It was a top of the table clash for Cashel New Inn Hockey Club (CNHC) against Bruff on Saturday evening under lights in Rockwell. The support and atmosphere matched the intensity of the game. Everything was at stake for both teams here as the winner of this game would almost be guaranteed promotion next season - with a 4-1 win things are now looking good for CNHC.
It was a tough start to the game with both teams attacking and winning numerous short corner but no rewards. After continued pressure from CNHC, it finally paid off in the 25th minute when a great strike from Margaret Ann Cooney was directed into the goal by Helen Horan. It was her first touch of the ball as she had just been substituted for Clare Cremmins who took a nasty bang to the eye. The half time score was 1-0.
CNHC came out all guns blazing in the second half. There was string of passes from Cora Hennessy, Emma Shannahan and Ruth Molony into Margaret Ann Cooney at the top of the circle, who took a clean strike to score a fantastic goal to give CNHC 2-0 lead. Shortly after CNHC were awarded a short corner and Suzanne O’Connor made sure the ball found the goal with a great strike to make it 3-0. With about 15 minutes to go Bruff had numerous attacks but the defence of Elaine Crosse, Kate Molony, Mary Cooney, Katie O’Connor and Maura O’Neill were well able to keep them out. Goalkeeper Caroline Maher came to the rescue on a few occasions. Bruff were awarded a penalty flick which made the score 3-1 with 10 minutes to go. Rachel Stanley and Aisling Moloney in the forwards also created some great chances. Eventually in the last few minutes CNHC broke through the Bruff defense with Helen Horan finishing off with a great goal to wrap up the game at 4-1.
CNHC will play UCC in Rockwell on Sunday, February 5, at 2pm in the first round of the cup. All support is appreciated.