St. Kilian’s boys senior squad launched their 2022/23 season with the Leinster qualifying rounds of the All-Ireland Schoolboys hockey competition on Wednesday, 21st of September 2022.
St. Kilian’s Seniors where drawn in the same pool as The King’s Hospital, Templecarrig School, and Sandford Park. Knowing each of these sides pretty well from battles in recent seasons, we knew it would be a tough grind to get any results here – especially with the departure of so many 6th years from last year’s squad.
Game 1 saw us head to head with Templecarrig School from Greystones. Although the score line suggested a wider margin we competed well here and in particular enjoyed a resurgent second half where we started to earn penalty corners and kept the ‘keeper pretty busy. Marksman Cian had 3 shots saved in spectacular fashion and Oliver – joining the seniors from Class 8 – was unlucky on two tense occasions. Final score of 5-0 flattered TCG to a degree, and the whole squad felt the gap had closed between the schools. We look forward to seeing them again later in the season.
Game 2 paired us with Sandford Park School – our erstwhile neighbours and no strangers indeed. St. Kilian’s got stuck into this match from the off with Thomas unlucky not to score on the very first carry of the match – a tactic we see being successful in matches to come. Oisin, Ben, and Aadishesh launched attack after attack on the SPS circle but the breakthrough was denied until the 20th minute – and at the other end! Frustratingly a lone breakaway goal put SPS 1-0 up and the St. Kilian’s resolve was well and truly tested! Again the school’s forward line battered the Sandford defence without reward until the high-pressure play began to take its toll on the team’s fitness. Slowly Sandford crept back into the game and nicked a couple of very soft goals to make the score line seem like a different game. Final score 3-0 but roll on meeting SPS in the league and cup this season and perhaps enjoying some friendlies out of competition. Well done to Benjamin Houchin and the Sandford boys for a competitive fixture.
St. Kilian’s man of both matches was Class 10 goalkeeper Leon who received compliments from both opposition teams and the umpiring team. Overall a good debut for the senior squad despite the results and a collective sense that much tighter games are within reach.
New coach Dave Broderick seemed satisfied with the team’s resilience and saw plenty of positives to foster and encourage in the months ahead.
St. Kilian’s Hockey Coach