Leinster will have to make do with just four entrants in the 2010/11 Irish Hockey League as Old Alex were pipped in last weekend’s wildcard play-offs by Ballymoney and Catholic Institute.
The Limerick side salvaged a draw on Friday night which proved key in the final reckoning despite Aoife Budd and Laura McCoy both rebounding at corner time to twice give Alex the lead.
But Institute fought back strongly in the closing quarter with Naomi Carroll on the mark to grab a second equaliser and tie the fixture at 2-2.
A 7-1 win for Alex on Saturday over Galway’s Greenfields – all seven of which came from short corners, making it nine from two games from set plays – had the Milltown club in pole-position in the group.
That was courtesy of Institute’s 3-0 win over Ballymoney, former Bray woman Elaine Brommell on the mark twice.
But, needing only a draw to take their place in the competition for a second time, Alex were unable to get the result against Ballymoney, led by Irish vice-captain Bridget Cleland.
She and Diane McNeill were on the mark with only Budd’s goal in response while Institute sealed their place with a 2-0 win over Greenfields.
Wildcard playoffs Old Alex 2 (A Budd, L McCoy) Catholic Institute 2 (R Pratt, N Carroll); Ballymoney 3 (R Sutherland, A Kearney, K Mullan) Greenfields 1 (T Garrett); Old Alex 7 (L McCoy 3, D Costigan 2, N Gray, A Budd) Greenfields 1 (N McGettigan); Catholic Institute 3 (E Bromell 2, N Carroll) Ballymoney 0; Greenfields 0 Catholic Institute 2 (E Higgins, R Pratt); Ballymoney 2 (B Cleland, D McNeill) Old Alex 1 (A Budd)
Final standings (goal diff): 1 Catholic Institute 7 pts (+5); 2 Ballymoney 6 pts (0); 3 Old Alex 4 pts (+5); 4 Greenfields 0 pts (-10).