The Clonmel Juvenile hockey club opened their season with a blitz for U/14 girls in Limerick on Saturday. Due to the large numbers training each Sunday, the U/14 girls will compete in two Munster leagues this year – the Rock League and the Rave League.
Both the Rock and the Rave league teams played Crescent HC, Limerick and Ashton HC, Cork on Saturday. First in action were the Rock team where goalie Lucy O’Donnell had little to do thanks to great defensive work by Caroline Stokes and Caron Binchy. The Clonmel midfield of Avril Bergin, Aisling Deely and Sophie Hayes was very dominant in the early stages and combined for Avril to open the scoring. The forward line of Emily O’Dea, Megan Hayes and Robyn Boland had many chances before Megan slotted home a fine goal to make it 2-0 to Clonmel. The second half saw Crescent pile on the pressure but it was Clonmel who continued to play better and the final scoreline of 4-0 to Clonmel rewarded their hard work.
The Rave team faced a stronger Crescent team and took a while longer to settle. Despite the best efforts of the defence of Ellen Butler, Siobhan Bradley and Aisling Whelan, Crescent scored some early goals. Good passing between Lucy O’Donnell, Aoife Hayes and Martha Faulkner saw a fine pass through to the forwards Sarah Hayes, Annie Cotter and Niamh Bain and Niamh scored for Clonmel. The end result favoured Crescent 5-1 but this will only spur the girls on to produce better performances for the rest of the season.
The Rock team played Ashton next and within the first minute Avril Bergin sent a beautiful pass through from a free just inside Clonmel’s own half to find Emily O’Dea who swept the ball into the back of the net. Clonmel gathered confidence from this goal and continued to press forward. Aisling Walsh set up some great moves from midfield and Aisling Deely made great breaks down the right wing, keeping the Ashton defence under pressure throughout. Emily O’Dea was in super form in the circle to score a total of four goals for Clonmel. The final score of 4-0 to Clonmel was well deserved. The Rave team then played Ashton and this game started very evenly, until Annie Cotter’s consistent hard work in the forwards paid dividends and she scored a lovely goal. Further good defensive play form Ciara Bain and Caroline Cotter kept the Ashton forwards at bay and allowed the Clonmel midfield of Lizzie Ryan (1), Megan Hayes (2) and Robyn Boland to dominate and set up forwards Sarah Hayes and Lucy O’Donnell (2) to score some lovely goals. The final score 6-0 was a great boost for the Clonmel Rave team.
Well done to both teams on a great start to the season – four games, three wins, with 16 goals scored and only 5 goals conceded all day. Thank you to all the parents who helped with transport and came to support the girls, who were ably organised by Andrea O’Dea and coaches Ger Boland and Jacqui Freyne. Training continues in Loreto, Clonmel each Sunday at 10.30am for juvenile players.