Railway Union and UCD enhance Euro medal hopes

Railway Union reignited their medal hopes when they beat Ukranian side MSC Sumchanka 2-0 in their second pool match, bouncing back from their opening defeat to Real Sociedad.

They took the lead from their second corner via an Isobel Joyce deflection off an Emer Lucey strike. Despite other chances, it stayed that way going into half-time but Railway stamped their authority on the match in the second half midfielders Kate Dillon, Emma Smyth, Julia O’Halloran and Cecelia Joyce controlling the play with Kate McKenna foraging forward.

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Jean McDonnell and Alex Speers were linking well and getting shots in while Zara Delany and Sinead Dooley were threatening on the flanks.

It was a surging run from player of the match Emma Smyth which drew in tackles which saw a Sumchankan player dismissed and Kate Dillon dragged low into the corner following a short corner switch.

Sumchanka pressed towards the end but the consistent defence of Grace O’Flanagan, Emer Lucey and Holly Jenkinson stood firm for a 2-0 win.

Railway play their last pool game against the Belarusian team HC Victorya Smolevichi at 3pm (2pm Irish Time) on Sunday with a win likely to push them into the bronze medal match on Monday.

Earlier in the day, the Railway U-14s (pictured below) drew with Royal Antwerp U14s 1-1, Jodie Douglas scoring the goal from a short corner switch. Many of the girls have been training with the senior team throughout the year and providing ball patrol.

UCD, meanwhile, made it through to one of Monday’s finals with a game to spare as Jeamie Deacon was once again the match winner, firing home a brilliant revese with seven minutes to go against host club Universitario Catania.

They had fallen behind in just the third minute when Lorena Lobello nabbed the first goal of the game but UCD replied brilliantly with Emily Beatty.

Nicola Gray whacked home a corner early in the second half for a 2-1 lead only for Eleonora Di Mauro to tie things at the end of the third quarter.

But, with Di Mauro in the sin bin, the students summoned another chance which Deacon finished off to put them into one of Monday’s finals where they will face either Stade Francais or Russia’s Metrostroy.

That is because Royal Wellington – Sunday’s opposition – have drawn with both Grove Menzieshill and Catania to date. Today’s game against the Belgians has been pushed back to 2.30pm Irish time as the host club allows extra time for watering due to the sweltering heat.

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Elsewhere, Cork Harlequins fell to their second loss of their men’s EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy bid in Austria as they suffered late heartbreak in a 3-2 loss to hosts SV Arminen.

Darren Beamish’s field goal and corner strike from David Eakins had put them in front in the 47th minute but, for a second successive day, they were unable to make the lead stick.

Dominic Uher levelled from a corner and, in the final minute, Patrick Schmidt claimed the winner from another set piece. It leaves Quins bottom of their group as the only side without a win to date. They need to beat Cardiff & UWIC – who have won both their games – in order to avoid relegation.

Women’s EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy, Antwerp
Saturday:
Railway Union 2 (I Joyce, K Dillon) MSC Sumchanka (Ukraine) 0; Real Sociedad de Futbal 4 Victoriya Smolevichi 0
Standings: 1. Real Socieded de Futbal 10pts (+6) 2= Railway Union 6pts (0) 2= MSC Sumchanka 6pts (0) 4. Victoriya Smolevichi 0pts (-6)
Sunday: Railway Union vs Victorya Smolevichi (Belarus), 2pm; Monday: classification matches

Women’s EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge I, Catania, schedule
Saturday:
UCD 3 (C Hill, N Gray, J Deacon) Universitario Catania (L Lobello, E Di Mauro) 2; Royal Wellington 1 Grove Menzieshill 1
Standings: 1. UCD 10pts (+2) 2. Royal Wellington 4pts (0) 3. Universitario Catania 3pts (-1) 4. Grove Menzieshill 3pts (-1)
Sunday: UCD vs Royal Wellington (Belgium), 2.30pm; Monday: classification matches

Men’s EuroHockey Club Champions Trophy, Vienna, schedule (all times Irish)
Saturday:
SV Arminen (Austria) 3 (J Petersen, D Uher, P Schmidt) Cork Harlequins 2 (D Beamish, D Eakins); HC Bra 1 Cardiff & UWIC 3
Standings: 1. Cardiff & UWIC 10pts (+3) 2. SV Arminen 6pts (0) 3. HC Bra 6pts (-1) 4. Cork Harlequins 2pts (-2)
Sunday: Cardiff & UWIC v Cork Harlequins, 2pm. Monday: Classification matches.

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