Women’s Leinster Division One
Railway Union 1 (Zara Delany) Glenanne 1 (Marie Goulding)
Glenanne inflicted a potentially fatal result on Railway Union’s title chances as they now require favours from elsewhere if they are to win back the crown. For the Glens, it was a huge result as produced a performance up there with the one that saw them eliminate Pegasus from the Irish Senior Cup.
With the retirement of Christine Barretto, Trish O’Donoughue and Rebecca O’Reilly on maternity leave, and Clare Shillington and Mary Waldron on international cricket duty along with Lucy Small moving to North Kildare, the Glens have been somewhat depleted this term and face a formidable Railway outfit.
But they made a dream start when Audrey McCormack intercepted the third pass after Railway’s tip off. She swiftly passed to Aoife Dalton on the right who drove all the way up the right flank, along the byline and into the circle. Her short pass to Marie Goulding was tipped in for a stunning start.
Railway regrouped while the first 20 minutes remained open with the Glens conceding a corner that Jean McDonnell slipped to Emma Smyth but Niamh Cashman read it well and blocked it. A further three corners arrived before the break, primarily due to Holly Jenkinson’s driving from the back. These drew a save from Kate O’Connor, a low stick save off the line from Glens keeper Rachel Lambe and solid defensive work from Jennifer Rynne meaning the first half ended 1-0 to the Glens.
Railway continued to push on in the second half, trying to get their key players onto the ball. Kate Dillon was a threat throughout, looking to pick out Alex Speers, Kate Lloyd and Sinead Dooley who kept the young Glens’ defence on their toes. But with Saoirse O’Donoughue first to the ball on most occasions, it wasn’t going Railways way.
A hard corner strike from Emer Lucey drew a strong save from Lambe again which was mopped up by Cashman and cleared. The pressure continued with Smyth trying to get on the ball to create but with Cashman marking tightly, the Irish international’s efforts were frustrated.
Lambe was called on to make a string of good saves while Kate O’Connor was making the relieving clearances but they were eventually caught eight minutes from the end. A free outside the circle was well taken by McDonnell and hit hard into the circle where Zara Delany was waiting on the P spot. Her deflection took a Glens’ stick and went into the roof of the net.
This spurred Railway team on further but, with O’Connor continuing to command her defence, it remained a frustrating afternoon for the Railway side. A last second corner was reset twice before eventually falling wide and handed Glenanne a big point for them and for the title race.Corinthian 0 Trinity 1 (Ailish Naughton)
Ailish Naughton’s first half goal off the back of a long corner saw Trinity do the double over Corinthian to assure they are in high spirits going into colours with any potential relegation worries well and truly off the table despite a tough run-in. After a slow start, they began to assert themselves with Avril Dooley-O’Carroll superb while Alex Spain was in strong form at the back along with Emma McErlean and Sophie Marshall impressing.
Corinthian had their chances in the second period to level but Charlotte Dunne made some key saves to retain the lead and lift her side to 12 points, a far cry from their travails of a year ago.
North Kildare 0 Hermes 3 (Kerry McComish 2, Lisa Jacob)
Hermes remained three points off top spot as they stretched their unbeaten run to 12 games despite travelling to Kilcock without top scorer Aine Connery and international Audrey O’Flynn. From the off, Hermes were in control forcing the Kildare defence into plenty of action but they kept out an early volley of corners.
The breakthrough came in the 24th minute after a drive midfield by Sara Twomey and her lovely weighted pass saw Sarah Patton through but the Loreto Dalkey schoolgirl was floored in the circle.
A stroke was awarded and slotted home by Kerry Mccomish. McComish scored her and the team’s second from a corner strike just on the stroke of half time. The only goal of the half was created by Eimear Horan, driving into circle and her strike was finished at the far post for a tap in by Lisa Jacob.
Old Alex 1 (Abbie Russell) UCD 4 (Jeamie Deacon, Emily Beatty, Nikki Evans, Anna O’Flanagan)
UCD made no mistake to fully profit from Railway Union’s draw against Glenanne as they netted four times for the second time this season against Old Alex. Nikki Evans scored the first from a penalty corner with the only goal of a half that saw both sides crash the underside of the crossbar.
UCD doubled their lead with another corner goal, this time from Anna O’Flanagan who roofed a rebound after the initial shot was blocked. Excellent work down the right hand side from Emily Beatty created the third goal, finding Jeamie Deacon to score. Abbie Russell finished well from a one-on-one chance but UCD closed out the tie when Beatty slid in at the back post to restore the three goal advantage.
For the students, their title run-in sees them face Trinity next before taking on Railway Union, Loreto and Pembroke in a testing closing phase to the campaign.
Pembroke 0 Loreto 2 (Nikki Keegan, S Clarke)
Having drawn with Pembroke in their first league encounter, Loreto made sure of securing all three points second time round, courtesy of a goal in each half. They broke the deadlock on the half hour with a well taken goal by Nikki Keegan. A good attack down the left found Keegan who worked her way along the back line and delivered a dangerous ball to the penalty spot where Niamh Small applied a good shot on goal. Though well saved by Stella Davis, the rebound fell kindly to Keegan who put the ball away with aplomb.
In the second half, Loreto continued to be in the box seat but Pembroke soaked up everything that was thrown at them. They relied mainly on breakaway attacks, one of which presented a one v one with keeper Louisa Healy denying Sorcha Clarke. After a succession of penalty Corners, Loreto put the tie to bed with ten minutes left with a trademark penalty corner strike from former Pembroke woman Sarah Clarke.
Ali Meeke and Niamh Small stood out for the visitors, while Pembroke put in a strong defensive display prior to their re-match next Saturday in the quarter final of the Irish Senior Cup.