13th May 2017

Avoca Mixed 7s Hockey Tournament

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Avoca Mixed 7s 2017

This year's tournament almost didn't happen... but thankfully it did and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! Surprisingly only 6 teams registered for the tournament which is half the normal number we have had in previous years and it might be down to other prior engagements that took precedence or that the tournament was in May rather than the usual April slot. However, with the rain staying away and the sun beating through the clouds, excellent fun and enjoyable hockey prevailed.

Due to the low number of teams, there was only need for one group and this meant that each team played every other side before final placings were determined and then a final play-off game to decide honours.

It was clear in the opening matches that Newpark Bees and Bomb Squad has intentions of going the distance as the sides played out a pulsating 14-goal thriller with Bomb Squad edging ahead 8-6 with Herbie bagging 5 goals in the process. Ear Lingus also showed their intent on honours with a 5-0 thumping of Glenageary Utd while C.B.A.S.H.C. won by the odd goal against the Panthers in an eleven-goal affair. Now just to point out, Glenageary Utd was a team led by Dennis O'Connor featuring family members while the Panthers was a side thrown together from players on the free agents list.

After three games, Ear Lingus and Bomb Squad had three wins from three, but in game four, Newpark Bees stopped the fly boys/girls and brought them crashing down to earth with a 5-4 defeat. So it meant Ear Lingus needed a win against unbeaten Bomb Squad to qualify for the Cup Final and although ten goals went in, the score ended level. Newpark Bees won their final game and qualified second to play for the Cup against Bomb Squad. Ear Lingus would meet C.B.A.S.H.C. for the bronze medal match while The Panthers played Glenageary Utd for 5th place.

Unlike in the previous meeting, which saw Glenageary win 6-5 against the Panthers, the former seemed to be struggling due to injuries and ended up eventually losing this classification match 10-2 with Grainne Millar and Hilary Long both scoring hat-tricks.

The Bronze medals were awarded to Ear Lingus as they improved on their group match score winning by a 2-goal margin of 7-5. The goals were spread out throughout the team with a total of 8 different scorers from both sides although Ali Reid did manage to get a hat-trick for C.B.A.S.H.C.

The Cup Final was the lowest scoring match of the day and perhaps justifiably so as both teams were desperate for honours as neither had competed in the final before. Andrew Sykes (Bomb Squad) and Finn MacAnna (Newpark Bees) got the goals for the teams as the sides played out a tense 1-1 draw. 3 minutes of golden goal was to decide the match and from the push off the Bees launched a shot at goal which went in from the tip off to mass scenes of delight from the bees but after consultation, the umpire ruled it out for dangerous play as it was adjudged to be above the knee. So much to the disappointment of the Bees, play was restarted and as it turned out, Phoebe Norwood was in the right place at the right time to seal the win to send the Bomb Squad into delirium!

Congratulations to Herbie Fowler Hudson from the Bomb Squad who missed out on top goal scorer last year but certainly made amends for it this year as he scored a whopping 19 goals in 6 games! Matt Treacy also from Bomb Squad was second in the top goal scorer rankings on 14; Matt was voted Player of the Tournament.

Many thanks to Stephen, Alan, Stephen, Klaas and Dave for umpiring! Thanks also to the six captains for organising their teams (Rob, Ben, Elmo, Hilary, Dennis and Herbie) - €500 was raised for LauraLynn!

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