The men of the Men’s 3s arrived at the Bull Ring at varying times between 9:45 and 9:55, eager to start off the series of home games. After some respect was paid to the weather, and a casual warm-up, the minds turned to the serious matter of the game in hand. The last encounter between the Men’s 3s and Rathgar ended in a disappointing draw, and we were determined not to repeat the experience. Noting Rathgar’s keeper had required assistance to put on his pads, but keeping our thoughts on our own game, we were off.

A back-and-forth ensued, with both teams pressing the other, and neither gaining a particular advantage. The 3s’ experience, endurance, and intelligent use of a full squad proved to change the tide however, and a short corner was converted by Poynter, putting Tarf ahead.

Half-time came, and seeing Rathgar beginning to tire, we knew we had to continue putting full effort in from the start of the second half. Attacks and defences, back and forths happened, but some great effort in defence by the whole team kept Rathgar from any meaningful chances.

Some smart distribution by Kev at the back, and 1-2s through the middle saw us attacking the D again and again. Another shorty. An inspirationally placed ball at the centre of the keeper’s pads (he never saw it coming), saw Poynter put us 2 ahead.

At this point both teams eased off on the gas to be fair. Tarf played some conservative defence, and fended off Rathgar’s attacks. A minor debate here and there over the finer points of hockey were had. However when the final attack was made, as the ball rolled past the keeper onto a tarf stick, the decision was made not to overburden the score card, and in true sportsmanship the ball was pushed over the end line.

With a win in the bag, the Men’s 3s are now in 3rd place, with the final stretch neck and neck between the top 3. A win against Dublin North with a 6 point change in the table possible, leaves the 3s with everything to play for on the coming weeks.

Match Report: Men’s 3s vs the Rathgar Chiefs, Home,¬†Saturday 17th Feb¬†10:30 AM

Weather: Blue skies. A hint of spring in the air

Final Score: 2-1

Written by: Peter O’Byrne