Leinster Division One
Railway Union 2 (Kate Dillon, Julia O’Halloran) UCD 2 (Elaine Carey, Brenda Flannery)
Last year, Railway Union produced the big comeback to tie with UCD, coming from 4-0 down to earn an incredible point. This fightback from the students was not quite as dramatic but ended up with the same outcome as they fought back from 2-0 down to nick a point.
The first half ended scoreless but Railway moved ahead when Kate Dillon battled down the right wing, winning her tussle with Brenda Flannery before hitting the baseline. Her attempted cross for Jean McDonnell clipped the underside of Tiffany Ellis’s stick and dribbled over the line.
Julia O’Halloran then extended the lead with a rasping reverse after Kate McKenna robbed possession while Emma Smyth’s ball in bounced invitingly for the Cork woman.
UCD bounced back when Deirdre Duke turned her marker superbly before tearing down the left flank and picked out Elaine Carey who finished smartly on her backhand. And the equaliser came when Jeamie Deacon switched a corner back to Brenda Flannery at the injector’s spot to sweep home. The point serves UCD’s ambitions slightly better though the return fixture could well now be a battle royale in the grand scheme of things.
Old Alex 0 Pembroke 1 (Rachel Scott)
Rachel Scott’s goal saw Pembroke earn their first win over an Irish Hockey League encumbent for the first time in over three seasons in the Leinster league, a stat dating back to the 2009/10 season. It is another major stepping stone and, more importantly, lifts them seven points clear of Alex in sixth place and within three points of top spot.
In addition, they now have the best defensive record in the division as they recorded their third clean sheet in a row. They started well and controlled the first half with Sorcha Clarke drawing the best from Pamela Smithwick while Eanna Horan smashed the post from a corner. Pressure told and they were in front when Scott finished off a corner after the initial phase was kept out.
Alex were much stronger in the second period with Millie O’Donnell and Shirley McCay growing more influential on proceedings while Sally Campbell was dangerous up top. Despite having the better of the exchanges, they could only muster one corner while Stella Davis was called on to make two smart saves.
Hayley O’Donnell and Katie O’Byrne impressed in defence in the face of a Alex side who threw everything forward as time wore on, especially in the closing 15 minutes when Jilly Collins was shown a red card, her yellow card for not retreating was elevated to red as her frustrations got the better of her.
There was no malice in her actions as she released her stick but danger was caused for which she and club coach Chris Tyrell have since apologised. Nonetheless, Pembroke stayed firm in defence to hold on for a big win.
North Kildare 0 Glenanne 3 (Audrey McCormack 2, Marie Goulding)
Glenanne had to fight until midway through the second half before they could finally break the North Kildare defence and take the three points from The Maws.
The Glens got off to a positive start, creating some great chances in the first half from four corners but were unable to convert as the hosts defended resolutely. Kildare, for their part, used their pace up front to counter but Rachel Lambe did well in goal, helped by her back four, led by the ever strong Kate O’Connor and Aoife Dalton.
Into the second half, goal number one came off a short corner as Audrey McCormack tapped in at the post. Number two arrived when Marie Goulding played a one-two with the Kildare keeper before slotting it home. It was McCormack again who secured the game by slotting in a penalty stroke to make it 3-0.
The result lifts Glenanne away from Corinthian and Trinity while leaving North Kildare without a point from six outings to date.
Loreto 4 (Niamh Small 2, Sinead McGirr, Hayley Mulcahy) Corinthian 1 (Sara Quill)
Loreto were the chief beneficiaries from Railway and UCD’s draw as a Niamh Small double helped them claim their fourth win from six outings this term. The Beaufort side were 2-1 up at half-time, Sara Quill cutting the lead in half from a corner second phase. But two further corner goals in the second half for Loreto helped them pull away.
Hermes 7 (Aine Connery 2, Laura Pinder 2, Amanda Haslam, Audrey O’Flynn, Sara Twomey) Trinity 0
After a sticky start to the season with two 1-0 losses, Hermes are beginning to build a head of steam as they ran up their third successive win. Laura Pinder got them up and running with their two first half goals. Audrey O’Flynn added a corner, Sara Twomey got a classy one from play along with an effort from Amanda Haslam. They were sandwiched in between Aine Connery’s fifth and sixth goals in three games.
Jacqui Potter Cup, first round: North Kildare 1 Corinthian 2 (Niamh Sweeney, Hannah McKay); Muckross 0 Railway Union 4
** For more on the Railway vs UCD game, check out our Podcast in association with Dublin City FM, 103.2.