On Saturday, 18th February 2012 Round 3 of the IIHA’s Women’s InLine Hockey League took place at the Little Island Sports Complex in Little Island, County Cork.
Six league games took place with each of the four teams playing each other once so each team played three games on the day. It was the Dundalk Bulls Ladies that dominated the day with three wins including two very tight one goal wins. Aside from the Bulls Ladies’ dominace, the NIIHA Women’s InLine Hockey Team recorded two wins while the UCC Coconutters had one win against the Molly Malones who failed to register a point on the day.
First up were the host team, the UCC Coconutters, against the Molly Malones from Dublin. The Coconutters started off the strongest taking the lead through Laura Lyons less than three minutes into the game. They doubled their lead four minutes later through Fiona Ryan before scoring their third with a minute to go until the break through Jess White. The Malones came back strong after the break and their perseverance was rewarded when they pulled one back through Gabriela Vlasankova with less than nine minutes left in the game. However, the host team added their fourth two minutes later with Lyons scoring her second. The final minutes of the game were back and forth with the Malones putting the Coconutters’ goalkeeper under severe pressure. They did manage to pull two more goals back but it wasn’t enough and the final score was 4 – 3 in favour of the Coconutters.
The next game featured the Dundalk Bulls Ladies and NIIHA who were third and first in the standings going into the weekend, respectively. This was a fierce game from the start and was close throughout. The Bulls Ladies took the initial lead within the first minute through Jana Gerkena. However, NIIHA applied pressure to the Bulls Ladies’ goal and were rewarded three minutes later with a goal from Claire Adams. The action was back and forth. Each team appeared to have the better of the other and a stalemate appeared to be on the cards. Shauna Gaffney managed to get a second for NIIHA but Gerkena scored her second and third for her hat trick which won the game for Dundalk. This is the second time that the Bulls Ladies have defeated NIIHA. The Bulls Ladies are the only team to have defeated NIIHA thus far.
The Bulls Ladies were in action again in the next game; this time against the Coconutters. This was another back and forth game with the Coconutters taking a two goal lead after ten minutes through Lyons and Ryan. The Bulls Ladies pulled one back through Lorna Hoey before White scored the Coconutters’ third. However, the score going into the break was 3 – 3 as Sonya Mc Eneaney and Gerkena scored the Bulls Ladies’ second and third goals. The second period was again close with each team scoring a further two goals before the Bulls Ladies scored a last gasp winner with less than forty-five seconds remaining in the game.
The Molly Malones then took on NIIHA in the fourth game of the day. NIIHA ran out 2 – 0 winners in that game with goals coming Claire Thompson and Alison Leonard. Avril Ní Mhathúna put in a very strong performance in goal for the Molly Malones stopping thirty of the thirty-two shots she faced. Next on the agenda for the day was an “All-Stars” Exhibition Game giving the Women’s teams a break. This was a fairly fast paced game although the final score was slightly lopsided in favour of Team White. After this game, NIIHA took on the Coconutters with NIIHA winning the game 5 – 2. The final game of the day saw the Bulls Ladies run out 5 – 0 winners against the Molly Malones which capped off a very successful day for the Dundalk outfit.
The Final Scores for the day were as follows:
Game # 1: UCC Coconutters 4 – 3 Molly Malones
Game # 2: Dundalk Bulls Ladies 3 – 2 NIIHA
Game # 3: UCC Coconutters 5 – 6 Dundalk Bulls Ladies
Game # 4: Molly Malones 0 – 2 NIIHA
Game # 5: Team White 15 – 6 Team Blue (“All-Stars” Exhibition Game)
Game # 6: NIIHA 5 – 2 UCC Coconutters
Game # 7: Dundalk Bulls Ladies 5 – 0 Molly Malones
This was a fantastic day of InLine Hockey down in Cork with some excellent and excitingly close games. A huge thank you goes to the UCC Coconutters for hosting Round 3 and organising everything for the day and well done to each of the teams for taking part. Last but not least, thank you to all those who volunteered their time on the day helping out with refereeing, statistics, timekeeping, photography and everything else.