Title challenger’s make statement of intent

Women’s Leinster Dvision One:
Glenanne 0 Loreto 4 (Cathy McKean 2, Niamh Small, Nikki Symmons)

ISC holders Loreto raised the curtain on the season with an impressive 4-0 lunch-time win in Tallaght over a Glenanne side who defended well but ultimately were undone by the Beaufort side’s international quality.

It took a magical move to break the deadlock – the only goal of the first half – as Nicci Daly and Nikki Keegan exchanged one-twos before playing in Cathy McKean to break the deadlock. Kate O’Connor and Louise Kennedy, backed up by Susan Byrne had helped absorb plenty of pressure prior to the goal but Loreto’s pace of passing saw them cut loose in the second period.

McKean doubled her tally with a fine reverse before Niamh Small added the third. Nikki Symmons rounded off the win late on with a cracking effort to get their season off to a fine start.

Railway Union 8 (Julia O’Halloran 4, Kate Dillon, Emma Smyth, Sinead Dooley, Kate Lloyd) Bray 1 (Jessica Carey)
Julia O’Halloran enjoyed a dream debut as Railway served notice of their intentions for the season as they had far too much in the tank for Bray. Kate Dillon started the scoring from the penalty spot in the fifth minute and they were 4-0 up by the 20th minute.

Alex Speers assisted for two of them while O’Halloran bagged two in each half. There were slight concerns after her fourth, though, as she seemed to pick up an injury in the process of diving to touch home.

Teenager Kate Lloyd scored her first goal in a major fixture, too, while Bray’s sole response came just before half-time through Jessica Carey following a break-out which she tapped in at the left post.

Pembroke 0 Hermes 4 (Audrey O’Flynn 2, Anna O’Flanagan, Fiona Connery)
On a day when Munster’s newcomers showed off their wares since moving to Dublin, Audrey O’Flynn zinged home two drag-flicks to underpin her new side’s win at Serpentine Avenue.

She broke the deadlock with her first before Anna O’Flanagan made it two when she finished off Lisa Jacob’s cross after Sarah Greene has been heavily involved in the build-up.

O’Flynn made it 3-0 in the second half, again from a corner, before Fiona Connery finished a rebound from five yards. Connery was lining out in centre-midfield as Hermes’ glut of defensive talent saw a shake-up in the back four.

Kerry McComish and Sinead McCarthy took up residence as centre-backs while O’Flynn started at left back and Christine Quinlan on the right in a physically imposing line-up.

Corinthian 1 (Sarah Walker) Old Alex 4 (Aisling Naughton 2, Juliette King-Hall, Sarah Gleeson)

It was a day for the newcomers at Whitechurch Park as all four Old Alex goals came from new arrivals, Ireland U-18 starlet Aisling Naughton bagging a brace.

Sarah Gleeson – on her return to the club after three years away – began the goal-rush, slapping the ball into the top corner from the right of the circle. Shirley McCay – another on debut – created the second from a long corner, racing down the baseline to find Naughton to score.

Nicola Gray was the creator of the third in the second half, careering forward from right-back. She rebounded her own initial shot to set up Juliette King-Hall to net her first Alex goal.

And the Newpark student turned provider for the fourth when she laid on for Naughton. Sarah Walker powered home a penalty corner late on for the reds on a day when Siobhan Burke performed well between the posts, making four or five top drawer saves.

** Photos from Deryck Vincent of Pembroke vs Hermes

** Adrian Boehm’s photos from Railway Union vs Bray

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1