The Senior Boys’ Hockey team had a fantastic win in their Trophy final against Kilkenny College this week, bringing home some well-deserved silverware to the College.
The 3-2 victory saw the team win the Leinster Trophy for the first time since 2014 and the third time since its inception in 2010. The team dominated the first quarter, scoring two goals as well as creating a number of other chances but some excellent saves from the Kilkenny goalkeeper kept them in touch going into the second quarter. The first goal was a well-taken short corner by Christoph Geyer with a well-directed slap. The second goal came from a good cross into a crowded circle. Joon Schultheis received the ball and manoeuvred himself into space to shoot evading the attention of a number of Kilkenny defenders. He finished with an excellent flick past the keeper and into the net.
In the second quarter, Columba’s were a bit flat, perhaps thinking that the job was done. They still looked the better team but they were not passing the ball around as fluently as they had in the first quarter. Kilkenny took advantage of a few lazy mistakes which gave them the opportunity to attack the Columba’s Circle. One of these attacks came down our right-hand side and a neat ball into a free Kilkenny player on the penalty spot left Benedict Huessen too much to cover as the ball was directed past his left foot. Kilkenny were back in the game and began to play with a bit more confidence and forced more mistakes from the Columba’s players.
Columba’s came out after halftime playing the ball around a bit more like they had in the first quarter and this led to an early goal from Edvard Zujest who got an excellent deflection from a dangerous cross in front of the keeper. Down by two goals, Kilkenny had nothing to lose and threw themselves into every challenge. This limited the time that Columba’s players had on the ball leading to more mistakes. In the final quarter, Kilkenny really piled on the pressure and eventually, it paid off for them clawing back one of the goals. It was a nervy final 10 minutes with only the one goal separating the sides but the Columba’s players kept hold of the ball for longer periods and were able to exert pressure on Kilkenny rather than having to defend. It led to a few more chances for Columba’s but again the Kilkenny keeper kept them in it.
It was certainly a well-earned win for the team who have worked incredibly hard all season. They were very unfortunate early on in the season to have missed out on qualifying for the All Irelands and the Senior Cup but they turned their season around by remaining unbeaten in all competitions since October. A special mention must go to Grant Glutz, the Senior’s coach, who has transformed the squad into a formidable team capable of competing against the best teams in the province.