Navan bidding up for Leinster Hockey title

Story by Conall Collier

Thursday, 28th February, 2019 9:00pm

Navan bidding up for Leinster Hockey title

Navan earned a Leinster Men’s League Div 4 point against hosts Naas following a tight 2-2 draw last weekend.

This now sets up another big game this weekend against Mullingar.

In the game against Naas it was the Kildare side that  forged ahead when Navan lost the ball in a promising position and the hosts broke quickly. 

Naas defended resolutely throughout the first half with only Philip Garry’s strong wing play creating any real chances.

Navan then lost top scorer Chris Booth to a calf injury, further blunting their attack and in the second half the weather turned. 

As the rain fell Garry embarked on another run outside the Naas left back and he pulled the ball back to Ru Clarke who found the back of the net with the aid of a deflection.

Soon after Garry again saw his endeavour rewarded as the ball made its way into the circle. 

Despite the Naas keeper making the initial save, the ball somehow squirmed through his legs and Garry was on hand to scramble across the line and give Navan the lead.

After again conceding possession up the pitch, Navan left the Naas right winger unmarked and he burst into the circle where he managed to set up the equaliser.

DIVISION 4 TABLE

                      P W D L Pts
Navan            11 7 1 3  22
North Kildare 12 6 3 3  21
Railway U      11 6 0 5  18
Naas              11 5 3 3  18
Corinthians     11 5 3 3  18
Three Rock     11 4 5 2  17
Mullingar         12 5 1 6  16
Kilkenny          12 3 3 6  12
Pembroke       12 3 1 8  10
Dublin North    11 2 2 7   8

LADIES

The shock of the weekend with Navan claiming a 2-1 victory against the top team who have only lost one other game this season.

Navan went in all guns blazing with the strongest panel back and held a lot of the possession in the early exchanges.

Spirited performances from Mags Kilcooley, Niamh Curtin and Emma Fitzgerald kept the pressure on Muckross.

Some great link up play along the left saw Rhona Murphy pick out Kilcooley who took flight down the left, linking with Bronagh Markey in the corner who played it back to her before she blasted it towards the goal and Clodagh Lyons finished.

Navan had plenty of chances subsequently with Kilcooley and Fitzgerald sending great balls into the D that Markey and Byrne were unfortunate not to convert.

As Muckross adapted to the pitch they tested Karen Dunne, but the defence held strong and Grainne Hussey as sweeper along with Dunne kept the defence in line.

Stand out performances from Helen Heaney, Eimear Hardiman, Rhona Murphy and Brianne Lynch sustained Navan to the break.
Muckross scored after the resumption following a dramatic goal line melee when the ball was deemed to have crossed the line.

With five minutes remaining the Muckross coach took the goalkeeper off and left a kicking back in her place.

Navan capitalised and Niamh Curtin worked the ball through the middle to find Heaney in the forwards who twisted and turned controlling the ball until she could get a shot and she made no mistake in burying it in the net.

SECOND TEAM 

The ladies second team were unfortunate to come away from Pembroke empty-handed following a 0-3 reversal.

Despite the scoreline it was a hearty performance from the Navan side with great movement and passing evident.

The team gelled well and stellar performances from Kathlyn Newman and Aoife Heaney in the defence kept Pembroke at bay while Eirin Dames had a superb game.

Lauren Kenny and Minh Stewart were solid game while Sinead Dixon and Belynda O’Gorman were unlucky not to convert their chances.

FUNDRAISER
The Navan club host a table quiz this Friday night in Teach na Teamhrach.

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