Navan push on in quest for Leinster Hockey title

Story by Conall Collier

Thursday, 7th March, 2019 10:00pm

Navan push on in quest for Leinster Hockey title

The quest for the Leinster Men's League Div 4 title continues for Navan as they put in a strong performance to defeat hosts Mullingar 3-2 on Saturday. 

Played at a frenetic pace the contest ebbed and flowed with Mullingar taking advantage of a sluggish start by the Meath side to forge ahead. 

Navan’s Philip Garry was a constant threat down the right and conjured up an equaliser with a sweet finish after good work by Kyle Ramsey. 

As Navan - who went into the game as table-toppers - pushed forward both Ru Clarke and Eamon Lynskey had efforts rebound off the post.

Navan had to be strong at the back as well with Damien Lynskey and Roger Warburton among those who defended with strength and purpose. 

Navan's pressure paid off when Garry skilfully slipped the ball past the Mullingar netminder to give the Meath side a deserved 2-1 lead going into the break. 

The rain that had lashed down in the opening half subsided somewhat and the Navan defence continued to absorb a considerable amount of pressure while at the other end Garry and Ciaran Kearns continued to be real threats. 

Navan gave themselves a two-goal cushion when Garry made a strong run before creating an opening for Rob Andrew who stroked the ball home via a deflection. 

Mullingar gave themselves some hope with a goal from a powerful drag flick from a short corner. Navan earned a penalty stroke soon after, but Eamon Lynskey's shot was well saved. 

This was a good team display from Navan and the victory keeps them in the hunt for the title.

                   P W D L Pts
Navan        12 8 1 3 25
N Kildare   13 6 4 3 22
Naas          12 6 3 3 21
Railway U  12 6 0 6 18
Three Rock 12 4 6 2 18
Corinthians 11 5 3 3 18
Mullingar    13 5 1 7 16
Pembroke   13 4 1 8 13
Kilkenny      12 3 3 6 12
Dublin Nth  12 2 2 8 8


Following a rousing performance against Muckross the previous week the Navan women once more chalked up a victory when they defeated a strong Our Lady's 1-0 side on Saturday in the Leinster League Div 5. 

This win was built on an incredibly solid defensive performance with players such as Helen Heaney, Rhona Murphy, Brianne Lynch and Eimear Hardiman working together to keep the Our Lady's attack at bay. 

The crucial goal arrived after just 10 minutes and was the end product of a superb passage of play from Navan with Niamh Curtin delivering a sublime pass to Mags Kilcooley and she fired home. 

The Navan defence was under severe pressure at times, but they held firm with 'keeper Karen Dunne in top form. 

Carla Mae Banks also went close for Navan late on. Roisin Byrne made a very solid debut for Ruth Fitzgerald's battling, hard-working team.

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