Hockey: Cork Harlequins’ Kohler and Bateman hope for fairytale final

UCD are warm favourites to claim their fourth Irish Senior Cup since 2009

 Cork Harlequins’ Rachael Kohler has a chance to earn her second ISC winners’ medal on Sunday. Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

Cork Harlequins’ Rachael Kohler has a chance to earn her second ISC winners’ medal on Sunday. Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

 

Preview: Irish Senior Cup Final – Cork Harlequins v UCD

Venue: Belfield

Time: Sunday, 1.0

When Graham Shaw names his Ireland squad for the summer’s main events, the World League semi-finals and the European Championships, between them Cork Harlequins and UCD could contribute as many as 10 to his 18-strong panel, with another eight of their players involved in the Irish under-21 set-up.

With strength in depth of that nature it’s little wonder that the two sides made it through to this year’s Irish Senior Cup final, which takes place on Sunday at Belfield (1.0).

None of that under-21 contingent was even born when Rachael Kohler and Karen Bateman were making their senior international debuts, the irrepressible 42-year-olds now preparing for their third ISC final – Kohler captained Harlequins to their first and only victory in the competition back in 2000 and Bateman was the captain three years later when they lost to Loreto.

But UCD have by far the stronger ISC pedigree in more recent times, reaching four finals in six years between 2009 and 2014, winning three of them. And while Rebecca Barry, who was on the Ulster Elks side that beat Ards on penalty strokes to take last year’s trophy, is the only Harlequins player aside from Kohler and Bateman to appear in a final, UCD have six in their squad who have been through it all before.

Favourites’ tag

Add in the fact that the students are 11 points ahead of Harlequins in the Hockey League table, having drawn with them in Cork and recovered from a two-goal deficit to beat them in Dublin earlier this month, then they’ll have to carry the favourites’ tag in to Sunday’s final. Both clubs, though, know better than most how weighty such a tag that can be, with both winning their first ISCs when they were the underdogs, Harlequins beating Hermes and UCD brushing the then mighty Pegasus aside with a 4-1 triumph.

Should Harlequins get the better of the students it would produce one of hockey’s more remarkable stories, Kohler and Bateman adding a second winner’s medal to their collection 17 years after their first.

CORK HARLEQUINS (squad): E Buckley, Y O’Byrne, D Burkley, R Kohler, N Kerr, N Carroll, K Bateman, O Roycroft, K Gaffney, I Burns, N Sexton, E Cripps, M Barry, R Barry, R Upton, C Perdue, L Geyer, L Bateman. Coach: Stephen Dale.

UCD (squad): C Cassin, N Cooke, S Twomey, A Russell, L Ewart, S O’Loughlin, E Duncan, S Clarke, O Patton, E Matthews, E Russell, S Patton, G Pinder, L Tice, K Mullan, M O’Donnell, D Duke, S Robinson. Coach: Miles Warren.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.