THE Isle of Man’s women’s hockey team became the first non-host nation to win the biennial inter-islands tournament at the weekend.
The mighty Manx, who also won the competition on home soil in 2007, were in fine form in Guernsey beating favourites Jersey 2-1 in the final to lift the trophy.
In the concurrently run men’s event, Karl Moore’s island side finished third, beating Bermuda in the third-place play-off after narrowly missing out on a place in the tournament’s final.
Lesley Shimmin and Jon Whiting’s women’s side were into their stride from the off, captain Kim Carney netting after just 45 seconds in the team’s first group game against Orkney.
The Vikings taliswoman’s goal proved all that separated the two sides as the final whistle blew with the competition outsiders producing a gritty performance to keep the Manx at bay.
Things proved easier for the island in their second game against Bermuda as they eased to a comfortable 7-0 victory.
Kim Carney was again on the scoresheet netting a hat-trick, before Louise Corkill, Andrea Kneen (2) and debutante Karmina Kovanda struck for the Manx.
Whiting’s charges sealed their place in the women’s final with a 4-0 win over a strong Guernsey side.
Zoe Carney got the ball rolling with a goal after an end-to-end run before Kneen doubled the Manx team’s lead before the half-time break.
Some good performances at the back by goalkeeper Sammie Jordan and Nicci Cain quelled any Guernsey comeback and the prolific Kim Carney and club-mate Sarah Breen struck in the game’s second period to confirm the result.
Two goals from Sarah Blackman and Kneen gave the Manx a 2-2 draw against Jersey in their last group game and what was also a dress rehearsal for the competition’s final.
The final against the Channel Islanders started at a hectic pace with end-to-end play from the off. Kim Carney continued her red hot form in front of goal to give the Manx a one-goal advantage.
Another short-corner saw the IoM double their lead, this time Kneen netting a deserved goal to give the Isle of Man a two-goal lead at half-time.
At the start of the second period Jersey broke through a tiring Manx defence, Meena Driscoll scoring to reduce the arrears.
A tense 10 minutes followed as the island pushed forward to regain the advantage, while ensuring that a strong defence held the line. As time played out so the flood of chances fell to the Manxies who were unlucky not to add to their tally in the game’s remaining minutes.
Although the Manx had played as a team, certain individuals stood out - Jordan in goals, Andrea Kneen up front and of course woman of the match and undoubtingly the tournament, Zoe Carney.
Round-up of the men’s tournament campaign in Monday’s Examiner.