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1st XI (M) - Match centre

YMCA Hockey Club
Railway Union
Sat 6 Dec 16:00 - League Full time

M1s make big stride in quest for IHL spot

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Despite going benhind early, M1s come back to win

In a mid table clash with plenty on the line, Saturday night saw the YMCA men continue their winning ways with a strong victory over Railway Union in the Leinster Senior Men's league. The fixture was effectively a six point game, with Railway extending their lead to 6 points if they won, and YM drawing level on points if the game went their way. The match got off to tense and somewhat scrappy start with Railway striking first from a corner. A tame flick from Mark English caught dynamic YM keeper Iain Walker off guard which had a fired up YM team on the back foot early.
From that point the Red and Black pushed hard, combining patient possession play with lightning fast break aways. It was seemingly only a matter of time before YM capitalised, and no one was suprised by the ironic twist thrown upon the game when Railway defector, Rob "Diablo" Devlin, nudged home a simple finish on the reverse. YM coach Jason Klinkradt summed up the Devlin move best post match, stating "their gain is our lose so good night, sleep tight", and not a truer word was spoken that day as Railway were truly forced to regret letting their former stalwart leave.
Pieces of wizardry on the ball by Rob Anderson and consistent hard ball wins by club drunk Ben "lightweight" Chadwick saw the rest of the half dominated by YM, but the home team were forced to wait until after the break to make the most of their dominance.
The second half saw YM start the way they had finished the first. With sustained periods of attack and pressure, Railway were only allowed the occasional counter attack. Again it seemed only a matter of time before YM scored, but when a profanity clad bomb was hurled in the umpires direction by Australian cowboy Ed "Potty Mouth" Lawler, Railway were in with a sniff against the now 10 man YM side. Enter Jamie Tobin. The striker who has a list of victims this season longer than his member, cooly struck again when his side needed it most. With a calm finish into the bottom righthand corner, the captain celebrated with his typical fist pump in front of the bumper YM crowd.
With a foolish green card being given to Tom Ritchie and the Railway men pushing forward, the remaining minutes were tightly contested. A game that should have been squashed by the YM men was left in the lurch, and with seconds to spare a short corner was awarded to Railway to leave the game in the balance after the final whistle. Fortunately for the many YM fans in attendance, the short corner was defended and the relief was made evident by all the players who had deserved the win. With the game finishing 2-1 to the home team, the league got a whole heap tighter in the search for that all important 4th place. With the YM men's season well and truly on the roll coming into the Christmas break, next weeks fixtures against Three Rock and Corinthians are just as important in setting up the rest of the season as the last.

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