Railway recently hosted the inaugural Rita Parsons memorial girls hockey tournament and the Joey O’Meara boys hockey tournament. As the junior hockey season draws drew to a close and with the pitch re-surface project due to commence, we had an action filled weekend of junior girls and boys hockey. It was with great pride that the club held the inaugural Rita Parsons memorial tournament for 1st year girls on Saturday 14th May and the following day we held our Joey O’Meara tournament. As most will know Rita’s contribution to Railway Union Hockey and Sports club was immense from joining the club in the late 1940s until she passed away in 2017 she was an ever present figure. She was honorary life members of both Leinster Hockey and Hockey Ireland and for many decades was central to administration of both bodies. Inaugural Rita Parsons tournament – 2022 The tournament will become an annual end of season invitational tournament where visiting teams from all provinces compete for the Rita Parsons Cup and the Rita Parsons Trophy and in the inaugural version we had seven first year girls teams competing from Armagh, Corinthians, Galway, Naas, North Down, Portrane and Railway Union. We were especially delighted to see Rita’s son Brendan and family in attendance with Rita’s grandchildren presenting the medals to all the finalists. Galway Hockey Club u13s winners of the inaugural Rita Parsons Trophy, Galway defeated Nass HC in the Trophy final A late deflected goal saw Railway Union 1st year girls edge past Armagh in the Rita Parsons cup final And finally …. Thanks to club volunteers Siobhan Smyth, Brendan Smyth, Helen Johnston Kate Chadwick, Linda Clarke, club president Ken Moulton and the 1st year girls parents who helped make the tournament run smoothly and in particular a massive thank you to Ronan Traynor from Verve marketing who created the team area for players, officials and supporters to relax between games enjoying the atmosphere and the sunshine. Joey O’Meara boys tournament – 2022 The Joey O’Meara tournaments re-commenced this year and the first time “post-covid” where it moved from previously being an u16 tournament to a 1st year boys 8 a side Extreme 8 format. We had visiting teams from Avoca, Corinthians, North Down and Railway competing in the four team u13 tournament alongside a mini u11 blitz After the group stages a narrow defeat in the last match saw Railway miss out on the final with Avoca (3 wins out of 3) and Corinthians qualifying for the Joey O’Meara final and North Down and Railway contesting the 3rd / 4th play off. The final was a much more even contest with Corinthians taking an early lead in an end to end encounter as the Corinthian goalkeeper being called upon a number of times to keep the lead intact but as the pressure mounted Avoca found an equaliser and whilst they pushed on for a winner the match end 1-1. The penalty shuttles could not split the teams and it was the third round of sudden death before Corinthians won the Joey O’Meara. We were delighted to have Joey’s son Gareth to present the medals to the two teams and to see some great boys hockey that Joey himself would have been proud of. Sustainable sports medals As part of Railway Union Hockey Club Sustainability in Sport programme this year we sourced wooden medals for the tournaments. They were sourced from a local company based in Wexford called Irish Laserwood and we can highly recommend them. Website: https://www.irishlaserwood.com/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/irishlaserwood Email: irishlaserwood@gmail.com