Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hermes retain Jacqui Potter Cup on strokes

Hermes 0 Railway Union 0, Hermes win 2-1 on penalty strokes

Hermes retained the Jacqui Potter Cup at Grange Road this afternoon after 90 minutes of hockey with Railway Union ended deadlocked at 0-0.

In the end, Emma Grey proved the hero diving low to her left to block Railway's fifth stroke and keep the title in Booterstown for another year.

It completed a cagey affair with defences on top throughout while both goalkeepers had games they could be proud of. Hermes' co-captains Sinead McDonnell and Aoife McCarthy proved rocks at the back, inspiring an impressive performance from Sarah Greene.

For Railway, Isobel Joyce put in a captain' stint showing her progressive nature as a forward-thinking left-back, combining well with the rest of her back four to keep chances to a minimum.

After a nervy beginning, Anna O'Flanagan set in motion her side's most fluid move in the seventh minute, bursting forward 30 yards before feeding Nikki Evans at the circle's top. Helen Stevenson, though, had read the danger and was off her line to smother.

O'Flanagan proved the half's most potent attacker, shooting across the face of goal in the 30th minute before getting upended by Kate Dillon soon after, the latter receiving a yellow card for her troubles.

For Railway, Emma Smyth made good yardage most times she got the ball in the left-channel. One such run found a decent end product as she teed up Jean McDonnell but her first time effort flew wide.

The second half proved a relatively livelier affair, though sights in goal were few and far between. Smyth was sent flying by Gray as the keeper cleared her lines well while McDonnell was forced to cover behind her keeper to mop up a loose ball rolling goalward.

Sinead Walsh set the speedy McDonnell free down the right to play in Kate McKenna. The striker saw her shot blocked by Gray and McDonnell's follow-up effort did not create any extra concerns for the net-minder.

Smyth's skills did win a further three corners but none were converted, leading to extra-time. The pace quickened during the 20 minutes of time added on but still the elusive goal evaded both teams.

Kate McKenna reversed wide while a tidy move between Gillian Pinder, Linda Caulfield and Jenny Burke saw the latter deflect just wide of the target on the near post with the matches final goalmouth action, leading to strokes.

McDonnell put Hermes in front after the first series of penalties while Railway would go on to miss four strokes while aiming for the goalkeepers left side. Hermes missed two going for that same corner but Chloe Watkins held her nerve to pick her spot low on the right for a decisive lead.

Gray did the rest and, after a slight delay as the permutations were worked out, the rapturous celebrations began in earnest.


* For Deryck Vincent's pictures of the action, click here while Adrian Boehm and John Keogh's pictures can be found here. Stephen West's photos of the game can be seen here.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great performance by Hermes yesterday. Railway didn't look as good as they have done earlier in the season.

Anonymous said...

Railway were the better team on the day

Anonymous said...

If that's the case why didnt they win??

Anonymous said...

Because winning on penalty strokes is a lotery

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if their stokes were 'above average' they might have won!!

Anonymous said...

great stuff hermes how many titles is that in last 3 years ??

Anonymous said...

Think the"railers" might have to bin the t shirts they were wearing before the match!

Anonymous said...

and if they were the better team they should have won before it even got to strokes!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't say above average, I'd say shocking. How many were on target?

Anonymous said...

I liked there t-shirts!! showed they didnt take themselves too seriously...bet they felt stupid when they lost!

Anonymous said...

Well done to Hermes! Both teams were obviously very evenly matched if neither were able to put a goal away in actual playing time so it you can hardly say either of them were the "better team on the day"

Anonymous said...

Thought both teams faught hard.Hermes had the better of the start and Railway came back at them.Good defence on both sides.

Anonymous said...

what was on the t-shirts?

Stephen Findlater said...

The Railway team had training t-shirts which sported the phrase "Above average" on the front.

Anonymous said...

thats awesome. love it.

Anonymous said...

More like leaving yourself open for a fall writing that on the tops.. i wonder will those shirts get an 'outing' on the all Ireland weekends.. perhaps give them to Hermes since there already there !

Anonymous said...

The t-shirts were in my opinion cocky..they seemed to be announcing their superiority for all to see. They have won nothing yet despite their excellent consistency, but if they want to be regarded as one of the best teams in the country maybe they should act with some modesty and something closer to confidence. The explanation for the tshirts was apparently a retaliation at a comment and an 'in joke'. Keep the in jokes withion the squad, and if you want to disregard what other teams say about you, beat them and then laugh at what they said. This to me seems a more appropriate way to act. It seems miraculous to me that not one person involved in the squad saw what outsiders would see and refuse to wear the tshirts until ye had won.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Awesome t-shirts, they seem like a team that have a lot of fun, and I thought they were unlucky not to clinch the win in normal time. Fair dues to Hermes though. They closed it out, but I think they would probably admit if you asked them that they were hard put to keep the score level at nil all. Good day of hockey

kate said...

think you the person above needs to chill out, and see the FUN side to sport no?!?

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that the t shirts were kept as an in-joke since only the team were wearing them. Everyone needs to relax. Why is everyone taking such offence?

Anonymous said...

stop taking yourselves so seriously. If an opposing mens team did that I'd smile, have a laugh and get on with the hockey.

The tops didn't say "Best team in Ireland" or "Bloody Awesome hockey player".

It just said "Above Average"! Get over it.

Anonymous said...

It actually said "Above Average" on the BACK.

Anyways, seeing as though it was 0-0 Hermes can put themselves in that same bracket as being only above average. Strokes is a lottery, and does not make them a better team.

I think calling yourself above average is acting with modesty re 10:51 am. And there are far more phrases to use when announcing your superiority! Its not, as the previous comment said, saying that they are they best team in the world.

Get over yourselves and have a bit of fun.

Anonymous said...

10:51 needs to lighten up. T-shirts were a great idea. They did nothing to spite the other team in anyway so no harm was done, just a bit of fun.

Anonymous said...

I watched the match on Paddys day, and from a neutral perspective I thought the game was very even, both sides playing quite defensively. Penalty strokes are a lottery, so you can never fully say a team deserved to win unless they were on top for the majority of the game which wasn't the case. Both teams had an even amount of chances. However I think the refs didn't get involved enough early on and played on when there were numerous stick takcles made, and as a result this carried on throughout the game which didnt make it great to watch, or play in I assume.
Well done to Hermes, and with regards to the Railway tshirts, it was obviously a joke, so peope should relax and take it as one.

Anonymous said...

What did the Corinthians shirts say? Something about "Grillers in the mist"? No one seems to take offence to them publishing their in-jokes on their shirts.

Anonymous said...

Think R have the potential to be a great team, but they need to learn a few basics beforehand - eg not to cheer when an opposing side misses a stroke, give up the running commentary on umpires, rules and opponents, play less with the body and more with skill/smarts. They have gotten far this season on having exceptional speed in midfield/up front and delibrately breaking down the opponents attacking play in midfield/defence. Thought this was very evident on Tuesday. Saying that it's nice to see a new name in the Final.

Anonymous said...

exactly-people should stop being so uptight. Its because of silly things like this hockey isnt a bigger sport in ireland. has anyone stopped to think that this is the reason young people give up hockey and start sports like soccer-there's too much backbiting and sneakiness in the sport.

Anonymous said...

The match was not a great spectacle that we all like finals to be but it was a very committed encounter . Having seen Railway destroy Hermes in the league earlier in the season it was obvious that the Hermes coach did his homework and completely nullified the counter attacking pacy game that Railway thrive on and the game that killed hermes in the league . Caulfield and Harte did most of the physical close closing down stuff and never allowed the game to open except at times when they had to ease off to gain some sort of a rest. Fair play to Hermes as the tactics worked. To be fair to the umpires it was a difficult one to umpire but Railway probably allowed themselves to get a little upset that some decisions didnt go their way . Emma Smyth was awesome and her close control on the left is a sight to be believed. Railway are going to be some team over the next few years and this one was a learning curve for them . They deserve to win the league as the brand of hockey they play is exciting ,physically demanding and really good to watch . Hermes continue to do what they know best ..You have great youngsters coming thro but you know ,you cannot beat the wily experience of Jenny ,Linda,Aoife, etc ...they know how to win having done it so often ...