Raphoe exited the Irish Hockey Trophy at the quarter final stage with a bitterly disappointing home defeat yesterday.
Raphoe 2 Portrane 3
The Donegal men had built a 2-0 in the third quarter, in a topsy-turvy encounter that ebbed and flowed in favour of both sides during the contest.
The Dublin visitors, currently third in the Leinster Premier League, edged the first quarter as weather conditions settled after hail and gales dominated the pre match warm-up. Raphoe netminder Davy Moore repelled two Portrane efforts, one rasping drive stopped with his left kicker, to kept the match scoreless.
Raphoe struggled to muster much in terms of chances as Portrane lined up with a half-court press.
The only noteworthy chance coming when Gavin Lecky stole possession deep inside his own half. After a 60 yard sprint his effort to square to the onrushing Tommy Orr was stopped illegally but the rebound fell to Lecky whose shot was saved.
The Portrane low-block allowed Raphoe’s defence line to enjoy lots of possession. At different stages Ian McGonigle, Alan Meehan, Simon Goudie, Tom Eaton and Evan Lyttle swung to either side of pitch looking to catch Portrane out.
The home breakthrough came in the second quarter when Alan Meehan found younger brother Keith who won their first penalty corner. Once again Simon Goudie stepped up with a drag flick for 1-0, the now familiar route to goal. Four goals in three games now for Goudie.
Raphoe grew in confidence with that goal and began to assert more pressure on the Portrane defence. In the third quarter George Patterson gave a torrid time to the opposing left back. Patterson wrestled possession high in Portrane territory, he slipped the ball to Lecky who squeezed a pass into the circle where Jake Watt was unmarked.
The young forward coolly danced around the keeper and slotted the ball home from a tight angle.
Raphoe had further chances to stretch the lead in the third quarter as the midfield of Patterson, Meehan, Lee Stewart and James Wilson stepped up the pressure on the visitors.
Raphoe probably should have made it 3 when Orr was released into the circle and unselfishly passed that somehow missed Lecky but fell to Patterson. From a narrow angle he did well to hit a defensive foot to win a penalty corner.
From there the tide swung in the Dubs’ favour. With less than three minutes of the third quarter against the run of play the won and converted a penalty corner to give them a much needed moral boost. In the final quarter with the wind in there sails and Raphoe getting tetchy Portrane dominated.
Via another penalty corner Portrane drew level with seven minutes remaining.
As Raphoe had a man sin binned, Portrane broke home hearts with the final play of the game. A hopeful punt into the Raphoe circle was miscontrolled and raised into danger drawing a penalty corner.
The initial shot was blocked on the line by a defensive foot as Moore was again beaten in the Raphoe goals. Rightfully a penalty stroke was awarded and dispatched for a bitter end to an enthralling contest.
Raphoe continue their Premier League campaign as they travel to Newry Olympic next weekend.
Raphoe: D. Moore, E. Lyttle, S. Goudie, A. Meehan, I. McGonigle, T. Eaton, J. Wilson, G. Patterson, L. Stewart, J. Long, K. Meehan, T. Orr, Ja. Watt, G. Lecky. Coach: Richard Eaton.