Portlaoise 1 (0) Three Rock Rovers 1 (2)
Leinster Division 9-10 Cup Quarter Final
Portlaoise Ladies Hockey Club narrowly missed out on progressing to the Semi-Finals of the Leinster Division 9-10 Cup after an enthralling battle against Three Rock Rovers 3rd ended in a draw and proceeded to penalty shuttle deciders.
The match was a game of two halves which saw Portlaoise dominating the possession in the first half, however a goal for Portlaoise remained elusive.
A number of short corners awarded to the Portlaoise team resulted in shots on goal which were unfortunately narrowly wide.
Three Rock Rovers gained possession in the Portlaoise circle following a free which was awarded to them.
Despite the best efforts of sweeper, Claire Igoe and goalie, Linda Monaghan, the ball was struck into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, leaving the score 1-0 against Portlaoise at the end of the first half.
Following a motivational half-time talk from Portlaoise coach, James Deegan, the team returned to the pitch with extra determination in the second half.
Great teamwork from both mid-field and the forwards saw Portlaoise capitalise with a goal bringing the score-line to 1-1.
Lucy Dwyer fought through the strong Three Rock Rovers defence in the circle to push the ball to Yvonne Hargroves, who swept it passed the Three Rock Rovers goalie.
A short corner was awarded to Portlaoise in the final seconds of the match making for nail-biting experience for Portlaoise supporters.
Unfortunately, even with the full Portlaoise team present at the 23 metre line and shots on target from April Kent and Lucy Dwyer, the team could not manage to get the ball past the experienced Three Rock Rovers goalie, leaving the score 1-1 at full-time.
Penalty shuttles were commenced shortly after the final whistle to decide who would progress into the next round of the Cup.
Five players from both teams were nominated to take turns in an 8 second, one-on-one against the goalkeeper from the opposite side, starting from the 23 meter line.
Marion O’Boyle, Ruth Maxwell, Susan Fingleton, April Kent and Claire Igoe stepped forward for the penalty shuttles for Portlaoise. Portlaoise goalie, Linda Monaghan showed experience and strong determination throughout each defensive shuttle, making a superb save.
Despite their best efforts, Portlaoise could not score past the Three Rock Rovers goalie and the final score on penalty shuttles was 2-0 to Three Rock Rovers after four shuttles had been completed, putting Three Rock Rovers into the Semi-Finals of the Cup.
Portlaoise will now concentrate on the remaining league matches. They currently lie in 3rd position in Leinster Ladies Division 9 League and have six matches yet to play. At the end of the season, the top two teams will gain promotion to the Division 8 League.
Portlaoise: Linda Monaghan, Susan Fingleton, Marian O’Boyle, Kellie O’Sullivan, April Kent, Kate Hyland, Claire Igoe, Alison Holmes, Ruth Maxwell (C), Yvonne Hargroves, Eimear Dunne, Lucy Dwyer, Emma Holohan, Jenny Keegan, Eimear O’Sullivan.