HOCKEY FOCUS - two defeats for Navan

Thursday, 8th November, 2018 7:00am

HOCKEY FOCUS - two defeats for Navan

Navan ladies hockey team

Navan had a tough weekend in the Leinster Ladies Div 5 Hockey League with away games against the top two teams, Muckross on Saturday and UCD on Sunday.

Muckross defeated Navan by 3-0 on Saturday. Navan lost out after a spirited display against a team that has not conceded a goal this season.

Karen Dunne was formidable between the posts, showing no fear in diving towards the Muckross shots. It was a tough slog to keep the pace on the astro with Muckross playing smart hockey to keep the possession.

Navan could only hold defensively with Grainne Hussey, Helen Heaney, Brianne Lynch and Niamh Curtin playing some of their best hockey.

While the scoreline read 3-0 it highlighted a lot of positives for the Navan side.

Ciara Walsh, Laura Wimsey and Sinead Dixon all displayed tremendous skill after joining the first team late in the season. 

Curtin claimed player of the match through her determined and skilful passages of play through the middle to create the few Navan chances in the game.

Sunday night against UCD was a much more heartbreaking affair with the hosts winning by 8-1.

Navan just about fielded a full team with nine of the starting 11 starting the night before.

UCD were quick to find the gaps in the Navan defence and the set pieces left the Navan side scrambling to regain their foothold in the match.

The UCD goals came mainly from short corners and while players such as Karen Dunne and Brianne Lynch showed great bravery in closing down the opposition, it was impossible to stop them all.

The second-half showed slightly more promise with Navan gaining a lot more possession through the tactics of coach Ruth Fitzgerald.

Changes included dropping Mairead Canavan back into defence as a high sweeper and that eliminated some of the pressure while Christine Canavan dropped back to mids leaving Bronagh Markey as the only forward against a strong UCD defence.

Navan were then able to work the ball forward through more accurate passing to create more chances. Sinead Dixon showed great skill on the left taking

UCD by surprise with her strenuous reverse hits, one of which led to Navan being awarded a long corner.

Curtin stepped up and swept the ball to Carla Mae Banks who expertly found Markey who sent the ball through the keepers feet for a consolation goal for Navan.

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