Portlaoise Ladies Hockey Club got their 2019/2020 season off to a great start at the weekend with a 2-1 win over hosts UCD 6th.
The start of the season also saw the introduction of
some minor changes to the rules of hockey by the International Hockey Federation, with one being that each game is now broken into four quarters, rather than two halves.
In the first quarter of the match, UCD started strongly and put the Portlaoise defenders under pressure and took an early 1-0 lead.
Just as it looked as though UCD had the potential to run away with the match, Portlaoise fought hard to take control of the game and a well-earned goal brought the teams level in
the second quarter.
The goal was created by quick and accurate passing up the
pitch, which started from Susan Fingleton to April Kent, who passed up the line to Orla Dwyer.
Dwyer then crossed the ball into the circle to Yvonne Hargroves who shot the ball past the UCD goalkeeper.
UCD had numerous attacks up the pitch in the third quarter but great defensive play by the Portlaoise defenders and goalkeeper, Linda Monaghan, prevented UCD from scoring.
In the final quarter, Portlaoise ramped up the pressure on UCD and a second goal came following a fantastic movement up the pitch by team captain, April Kent.
Kent evaded the tackles of five of the opposition players as she moved up the left-hand side of the pitch and crossed the ball across the goal with a strong back-stick strike which was deflected into the goal by Yvonne Hargroves.
Next weekend, Portlaoise will take on Portrane in an away league match fixture.
Any new players are welcome to join the team at training on Tuesday nights in Fr Breen Park in Abbeyleix.
Portlaoise: Linda Monaghan, Jayne Telford, Kellie O’Sullivan, Susan Fingleton, Jenny Keegan, Roisin Dwyer, April Kent (C), Orla Dwyer, Emma Holohan, Yvonne Hargroves and Lucy Dwyer.