Sunday, May 23, 2010

Loreto finding magic touch for fifth

EuroHockey Club Champion’s Trophy - fifth/sixth playoff
Loreto 3 (Nikki Keegan, Lizzie Colvin, Nicci Daly) Alta Boryspol (Ukraine) 1
Loreto finally found their scoring sticks in the second half of their fourth EuroHockey Club Champion’s Trophy to end their campaign on a high, finishing fifth with an impressive win over Ukraine’s Alta Boryspol, outdoing their pre-tournament ranking by three places.

A frustrating first half with plenty of missed chances ended scoreless despite a corner count of 4-3 in favour of the Irish side. Nikki Symmons flashed wide from close to the stroke spot in the first minute while an excellent move saw the Irish international play in teenager Carly Baker whose cross just evaded sticks racing in.

A facial injury to Caitriona Tipping did see Loreto lose a little shape in the second quarter while a lengthy goal-mouth scramble also went a begging.

But the second half proved a different story with Nikki Keegan breaking the deadlock in brilliant fashion. In the 40th minute, she hared down the left flank, starting on the 25 metre line, cutting in on the baseline and finding a way to the net.

After that, it was all one-way traffic. Lizzie Colvin banged home from the top right of the circle eight minutes later before Nicci Daly applied a similar finish with 13 minutes to go for 3-0.

Boryspol pulled one back from a soft corner in the closing minutes but never threatened a comeback, leaving the Irish side as the fifth placed finishers in Rome.

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