Villiers advance to Munster Hockey Final following 3-2 win over Bandon

Villiers School, took full advantage of a home draw with plenty of support from the school to advance to this season’s Munster Final with a deserved 3-2 win over a much improved and youthful Bandon Grammar School last Thursday.

The Villiers team after their semi final win

Bandon started the stronger and scored a well deserved opener after only 10 minutes of play. The goal could have rocked the home team but they held their nerve and composure and gave the prefect response courtesy of a Stephen Tutty goal.

Tutty’s reverse hit from an acute angle level proceedings mid way through the first half and the goal seemed to inspire the rest of the side. Villiers were now getting better of the exchanges despite not firing on all cylinders. They would take the lead just before the break when a Sam Lilburn shot from a well worked short corner found its way past the Bandon keeper.

Sam Lilburn gives Villiers a 2-1 lead

The second half was level pegging until Villiers went two ahead mid way through the half when Cian Sparling scored from an impossible baseline angle to the surprise of the Bandon defence.

Bandon were not going to lie down and started to exert pressure on the home side’s defence forcing a number of frees around the circle. Their efforts were rewarded with a goal with 5 minutes remaining which set up a nail biting finish.

However, Villiers held their nerve and now meet either Ashton or Middleton (both Cork ) in the Munster Final with the date yet to be confirmed.

Leon Mullally GK, Sam Lilburn (Capt.), Bryan Smith, Christian Oggel, Adam Gardiner, Marcus Ryan, Stephen Tutty, Garrett Sparling, Cian Sparling, Eli Hannon, Quinten Eacrett, Christopher Ryan, Kristoffer Johansson, Guellermo Espinos,  Reuben Wheeler. Coach: Brian Gray. Manager: George Blackwell.

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Raffaele Rocca