Hermes’ 8-2 win over Corinthian on Thursday night has caused a big split between the top and bottom halves of women’s Leinster division one, putting six points between the IHL contenders and those looking to avoid an extended relegation battle.
Seven different scorers were on the mark as they made it four wins on the trot, bouncing back after two initial 1-0 defeats in the league, finding their scoring touch in recent weeks.Orla Patton began the scoring with the first of three goals in an eight minute spell, a great shot from the top of the circle. Former UCD women Caitriona McGilp, Rosie Carrigan and Eimear Horan extended the lead to 4-0 at half-time.
Georgina Fagan got one back for the reds after great work from Ailbhe Marsh before Chirstine Quinlan and McGilp made it 6-1. Jenny Long’s first ever senior goal from a corner drag-flick got another on the board for Corinthian but Amanda Haslam and Audrey O’Flynn completed the result.
It keeps Hermes in fifth place but in touch with the leading quartet and they will hope to extend their winning streak when they go to Glenanne on Saturday afternoon.
Glenanne Park has proven a tricky ground for Hermes in the past, though, the clubs drawing 2-2 there last December in the equivalent game when Rebecca O’Reilly netted a double. They also have the momentum of a strong 3-0 win under their belts last week against North Kildare with All-Ireland handball junior champion Audrey McCormack on the mark twice.
Elsewhere, the tie of the day is the meeting of Pembroke and Railway Union in the D4 derby. The visitors to Serpentine Avenue will aim to break down the league’s tightest defence to date as Caroline Murphy and Stella Davis have made a massive impact since arriving at Pembroke while Katie O’Byrne has also been in top form.
Taming one of the league’s most potent strike forces, though, will be the sternest test of their upwardly mobile season. Kate McKenna has proven highly adept at nicking possession in dangerous positions, one of a number of attacking avenues to be wary of.
Old Alex will aim to reignite their push for the IHL places when they host Corinthian at Milltown after three losses. The lack of goals has been their issue with none to their name since October 12. They have, however, played all of the top five and so will be aiming for an upsurge in form against the sides around them in the coming weeks.
For Corinthian, Sara Quill has already netted six times this term and could be a real handful for Sarah Canning’s defence. North Kildare face another tough task when they host UCD as do Trinity College when they meet Loreto.
Division two has just one game, Muckross playing Three Rock Ladies in a game brought forward from Irish Hockey Trophy weekend. The majority of the rest of the teams are involved in the first round of the Irish Junior Cup with Pembroke II travelling to Randalstown in the first round of their title defence.
Women’s Leinster Division One
Thursday result: Corinthian 2 (G Fagan, J Long) Hermes 8 (C McGilp 2, C Quinlan, A O’Flynn, A Haslam, R Carrigan, E Horan, O Patton)
Saturday fixtures: Glenanne vs Hermes, 12pm, Glenanne Park; Pembroke vs Railway Union, 12.30pm, Serpentine Avenue; Old Alex vs Corinthian, 12.30pm, Milltown; North Kildare vs UCD, 2pm, Kilcock; Trinity College vs Loreto, 3.15pm, Wesley College
Saturday: Muckross vs Three Rock Ladies, 12.30pm, Teresians
Monday: UCD vs Three Rock Ladies, 8.15pm, Belfield
Electric Ireland Women’s Irish Junior Cup, first round: UCC vs Railway Union, 12pm, The Mardyke; Cork C of I vs Old Alex, 1pm, Garryduff; UCD vs Ashton, 1pm, Belfield; Glenanne vs Hermes, 2pm, Glenanne Park; Belfast Harlequins vs Lisnagarvey, 2.30pm, Deramore Park; Lurgan vs Trinity, 2.30pm, Lurgan; Pegasus vs Greenfields, 2.30pm, Queen’s; Randalstown vs Pembroke, 2.30pm, Randalstown; Ulster Elks vs Cork Harlequins, 2.30p, Jordanstown; Corinthian vs Banbridge, 3pm, Whitechurch Park; Armagh vs Portadown, 4pm, Ardmore
Byes: Ballymoney; Bandon; Genesis; Loreto, Queens