Monday 18 December 2017

Hockey: Cockram seals title for Ulster

A 3-3 draw against holders Leinster sufficed to make Ulster inter-provincial champions at Serpentine Avenue yesterday.

The northerners never led at any stage of the game, but each time Leinster edged ahead they found the response. Gary Shaw dinked the home side ahead on nine minutes only for Timmy Cockram to convert a rasping penalty-corner reply.

Shane O'Donoghue had the Blues ahead at the break but Reading-based Chris Cargo cracked in a delightful reverse-stick equaliser on 42 minutes.

Joe Brennan pounced on the rebound from an O'Donoghue shot to give Leinster an advantage they held until four minutes from time. Then Cockram snapped up a loose ball in a crowded goalmouth to poach the decisive score.

The new champions had the luxury of superior goal difference after their 7-1 destruction of Munster on Saturday.

Munster, meanwhile, reclaimed the women's senior inter-provincial title they last held in 2003 in yesterday's finale at Serpentine Avenue -- their 2-0 win over Connacht leaving Leinster to fill the runners-up spot, with Ulster third.

Having beaten Ulster 5-0 on Friday, their 1-1 draw with Leinster on Saturday left them waiting on the outcome of the Leinster v Ulster clash, with Leinster needing a 3-0 win to force a penalty-stroke finale.

However, it never looked likely as Leinster and Ulster shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw, and Eimear Cregan's brace against Connacht proved sufficient on the day for the southerners.

At Grange Road, Leinster took the junior inter-provincial title, with Ulster runners-up.

Irish Independent

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