PORTLAOISE Ladies Hockey Club got their 2019/2020 Ladies Division 9 League season off to a flying start with a win over UCD 6th on Saturday 28 September.
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 straight away. The home side earned an attacking short corner and took full advantage by scoring a goal past the Portlaoise goalkeeper giving them an early lead.
At that point it looked as if UCD had the potential to run away with the match. However, Portlaoise fought hard to take control of the game and a well-earned goal brought the teams level in the second quarter of the game. The goal was created by quick and accurate passing up the pitch, which started with Susan Fingleton finishing April Kent, who passed up the line to Orla Dwyer. Dwyer then crossed the ball into the circle to Yvonne Hargroves who shot past the UCD goalkeeper.
The teams stayed level during the third quarter. UCD had numerous attacks and attempts on the Portlaoise goal, however great defensive play by the visiting defenders and by Portlaoise goalkeeper, Linda Monaghan, prevented UCD from scoring.
In the final quarter, Portlaoise ramped up the pressure and a second goal came for as a result of a fantastic movement by newly appointed team captain, April Kent. She evaded the tackles of five of the opposition players as she moved up the left-hand side of the pitch. Subsequently, she crossed the ball across the goal with a strong back-stick strike which was deflected into the goal by Yvonne Hargroves who was in the perfect place in the circle.
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, Orla Dwyer, Emma Holohan, Yvonne Hargroves, Lucy Dwyer.