Women’s Irish Senior Cup, second round
The women’s Irish Senior Cup has much more sense of opportunity about it following Railway Union’s surprise win over UCD eliminated the national double winners with the biggest name now removed from Monday’s draw.
While they two clubs have been heavy sparring partners in recent years, prior form this season suggested that the students had a large edge going into the tie.
Indeed, a sticky start to the season, encompassing a pair of losses to Hermes, a scoreless draw with Trinity and a narrow 2-1 win over North Kildare suggested Railway were taking a while to adjust following Alex Speers, Orla Fox and Jean McDonnell’s departures.
The subsequent introduction of a series of young players will take time but they showed their potential to refresh the panel on Saturday with Georgina Spillane and Emer Clarke, both 16, doing excellent jobs in midfield against Katie Mullan and Chloe Watkins.
They still had plenty of defending to do but Grace O’Flanagan had an excellent game between the posts to help the Sandymount side over the line. Railway also had to come back twice from a goal behind before Kate Lloyd won it in silver goal extra time as a great run from Zara Delany ended with a slip pass to Emma Smyth on the left.
She ran to the baseline before spinning the ball back to Lloyd who shot on her preferred backhand side. It was initially saved by Tiffaney Ellis but Lloyd was quick enough to grab the rebound and first time it home with 50 seconds left before the break.
Earlier, UCD scored with the first play of the game, breaking through a lax press with Anna O’Flanagan drawing a top save from her namesake Grace. It fell only as far as Deirdre Duke who snaffled the rebound.
Parity came when when Smyth pounced on a corner rebound created by Emer Lucey’s hit but Watkins made it 2-1 from a sweep from the top of the circle, once again from a corner.
Former UCD player Hannah de Burgh Whyte tied things up for a second time from a corner switch, ultimately sending the game to extra time where Lloyd won the tie.
It means that each of the eight teams remaining in the competition will be without the fear of meeting UCD in Monday’s quarter-final draw.
Pegasus, winners in 2011, picked up a strong win over Pembroke with two goals in quick succession saw them turn the tide at Serpentine Avenue.
Caroline Hill had Pembroke in front at the break but Taite Doherty and, subsequently, Suzanne Ferris turned the tide in jig-time in the third quarter to earn their place in the last eight.
Hermes scored twice in each half to record their second win of the season over Old Alex, Aoife Harte, Aisling Naughton, Fiona Bradish and Christine Quinlan all on the mark.
Glenanne complete the three-pronged Leinster challenge in the next phase as they shaded their tussle with Corinthian, prevailing 2-0 on penalty strokes.
Rachel O’Brien had the Glens 1-0 up at half-time but Sarah Torrans, playing in one of her first senior games, nabbed her maiden first team goal to send the game into extra time and subsequently strokes.
The Glens, however, have played a couple of shoot-outs in recent seasons and used that experience to win out.
The Ulster Elks had an impressive win over Lurgan on a 3-0 scoreline to suggest they are a big threat in the competition while Cork Harlequins won in Galway 2-0 against Greenfields.
Lisnagarvey, against Cork C of I, and Belfast Harlequins, versus Ballymoney, were both 1-0 winners in their respective ties.
Second round results: Railway Union 3 (E Smyth, H de Burgh Whyte, K Lloyd) UCD 2 (D Duke, C Watkins); Pembroke 1 (C Hill) Pegasus 2 (T Doherty, S Ferris); Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Watt) Ballymoney 0; Corinthian 1 (S Torrans) Glenanne 1 (R O’Brien), Glenanne win 2-0 on penalties; Greenfields 0 Cork Harlequins 2 (L Mullins, K Bateman); Lisnagarvey 1 (S Brown) Cork C of I 0; Lurgan 0 Ulster Elks 3 (S Jameson, K Lammey, L McAlpine); Old Alex 0 Hermes 4 (A Harte, A Naughton, F Bradish, C Quinlan)
Women’s Leinster Division One
Loreto moved within a point of UCD in women’s Leinster division one as they managed to break down North Kildare and keep their unbeaten league run going. Jessica McGirr got the only goal of the first half from play as her side controlled possession for the most part but found the Kildare side tough to break down.
The second half was more eventful with Hannah Matthews scoring from a corner. Hannah Jenkinson replied in kind from a set piece. Ali Meeke restored the two-goal difference from another set play before Niamh Small and Matthews’ second in the closing minutes killed off the game.
Result: Loreto 5 (H Matthews 2, J McGirr, N Smith, A Meeke) North Kildare 1 (H Jenkinson)
Irish Hockey Challenge
Round One: Portlaoise 0 Clonmel 3 (J Freyne, M Mulcahy, B Ryan)