Avoca Mixed 7s

The Avoca Mixed 7s was another cracker despite only a few teams signing up to this year’s event due to exams and other commitments! Did you know this event has been going since 2012! We might have to resurrect the stats…

With only 5 teams competing, the Panthers found the going tough against teams with players half their age; but they battled well and only just lost out to Dgrogans 3-5 in their opening duel. Low Expectations held off Bomb Squad to claim a narrow 3-2 victory but then came undone against the reigning Champions the Bens losing 1-3. The Bens were in cruise control as they came into their final group game with 3 wins but Bomb Squad managed a scalp of their own and earned a 3-2 victory and with Low Expectations winning as expected against the Panthers; it was a three horse race for the title with all sides 3 wins and a defeat. After double checking the scores, The Bens would meet Low Expectations and due to fewer goals scored, Bomb Squad missed out on the final and had to make do with 3rd place as Dgrogans conceded defeat.

The sun came out for the final and a special thanks to Ben Geoghegan who umpired 5 group games and the big match. The Bens scored early in the 1st half only for Zack Waters to equalise for Low Expectations towards the end of the half. The match was ebbing and flowing and as time ticked on, it looked like the game was going to be settled by a shoot-off. With the score board in action and counting down the seconds all eyes were on the game; another special thank you to Jeff Jones for installing the fantastic scoreboard. With seconds remaining, captain Ben Marnell picked up the ball in his own half and jinked past a defender and with one to beat, he pushed his effort homeward bound to win the game with 2 seconds on the clock!!! Amazing stuff… we’ll certainly have higher expectations of low expectations next year and look forward to doing it all again then!

Avoca Mixed Vets 7s

The Avoca Mixed vets 7s took part at Newpark on Saturday 11th May. 4 teams signed up for this year’s inaugural event and with glorious weather is was a super day out. After watering the pitch, competitive half-pitches matches ensued with plenty of good laughs in-between! The All Blacks, who changed their kit from black to white due to the sun, claimed the title beating the Panthers in the final winning 5-2; although the game was a lot closer than it seems as Ferg equalised to make it 2-2 midway through the second half. Sex-kak beat the Winners 5-1 in the 3rd place…

Refreshments went down exceedingly well in the Wishing Well post-tourni and plans are afoot to run a similar event again soon!

Fixtures 25-26/3/23

We have reached the business end of the season. After 33 games across League, Cup and EY2, our Women’s 1sts have a massive weekend of hockey ahead. First up on Saturday we welcome Ulster Elks to Newpark on Saturday at 14.30, in a game that will decide the winner of EYHL2, pool A. Winning the pool means progression straight to the Semi Finals on the 14th-16th April, Play off Finals weekend, while the runners up will take part in the Quarter final play-off games, next weekend, with a second chance to reach the Semi Finals.

This is the first year our Women’s 1st team have ever competed in EYHL2 and Noelle, Anna and the entire squad have acquitted themselves superbly with wins on the road against UCC, University of Galway and Saturday’s opposition, Ulster Elks, leaving them unbeaten in EYHL2.

The Men’s 1sts play their final home league match before the Women’s 1’s where they can secure a EYHL2 play off (possibly automatic qualification) for next season? Support always appreciated: push back at 12.30pm.

Sunday brings an Irish Senior Cup Semi-final against local rivals Monkstown in Newpark at 15.30. Having won the Irish Hockey Trophy last season, beating Raphoe in the final, the team now have the chance to reach the final of the Premier Irish Cup competition. They have got here via wins away to Banbridge, home to Cork Church of Ireland and a hard-fought battle with newly crowned Division 1 league winners Corinthians.

This is the stuff you dream about. Please come out and cheer the girls on this weekend. They need your support in two of the biggest games in Avoca HC history.

Fixtures at Newpark on Sat 25/3
12.30pm M1 v Trinity
2.30pm W1 v Ulster Elks EYHL2
4.15pm W3 v Trinity

Fixtures at Sion Hill on Sat 25/3
12.45pm W5 v TRR
2.30pm M4 v Bray
4.15pm W4 v Rathgar

Fixtures at Newpark on Sun 26/3
3.30pm W1 v Monkstown Irish Senior Cup Semi Final

Team of the Week R9

Midweek action for our W1s as they travelled to Mount Temple to take on Clontarf and their excellent form and run of three wins was brought to a sudden halt as their opponents pinched a narrow 1-0 win. Having conceded early on in 1st quarter, our W1s stepped it up after that and piled on the pressure for the next 3 quarters but struggled to get the final finishing touch. Avoca certainly had their chances as the side dominated play for the majority of the game and even had an effort off the post. As time ticked on and the short corner count soared; it seemed it was not to be Avoca’s day and finished off as a very frustrating 1-0 loss.

A fantastic 3-0 win for our W4s against Corinthian now gives them breathing space at the top of Division 7 as they have now opened up a 4-point gap; Lauren Doyle Shaw, Suzanne Cullen and Orlaith Duffy were all on target.

The W5s had a double weekend and draw with Bray in the cup on Saturday before winning in another shoot-out. It was 1-1 at normal time after Emma Meir had converted a short corner. Then in the shoot-out, Tiggy Hudson Fowler stopped 4 including a stroke while Emma Meir and Molly converted their 1v1s. Paul Cronin said, “Brilliant gritty performance against an evenly matched Bray side.” Ellie O’Brien claimed the Player of the Match accolade for a fine performance. On Sunday, Avoca’s Deadly 5s faced a Kilkenny 2s side that had scored 36 goals and conceded only 1 before meeting Avoca today. A few sore limbs following the previous day’s match, but great team led planning chat beforehand, and everyone knew their jobs. From the off it was clear that KK had a sophisticated attack force but after only 2 minutes a through ball to midfield was quickly fed to Emma Meir who spotted Alison Magee to the right of the goal; clever thinking by Alison led to an assured push past the goalie’s feet. KK were a bit shell shocked at the end of Q1 but came out then to do battle. Avoca’s second goal came from a beautifully lifted ball from Hilary Long to Keelin O’Brien who expertly slotted it home. KK put immense pressure on our back line who created a barrier that was only pierced once in normal play. Alas, 3 KK goals came from short corners to ensure they took home the spoils and continued their charge for the title. Player of the match for pure passion and leadership went to Emma Meir; the team would like to wish Emma all the very best as she now goes into surgery this week and the side will certainly miss her…

Elsewhere, the W3s picked up a very good point against North Kildare with Hilary Long and Ella Lawless both netting to secure a much-needed point and Hilary Lennon fired in a consolation goal for the W2s against the students as UCD remain undefeated and earned a 3-1 win.

W1 0-1 Clontarf
W2 1-3 UCD
W3 2-2 North Kildare
W4 3-0 Corinthian
W5 2-1 Bray Cup
W5 2-4 Kilkenny

The men’s 1s completed a convincing 6-1 win over Trinity in Santy Sports Grounds who prior to the match, were only three points behind the boot boys. Getting off to a good start, Avoca took the lead through an Oran O’Sullivan rebound from a short corner. The defender shortly followed up the goal with an excellent goal line clearance at the other end, to keep the momentum in Avoca’s favour. Two more short corner conversions in Q2 from Ziggy Agnew and Jonathan Elmes meant Avoca were in a comfortable position come half time, assisted by a good save from Ben Mayberry to repel a Trinity short corner of their own. Trinity pulled one back in Q3 but Andrew Ramsay swiftly cancelled out that effort, restoring the 3 goal cushion for Avoca. As the game opened up towards the end, which included Trinity pulling their keeper, Jonathan Codd chipped in with another corner rebound for Avoca, and Jonathan Elmes completed a brace to continue his rich vein of scoring form. All told, an undeniably comprehensive win from Avoca, who continue to top the table two points ahead of Railway, albeit giving up a game in hand.

The mighty 3s picked up another 3 points as Ian Keogh’s men earned a valuable 2-1 win on their travels into county Kilkenny and in doing so keep up with leaders Enniscorthy. The M2s led at Monkstown by a goal from Cian Funge and were holding on to a win only to concede in the final quarter to share a spoil of the points.

Team of the week goes to the Fearsome 4s who notched an incredible victory against Trinity, although having checked their league progress, have suffered similar fate to other teams this season it appears. Conor Robinson bagged himself a hat-trick while Dan Bolger and Mo Ghia scored a brace each. Leo Sex, Niels O’Flanagan and Lucas Davenport were also on target as the side edge to the table summit.

M1 6-1 Trinity
M2 1-1 Monkstown
M3 2-1 Kilkenny
M4 10-0 Trinity

Team of the Week Leaderboard

1 M1 – 2
2 W1 W2 M3 W4 W5 M5 M4 – 1
3 W3 M2 – 0

***League Table Standings***

W1 D1 | W2 D2 | W3 D4 | W4 D7 | W5 D9
M1 D1A | M2 D1B | M3 D3 | M4 D5 | M5 D6

Team of the Week R8

A five-star performance for the women’s 1s earned them their first Team of the Week award this season beating Rathgar 5-0. Sisters Orla and Niamh O’Brien started off the scoring with a goal each early in the 2nd quarter. Marieke Van Rossem added another goal in Q3 when she deflected in a short corner – her first goal for the club since joining us! Niamh O’Brien got the fourth when she finished off a lovely team move and Isabelle Napier topped it all off as she deflected in a shot from Zoe Watterson late in Q4. A really strong performance and deserved 5-0 win from the team. The result leaves our women top of the chasing pack and hot on the heels of the breakaway trio of Corinthian, Trinity and Monkstown.

Another splendid victory for the women’s 2s as they beat front runners Railway Union 2-1 and now move up into a mid-table position. Hilary Lennon is on fire at the moment and scored both goals in a match that will be fondly remembered for a superb victory.

The Women’s 3s earned themselves a good three points against Navan adding breathing space above their opponents who lie in the relegation zone. Goals from Molly Rees x 2 and Aela Cronin x 2 secured the win. Coach Fowler Hudson said “The Woman’s 3rds have been unlucky so far but are starting to get going as they put 4 past Navan. They have some difficult fixtures coming up but are showing to be a hard side to beat. Hopefully the 3rds hard work at training will pay off in the new year.”

Another victory for the W4s as Angela Guillemet and Suzanne Cullen; who continues her fine scoring streak, both scored in Q4 to snatch a win against top toppers Portlaoise and now sit top of the league. Coach Nolan said “The side deserved the win and put in an excellent shift with two late goals to steal the points against a side that is going to be a title contender.”

W1 5-0 Rathgar
W2 2-1 Railway Union
W3 4-1 Navan
W4 2-1 Portlaoise

With only one men’s side playing this weekend it was up to the Fearsome Fives to fly the flag for the men… Avoca went into the match 3W 0L while challengers Weston were 2W 0L. Fielding a good balance between youth and experience, Avoca settled into the match and were good value for a well worked goal with a neat combination from Ian O’Keefe & Scott Rankin who fed Graham Codd for a clean finish to the keepers left. The second quarter continued in the same vein until two defensive lapses let Weston in for 2 quick goals. With the lead secured Weston sat back for most of the remainder of the match with some dangerous forays from their young and very skilful wide men. The M5s continued to press, recycling and probing, but to no avail and Weston’s keeper was not to be beaten again. A breakaway 3rd goal for Weston ended the game between two sides serving up good fare for Div6.

M5 1-3 Weston

Team of the Week Leaderboard

1 M1 – 2
2 W1 W2 M3 W4 W5 M5 – 1
3 W3 M2 M4 – 0

***League Table Standings***

W1 D1 | W2 D2 | W3 D4 | W4 D7 | W5 D9
M1 D1A | M2 D1B | M3 D3 | M4 D5 | M5 D6

Team of the Week R7

The women’s 1s secured an important 3 points away at Genesis in a match that often presents a stumbling block against our neighbours; youngster Isabelle Napier is certainly finding the step up to seniors a breeze as she scored both goals in the 2-1 win. The women’s 5s are adjusting well and earned themselves another win this time beating Bray 2-1. Mr Cronin had this to say about his young charges: “That was a really well earned win. Seriously tight game against a string defence and keeper. We did seem to have a creative edge though. Really good team goals finished by Ella Curtis and Riona McIlraith. Doesn’t it feel nice to go 1-0 down away and then dig in to get a 2-1 win. Really good discipline and team spirit today. Well done too to our Vets debutantes Naomi and Trish & to player of the match Molly Hogan.”

Cup disaster for the other three sides as all came crashing out of their respective cup competitions. The women’s 2s played in the Irish Junior Cup and having done so well against Church of Ireland, didn’t get the rub of the green against Quins losing 0-2. Bray got the better of our W3s in the D3/4 Cup competition winning 2-0 while the W4s lost out to Botanic in the D7/8 cup losing 1-2 with Suzanne Cullen the goal scorer.

W1 2-1 Genesis
W2 0-2 Cork Harlequins – IJC
W3 0-2 Bray – D3/4 Cup
W4 1-2 Botanic – D7/8 Cup
W5 2-1 Bray

Following on from their narrow defeat the previous weekend away in Kilkenny, the men’s 1s turned it on big time against a hapless Dublin North winning 7-2 with goals from Jonathan Elmes (4), Harry Dagg and a brace from Finn McAnna and this result not only pushes them to the top of the league it also earns them Team of the Week! The M5s picked up another valuable 3 points at home to Naas who certainly made life difficult for us as we struggled to score and as the versatile Conor Robinson had donned the pads we certainly missed his eye for goal at the other end. A goal in Q2 by Peter Urwin set us on our way and as Avoca looked for more goals it was perhaps only a matter of time… alas, some fine defending by Naas and some athletic saves from Naas’s keeper kept us at bay and those watching on their feet applauding.

M1 7-2 Dublin North
M5 1-0 Naas


1 M1 – 2
2 W2 M3 W4 W5 M5 – 1
3 W1 W3 M2 M4 – 0

Team of the Week R6

For the first time this season and for as long as we can remember; we might not have the best memory, but ten senior sides took to the pitch on Saturday as all five men’s and women’s teams competed [enter emojis for applause and fireworks].

We love a cup run and success for the women’s 1s who dispatched of North Kildare by a single goal, Niamh O’Brien on target. The W1s now progress into the Quarter Finals at the end of the month and we await confirmation of our opponents. The W5s were also in cup action and knocked out Our Lady’s in a shoot-out. Keelin O’Brien and Jess Lynch had scored in Q3 and Q4. Coach Cronin said “It was a really good game against tough experienced defenders and a really good keeper. Very difficult to get through them but some clever player led planning during the breaks worked a treat”. Emma Meir scored from her 1v1 and Jess Lynch and Leah Keogh followed suit also converting. Tiggy Hudson in goal was in spectacular form as she made 3 saves in a row ensuring Avoca progressed to meet Bray in the quarter finals on 27th November.

Elsewhere, a fine result for the women’s 4s who beat UCD 2-1 thanks to goals from Lauren Doyle Shaw and Sorcha Walsh. Defeat for women’s 2s against a very strong PWHC side but coach Mark Meir was happy with a strong performance against the side that sits comfortably at the top of the table while the W3s suffered defeat at the hands of Loreto.

W1 1-0 North Kildare – IHT
W2 0-3 Pembroke Wanderers
W3 0-2 Loreto
W4 2-1 UCD
W5 3-2 Our Lady’s – Div 9/10 Cup

The men’s 1s travelled down to Kilkenny without a few key players and unfortunately this proved to be key as the side returned with nothing for their efforts losing 0-1 and ending their perfect start to the season. The men’s 3s took on YMCA at Wesley and although they picked up 3 points, the match was brought into controversy with a harsh yellow card which disrupted the 3s usual flowing form. Ezra Handleman scored in Q3 to ease nerves and in the end it proved to be the only goal of the game; this result could be key as the season progresses.

The M4s picked up a fine 3-1 win against Wicklow at Sion Hill having gone a goal behind in the first half. Manager Martin said it was a great 3 points. “We had to fight back against a good Wicklow side today and we came back extremely well after going 1 nil down in the first quarter. Man of the match today went to Ian O’Keefe with a solid performance in centre midfield. Peter Urwin, Dan Bolger and Ian O’Keeffe were all on target. The men’s 2s played the league leaders Pembroke Wanderers at Serpentine Avenue and did really well despite losing 0-3.

Captain of the M5s Declan Goulding had this to say about his side’s performance: “Winning on a Saturday afternoon is great but doing it as we did is always better. M5 a lovely blend of old & new, experience and youthful zeal. Newbies Lloyd and Graham a great addition to old stalwarts. Big congrats to young folk Aodhán, Lucas & Mo – the future is bright. Our defence and midfield combined well to almost shut out a Pembroke team that can surely play better if allowed and our goal scorers (Charlie Taylor, Pat Lehane, Peter Urwin and never a dull finish Conor Robinson) finished with panache (there’s an argument there to record such moments) to leave us all with a smile on our face and happy departing Sion Hill. Finally, I am not so sorry that Max had a far more boring day than his counterpart in the far goal.” Congratulations to the Fearsome Fives who claim their first Team of the Week!

M1 0-1 Kilkenny
M2 0-3 Pembroke Wanderers
M3 1-0 YMCA
M4 3-1 Wicklow
M5 4-1 Pembroke Wanderers


1 W2 M3 W4 M1 W5 M5 – 1
2 W1 W3 M2 M4 – 0

Team of the Week R5

Team of the Week goes to none other than the women’s fabulous fives who crushed visiting side Malahide-Fingal 8-0 with Emma Meir scoring a hat-trick, Jess Lynch x2, Keelin O’Brien, Rachel o’Brien and Alison Magee one each. With newly appointed coach Paul Cronin at the reins, the side have pulled in a couple of experienced players from the vets and now with a little structure, the girls have renewed hopes of challenging this season. Elsewhere, the women’s 1s got off to an electric start as they raced into a two goal lead in the opening few minutes thanks to goals from Isabelle Napier and Niamh O’Brien, however, the visitors pulled back a goal in Q2 and applied pressure in the second half. A short corner goal was quickly followed by another goal that looped over the goalkeeper to put the visitors into a 3-2 lead and Corinthians battled on to claim the win and their fourth straight win from 4. The women’s 2s entertained visiting side Church of Ireland in the Irish Junior Cup. The W2s went ahead early in Q1 as Ava Paul reacted quickest to beat the GK and Helen Hudson added a second midway through the match. CoI pulled one back with a hard shot from the left of the D from Clara O’Sullivan but Avoca assured they would progress at Katie Halpin scored to seal a 3-1 win. The W4s notched a superb victory away at Serpentine Avenue beating Pembroke 2-1 with both goals from Suzanne Cullen while the W3s drew 1-1 with Rathgar at Sion Hill as Catherine Collins got the goal against a side that featured past members Cara Kelehan and Victoria Kelly.

W1 2-3 Corinthian
W2 3-1 Church of Ireland – IJC
W3 1-1 Rathgar
W4 2-1 Pembroke Wanderers
W5 8-0 Malahide-Fingal

Despite only two fixtures for the men on Saturday as the M2s went north to face North Down in the Irish Junior Cup with only a squad of 12 due to some unfortunate last minute drop-outs. Kudos to the lads that stepped up from the M3s last minute but it meant the sides were completely mismatched and a heavy 10-0 loss was the final outcome. The men’s 1s pulled off a superb victory away at Portrane with Herbie Fowler Hudson scoring from a short corner at the final hooter. Andrew Tutty and Jonathan Elmes had given Avoca the lead in the first half, but Portrane got back into the game in the final quarter to level the match to set up a nervy final few minutes; with Portrane in the ascendancy, it was looking like the home side would grab the win but Avoca snatched it at the death. On Sunday, the two sides met again in the Neville Cup at Newpark and on this occasion Portrane were more clinical and booked their spot in the next round winning 5-2. Andrew Tutty and Oran O’Sullivan scored in the first half as the sides were drawing at half-time, but two goals for the visitors in Q3 went unanswered and a final goal in Q4 meant Portrane got the last laugh this weekend.

M1 3-2 Portrane
M2 0-10 North Down – IJC
M1 2-5 Portrane – NC


1 W2 M3 W4 M1 W5 – 1
2 W1 W3 M2 M4 M5 – 0

Team of the Week R4

The women’s 2s recovered superbly from last weekend’s league defeat as they played Loreto midweek and pulled off a superb 1-0 victory thanks to a Kate Rushe thunderbolt from a short corner late in the game to snatch a valuable three points; Inter goalie Cathy Greene had kept out the visitors in superb fashion called into action numerous times to protect her net and it was just reward for a fantastic team effort as the girls scalped their EY fringe opponents. The M1s were also in action midweek and picked off a comfortable 3-0 win away at seaside neighbours Bray with Jonathan Elmes scoring twice and Ziggy Agnew the other. Both results set the standard for the weekend ahead…

The only women’s team playing at the weekend was the W1s and they beat Glenanne 1-0 in a tight encounter at Newpark which now sees them climb to 4th in the league – Zoe Watterson scorer of the only goal in the game. The M1s earned another victory this time against Rathgar winning 2-0 making it 3 wins from 3 and lead Division 1A with Railway Union; Cian Funge and Andrew Tutty scored and for their efforts claim Team of the Week for Round 4. The M3s pulled off a fine win against North Kildare as Sol McDonagh scored early before Ezra Handlemann slotted home from a stroke as the young Kian Gosling’s effort was stopped illegally on the line. North Kildare pulled a goal back from an impressive drag flick before Sol added his second and the side’s third as the youngster continues to bamboozle the league’s defenders. Avoca’s Kian Gosling scored a lovely move as the ball was shelled out from the back by Carl Breaden, a sweet 1-2 and Kian made it 4 diving in at the far post. North Kildare scored a late goal as Avoca lost a little concentration but another 3 points for Ian Keogh’s Mighty M3s. The M4s secured a point at home to a strong Corinthians side with Pat Lehane equalising after the visitors had gone ahead; manager James Martin said it was a great team effort from the guys who worked really hard to get back into that game and could have even won if the side had taken their chances. Youngster Mo Ghia was voted as man of the match as the youth of the club continue to step up their game!

Lastly, in the late game on the day, the M2s took on one of the league favourites in YMCA and knew they were going to be up against it from the off. 5 goals conceded but a consolation goal by Ben Marnell for Avoca was something to take away and will be fondly discussed in the Marnell household for some time to come…

1 W2 M3 W4 M1 – 1

2 W1 W3 W5 M2 M4 M5 – 0