Monday 21 October 2019

Brave Portrane come up just short in cup pursuit

Hockey: Neville Davin Cup Final: Portrane 1 Railway Union 5

Paul Byrne

Portrane put in a brave performance but were ultimately outclassed against a very strong Railway Union side on St Patrick's Day.

Railway have lost just one game this season and are currently sitting at the top of Division 1 in the Leinster League and were strong favourites to pick up their first trophy of the season in the shape of the Neville Davin Cup.

Although it is never enjoyable to lose a final, this was without doubt one of Portrane's better performances of the season and the final scoreline of 5-1 was definitely not a reflection of the balance of play, and perhaps more of a tribute to the finishing prowess of Railway Union.

From the last 10 minutes of the first half until the end of the game Portrane were the better team. They had the majority of possession and created more goal-scoring opportunities, but by that time Railway Union's clinical play around the 'D' had given them a 3-0 lead.

Portrane's quest for glory wasn't helped either by the brilliance of the Railway Union goalkeeper who was having an outstanding game. Apart from Imran Khan's well-taken penalty stroke which made it 3-1, he kept everything else out with a string of fine saves.

With Railway taking such a significant early lead, they were always in control and played a patient passing game, but Portrane remained in contention and as the match wore on they created a number of decent goal-scoring opportunities.

Portrane's defence was excellent despite the scoreline, with special mentions for skipper Chris Neville, Rory McKeon and Riley Shoebridge.

Sean Graham never stopped running up front and his determination created the opportunity for Imran's penalty stroke.

If Portrane could transfer this level of performance into their last few games of the season, then there is no reason why they shouldn't be able to stay in the top flight in the Leinster League.

PORTRANE: Dan Graham, Rory McKeon, Chris Neville, Riley Shoebridge, Muhktar Ahmad, Ossain Elmiger, Imran Khan, Cameron Shoebridge, Derek Ledwidge, Colin Neville, Sean Graham, Shane Healy, Tom McKeon, Seamus Stone, Neill Kidd, Brian MacMahon.

Fingal Independent