Hockey: History for Railway
after 106 years of existence, Railway Union convincingly won their first senior national outdoor title yesterday at Grange Road.
The result secures their entry into next season's EuroHockey League Championship, and for the players and coach Mike McKinnon, it will make up for the Irish Senior Cup final defeat by Loreto a week earlier.
The win was rich reward for the form shown by the Leinster League holders the past two seasons, and Jean McDonnell -- Railway's main threat -- set the scene after a goalless opening quarter, when thumping in a short-corner goal nine minutes before half-time.
It was in the third quarter that the roof fell in on the gallant efforts of Harlequins, who could make no headway against a resolute Railway defence of Emer Lucey, Holly Jenkinson and Eimear Dolan.
Railway added to their tally, firstly from McDonnell, with a short-corner strike deflected past Amy O'Neill and then from another deflection shot, by Nicola Evans, making it 3-0, 13 minutes after half-time.
There was little hope for Harlequins despite the spirited efforts of Karen Bateman, Sinead McCarthy and Cliodhna Sargent and the win was sealed by a Kate Dillon penalty.
Meanwhile, the three-day IHL Wildcard Play-off round robin competition ended with Catholic Institute and Ballymoney qualifying for next season's Irish Hockey League.
Railway Union -- H Stevenson, E Lucey, H Jenkinson, E Dolan, I Joyce, S Walsh, J McDonnell, C Joyce, E Smyth, E Dolan, N Evans. Subs: S McDonald, E Dillon, H de Burgh-Whyte, P O'Dwyer.
Cork Harlequins -- A O'Neill, Y O'Byrne, C Sargent, S McCarthy, A McGrath, K Bateman, R McSharry, R Kohler, H Chapple, C O'Connor, J Chapple. Subs: J Morris, C Bergin, J Bourke, E McGrath, L Mullins, L A Daunt.