Railway close gap to two to UCD

Women’s Leinster Division One
Saturday: Glenanne 0 UCD 4 (Nikki Evans 3, Sarah Robinson)

UCD bounced back from their first lost of the campaign last weekend as Nikki Evans returned to net a hat-trick to see off Glenanne. Sarah Robinson got the opening goal about 10 minutes in when she found herself at the top of the circle and swept a ball looking for touches that went straight in.

UCD's Nikki Evans' hat trick helped her side to a 4-0 win over Glenanne Pic: Adrian Boehm

UCD’s Nikki Evans’ hat trick helped her side to a 4-0 win over Glenanne Pic: Adrian Boehm

The second came about five minutes later from excellent work down the right hand side as Anna O’Flanagan picked Nikki Evans out from the right baseline to the flick-spot. Evans scored the third, smartly latching onto a rebound and finishing well for 3-0 at halftime. Elaine Carey had the best chance to go 4-0 up but managed to hit it over the bar from 10 yards out. But Evans completed her hat-trick when she helped in a reverse stick shot from Carey. Glenanne had a number of reasonable chances which mainly came from crashed balls into the circle and a couple of corners but could not breka through.

Loreto 0 Railway Union 3 (Kate Dillon, Julia O’Halloran, Alex Speers)
Despite enjoying plenty of possession and winning the corner count, Railway made Loreto pay the price for defensive lapses in the first two minutes of each half. That resulted in the Beaufort side being 2-0 down after 37 minutes during which time they arguably controlled the territory and possession in a high quality first half.
 
In a lightning first few minutes, Loreto created and early chance for Small who was lively up front throughout. But, with Railway’s first attack, the hosts were caught flat-footed on a quick free and a late tackle in the circle yielded a penalty stroke to Railway which was converted expertly by Kate Dillon.
 
Loreto upped their tempo and kept the Railway defence busy but they remained solid, not least Rachel Barnett who dealt competently with anything that came her way. The early goal in the second half came from a long pass forward which found Kate Lloyd in the attacking 25 totally unmarked and she showed maturity in drawing the keeper and laying off a sweet pass for Julia O’Halloran to finish with ease.
 
This left Loreto with a mountain to climb.  Despite their best efforts, including four second half penalty corners, they were unable to beat Barnett.  Railway appeared calm and composed with anything that was thrown at them, with Speers and Emma Smyth outstanding in midfield and Jean McDonnell showing some nice touches in her new left back role.
 
With ten minutes left on the clock, Railway secured the win with a goal from Alex Speers from a penalty corner. Following an initial save by Healy, the ball was eventually eased over the line through a crowd of players.

Pembroke 0 Hermes 2 (Aine Connery, Eimear Horan)
Hermes extended their unbeaten streak in the league to 11 games as they welcomed back their Irish contingent of Emma Gray, Audrey O’Flynn, Lisa Jacob – available during the Dutch winter break from SCHC – and Sara Twomey whilst Christine Quinlan was an absentee.

Kate Dillon was on the mark twice in her side's two wins over the weekend Pic: Adrian Boehm

Kate Dillon was on the mark twice in her side’s two wins over the weekend Pic: Adrian Boehm

Right from the off, Hermes had most of the possession and took the lead in the eighth minute from close range via Aine Connery after good work from the Patton sisters in the build up. Two minutes later Eimear Horan scored a scorcher, driving into the circle and letting fly to give Stella Davis in the Pembroke goal no chance. Hermes continued to control the tie with the Pembroke defence, in particular Davis and Maebh Horan at centre back filling in for Claire Mulcahy, in non-stop action but the score remained 2-0 at half time.

The second half was a tame affair with Hermes earning the better chances through Connery, Jacob and Twomey while Rachel O’Reilly was lively for Pembroke in the second half.

Corinthian 0 North Kildare 0
Honours even in very tough conditions at Whitechurch Park. The heavy rain made the pitch slow, making life difficult and any rhythm hard to come by. The reds shaded the balance of play, creating more circle entries and short corners but it remained tense throughout with North Kildare creating a couple of strong second half moments.

the fact that it remained scoreless meant it was always tense with chances at a premium. Georgina Fagan put a deflection just wide and Kate Crotty had a good run and reverse stick shot which was well saved. The scoreless draw perhaps serves Corinthian better as they stay four points clear of North Kildare with five rounds of matches remaining and an automatic promotion candidate from division two not forthcoming.

Trinity 0 Old Alex 1 (Siobhan Scott Nielsen)
A solitary Siobhan Scott Nielsen first half goal was enough to see Old Alex return to the top five, swapping places with Pembroke once more as they got the better of a Trinity side playing their first game for five weeks. That rustiness showed as Alex bossed the first period with lots of good chances but Charlotte Dunne made a number of good saves. For the goal, good movement from the forwards found Danielle Costigan in space on the back line. She hit it square across the goal and Scott Nielsen swept in from the back post.

Failing to convert their chances meant the game became scrappy in the second half and while Trinity improved, they could not find openings to force an equaliser.

Sunday: Trinity 0 Railway Union 4 (Emer Lucey, Julia O’Halloran, Kate Dillon, Jean McDonnell)
Railway Union made it five wins in succession as they beat Trinity in their refixed league date from before Christmas. The result lifts them to within two points of top spot, setting up a potential winner-takes-all game with UCD on February 15.

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1