Women’s Division One results:
Hermes 1 (Aine Connery) Old Alex 0
Aine Connery took little time to get back into swing of things as her first half goal was all that divided potential title challengers Hermes and Old Alex.
It was her first game back in Hermes’ colours since her camogie season came to an end last weekend in the Kilkenny championship final. A great, 75-metre break-out was driven forward by Eimear Horan from midfield, finding Connery to score.
Hermes had started in decent shape, earning a corner in the first minute. It was the first of four set pieces which her side earned all of which Audrey O’Flynn attempted to drag past international team mate Pamela Smithwick but was foiled.
But Alex grew in belief as they began to earn more possession and territory as the game wore on. They twice drew Emma Gray to the edge of her circle to clear in one-on-one situations while Erika Hinkson and Ann-Marie Cullen both struck into the sideboard from close-range, narrow angles.
A breakthrough was not forthcoming, however, to stay as one of four sides with 100pc records still intact with Alex – who played without Sarah Gleeson – the only side to fall off that pedestal.
Trinity 1 (Alice Ward) Railway Union 2 (Jean McDonnell, Kate Dillon)
Trinity came within 11 minutes of causing the biggest shock to date this season before Kate Dillon’s powerful wrists levered home a late corner flick to earn all three points.
Julia O’Halloran passed a late fitness appraisal but Nikki Evans, Cecelia Joyce, Isobel Joyce and Hannah de Burgh-Whyte were all absent.
And they found breaking down a highly organised Trinity defence a truly tough nut to crack following a scoreless first half; a physical battle which was as often fought out off-the-ball as on it.
Three minutes into the second period, Jean McDonnell eased the tension when a crashed ball was controlled on the back post by the star striker to slot home Alex Speers’ pass.
Trinity had a paltry record in the offensive stakes but from their one foray forward, Alice Ward got a divine touch to Maebh Horan’s cross, ramping the ball into the roof of the net to seriously test Railway’s mettle. Dillon responded, shooting high for the game’s decisive moment in the 59th minute.
UCD 7 (Chloe Watkins 5, Rosie Carrigan, Caroline Hill) Glenanne 0
Chloe Watkins’ five-star performance made for a remarkable debut in the UCD white as the students performed in two spurts to get their campaign off to the perfect start.
Their goals surrounded the major rain deluges at Beflield as UCD moved 3-0 up inside 15 minutes but were kept scoreless as the heavens opened and only got back on the trail in the final 20.
It makes Watkins the league’s top-scorer after just one outing while Glenanne will aim to get off the mark next Saturday against Pembroke.
Pembroke 3 (Aoife Sherriff, Anna O’Neill, Val Fenton) Bray 0
A Katherine Duff-powered Pembroke picked up their first win of the season as they created plenty of early chances before Aoife Sherriff created the lead.
Duff had one effort incredibly saved by Bray goalkeeper Barbara Snow from close range but Sherriff roofed after a corner switch was rebounded her way, using the second strike to elevate the only goal of the first half.
Val Fenton scored from another corner switch move before Anna O’Neill completed the win from play.
Loreto 10 (Cathy McKean 3, Nikki Keegan 2, Nicci Daly 2, Ali Meeke 2, Niamh Small) Corinthian 1 (Lauren McGrane)
As gaps between the top four and the chasing pack already threaten to form, Loreto took advantage of an under-strength Corinthian side – missing Fiona Purcell and Jenny Heggie – to notch the first double figure total of the season. Cathy McKeen and Nicci Daly were the chief architects, the former hitting a hat-trick of both goals and assists while Daly was the dynamic, driving force for a side who coped easily with Nikki Symmons’ absence as she flies out on Sunday to South Africa with the Irish cricket team.
It was 5-0 at half-time and 6-0 when Wesley youngster Lauren McGrane scored on the break for the reds.