Muckross seal Irish Hockey League spot with provincial finals victory
Muckross completed an extraordinary revival in the club’s fortunes on Sunday when they qualified for next season’s Irish Hockey League by winning the provincial finals in Cork with three wins and a draw from their four games.
Last month the club, once a dominant force in Irish hockey, won its first Leinster first division title in 21 years having tumbled down through the league, their nadir coming when they were relegated to division four.
They’re back, though, under coach Sarah Scott, a draw with Old Alexandra and victories over NUIG, UCC and Lurgan earning them the IHL slot vacated by Monkstown on Saturday when their 5-1 defeat by champions UCD sealed their relegation.
Old Alexandra were runners-up to Muckross and will play Trinity in the IHL promotion/relegation play-off, the students finishing second from bottom after a 6-0 defeat by Loreto on Saturday.
That Loreto win, along with Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Pegasus, saw them pip Railway Union to fourth in the IHL, giving them a place in the Champions Trophy. It was a remarkable turnaround by Loreto who trailed Railway by seven points six games ago, but while they took 11 points from their last five IHL games, Railway could only manage three.
Loreto will play UCD in the Champions Trophy semi-finals next month, having lost to them in a shoot-out three weeks ago in the last four of the Irish Senior Cup following a scoreless draw. Cork Harlequins meet Pegasus in the other semi-final.