Kilkenny hockey team’s inability to take their chances came back to haunt them once again at the weekend.
With the game delicately poised at 1-1, Kilkenny created two gilt edged opportunities that they couldn’t convert, whereas Avoca scored in a more clinical manner.
The Kilkenny men performed admirably once again, and it is only a matter of time before they achieve the victory they thoroughly deserve.
To a man, they fought for every scrap and played some fantastic hockey.
But that victory still eludes them.
From the outset Avoca looked intent on continuing a push for promotion.
They crowded the midfield in a bid to cut supply to Evan Hughes.
However, for all their possession and pressure they struggled to break down the Kilkenny defence marshalled by Nigel Dagg and Gordon Peppard.
Pressing high up the pitch, Avoca tried to choke the Kilkenny midfield.
This left pockets of space for Alex Firbank and Hugh Dagg to play in and open up the Avoca backline.
Opportunities vanished as quickly as they appeared as both defences scrambled to maintain the deadlock.
In what began as an open game, in freezing weather, It was Avoca who struck first.
A well worked short corner was converted, but not before chances had fallen to Tristan Lynas and Ross Comerford for Kilkenny.
Following the goal, Kilkenny were somewhat shaken and it took until half time for the players to find their feet again.
The introduction of Eric Comerford and Darragh Chadwick brought renewed vigour and steel to the Kilkenny midfield opening up greater space around the pitch while Conor Comerford brought greater composure to the backs.
As the game progressed Hughes and Dagg imposed their stamp on their game.
Both young men played with a refreshing confidence and a Kilkenny goal became inevitable
The equaliser was once again scored by Lynas, Kilkenny’s top scorer, as Kilkenny clawed their way back into the game.
This was nothing less that Kilkenny deserved as Lynas pounced on an inch perfect pass.
All square heading into the final quarter, this was once again a game Kilkenny could have won.
Instead they conceded a soft goal 8 minutes from the end following a swift counter attack.
Sean Butler, who had a superb game, was dragged to his front post. A deft switch to the back found an unmarked man. Bang, 2-1.
Still the game wasn’t over and Kilkenny pressed forward searching for the elusive equaliser.
It wasn’t to be and so Kilkenny were left to rue missed opportunities.
Squad: Tristan Lynas, Dave Wall, Nigel Dagg, Dara Chadwick, Ross Comerford, Conor Comerford, Gordon Peppard, Sean Butler, Kieran Delaney, Eric Comerford, TIm Pearce, Alex Firbank, Hugh Dagg, Luke O’Donnell.
As always, hockey training is on Tuesday (8.30- 9.30pm) and Thursday (7.30 – 9pm) and all are welcome.