while running considering the conditions.
TEAM: Grace O’Flanagan, Holly Jenkinson, Megan Tennant, Laura Wilson, Leigh Pelow, Fyona Flinn, Catriona McGilp, Liz McInerney, Rachel Burke, Orlagh O’Shea, Ciara McNestry
Men’s: 1sts: UCD 2 Trinity 1; 2nds: UCD 2 Trinity 0; 3rds: UCD 0 Trinity 3
Women’s: 1sts: UCD 2 Trinity 0; 2nds: UCD 1 Trinity 3; 3rds: UCD 2 Trinity 1; 4ths: UCD 2 Trinity 1; 5ths: UCD 3 Trinity 0