Mixed Day for Kilkenny College. Match report by Debbie Neill

27 OCT 2017 | BY NASIR CHAUDHRY

Mixed Day for Kilkenny College

Kilkenny College covered a lot of ground to take on Wallace in Bandon Grammar before bussing back up to Cork for their final pool match against Royal & Prior.
The first ended one goal apiece. Wallace would have been favoured and nipped an early lead from open play. But this did not unsettle Kilkenny and James Feely, among others, worked tirelessly in the quest to level it. Both teams were composed and put on a skillful display of hockey to the delight of supporters decked out in red and black. Evin McClure showed great character in chiseling away at the northerners until Max Neill slotted a reverse past the keeper. Kilkenny, inspired by captain Aaron Empey, celebrated.
The second match of the day was a more desultory affair. On paper, Kilkenny should have taken it but having had two goals disallowed and a stroke denied in the opening twenty minutes, frustration set in. Both sides drove forward at a fierce tempo. Alex Symes tidied up a goalmouth melee following a fine team effort but the opposition seemed desperate to clinch points and pounced on two opportunities to score.
Kilkenny showed true grit in not giving up and were disappointed not to come out on top despite being the better team. Symes suffered a fractured hand in a game that should have been tempered early on.
Nasir Munir Chaudhry gave some of the younger squad members their first taste of top flight hockey. John McNamara adjusted particularly well and all will benefit from tournament experience at this level. Kilkenny and Banbridge will play a friendly at Garryduff at 11.30am today.