Dublin University Hockey Club (DUHC) went into the Neville Cup game on Saturday against Corinthians possibly apprehensive about what was to come having lost 3-1 to the league leaders last week. They were at home this time on a bitterly cold afternoon and for most of the game it looked like the game would go to Corinthians again. But Trinity managed to fight back and dramatically win 4-2 on penalty flicks.
The first 15 minutes of the game were uneventful. Corinthians had most of the possession, but Trinity hassled them well and stopped them from creating any real opportunities. Eighteen minutes into the game, DUHC’s defences broke down and were left reeling after a swift Corinthians attack ended in a goal. This goal put Trinity firmly on the back foot. None of DUHC’s passes were sticking and Corinthians had the majority of possession. The visitors could have gone two ahead just before half time but for a good save by Trinity keeper Hugh Lavery.
Trinity started the second half brightly. Five minutes in, Wilf King won possession outside the D and hit a dangerous ball across the face of the goal. Robbie O’Hanlon managed to get a stick to it, but it drifted wide. A few minutes later, King hit an identical ball from inside the D. An indecisive Corinthians keeper managed to just about shepherd the ball wide. However, this positive spell was overshadowed by a second Corinthians goal, clinically taken after getting in behind the Trinity defence.
The match seemed to be over, but six minutes later things took a turn when the hosts won their first short corner of the game. Captain Rory Nichols swept the ball powerfully towards Cillian Hynes who tapped it past the oncoming defenders into the back of the Corinthians net. This goal was followed up by a second moments later. Clearly not concentrating after the goal, Corinthians gave away possession to King, who ran at the retreating Corinthians’ defence before picking out Hynes in space. He clinically finished off the move, sticking the ball into the corner of the goal.
Corinthians nearly went ahead with a few minutes to go via a short corner, but DUHC were able to deal with it and the ball was tapped wide. Soon after, the whistle sounded and the teams gathered into a huddle to await penalty flicks.
The penalty flicks were a nervous affair, with each team scoring their first two. Corinthians’ third stroke went wide after King had slotted his home to make it 3-2. O’Hanlon’s was saved, but Lavery managed to save Corinthians’s fourth. It was left up to Paddy Temperley to win the game with a penalty flick that he duly slotted home.
Going into the half-time break two goals down and after losing to them the week before, DUHC had no right to win that match. To come back in the fashion they did and to win on penalty flicks is a testament to the courage they showed yesterday.