Women’s Division One:
Railway Union 1 (Nikki Evans) Hermes 5 (Anna O’Flanagan 2, Jenny Burke, Chloe Watkins, Aine Connery)
Hermes blew the Leinster division one title chase wide open as they smashed Railway’s perfect record to smithereens at Park Avenue this afternoon, rattling in three goals in the last quarter for an emphatic 5-1 win.
Both sides rested players, Niamh Atcheler and Emma Smyth, involved in the Irish set-up in midweek but the hosts showed few ill-effects when Nikki Evans broke the deadlock in the 10th minute with a brilliant combination with Jean McDonnell. They worked a fine trio of passes between to round the last defender and goalkeeper for Evans to roll in. That was as good as it got, though, for Railway who were pegged back inside three minutes.
Jenny Burke latched onto Aine Connery’s 60-metre pass wide on the left-wing, raced away from two chasing defenders and rounded Helen Stevenson to equalise. And Chloe Watkins gave Hermes the lead before the break when she soloed right through the heart of the Railway circle, having started on the 22-metre line, and nudged past the keeper on her reverse side from four yards out.
And while Railway started the second half stronger, they were unable to create clear-cut chances. Hermes, by contrast were ruthless. The excellent Anna O’Flanagan set up the vital third, robbing the ball on the 22 and playing Aine Connery in to smash home. Stevenson was, by this point, playing through the pain barrier with a slight injury but was helpless to stop the fourth when O’Flanagan shot home from the middle of the circle and she completed the rout after Watkins drove into the danger zone and slipped the final ball to the play-maker. Hermes move top for the first time in the current campaign as a result.
Old Alex 1 (Nicola Grey) UCD 1 (Laura Wilson)
Laura Wilson’s last minute corner earned UCD a crucial point in the battle for fourth place at Milltown as Old Alex were left rueing two late yellow cards, a key factor in a tightly fought fixture with much of the play competed for between the 25s. Nicola Grey had broken the deadlock in the 47th minute from a short corner bullet but Alex were forced onto the back-foot when Rebecca Coll and Rachel Griffith were sin-binned and UCD prospered from a late corner. Wilson’s slap-shot was destined for a deflection but no stick interfered and it sailed serenely into the bottom corner for 1-1 that keeps UCD two points clear of Alex.
Trinity 0 Corinthian 0
Trinity missed out on a chance to break back into the top five as they were denied all three points by an inspired Siobhan Burke who kept a clean-sheet in the face of eight penalty corners. Katie Grehan and Caroline Murphy impressed for the students as the reds scarcely threatened at Santry but a scoreless draw leaves the sides where they were in mid-table.
Glenanne vs Bray; Loreto vs Pembroke – both called off due to frost
Irish Junior Cup results:
Catholic Inst II 1 Railway Union II 2; Galway II 2 (Niamh Codyre, Alison Hynes) UL II 0; Old Alex II 1 (Una Budd) Glenanne II 0; Bandon II 0 Randalstown 5 (Lisa Thomas 2; Lyndsey Black; Pamela Muir 2); Clontarf II 1 (Rehanna Curtis) Greenisland II 2 (Tara Connor, Lyndsey Anderson); Belfast Harlequins II v Loreto II, postponed
Quarter-final draw: Railway Union II vs Galway II; Greenisland II vs Old Alex II; Belfast Harlequins II/Loreto II vs Randalstown II; Lurgan II vs UCC II/Armagh II
* Adrian Boehm’s photos from Railway Union vs Hermes can be seen here