Pembroke, Hermes and Railway progress IHL hopes

Women’s Leinster Division One
Loreto 0 Pembroke 1 (Hayley O’Donnell)

Hayley O’Donnell’s goal earned Pembroke their fifth 1-0 win of the season as she took authority of a hot potato following an uncleared penalty corner, sweeping home in the 25th minute.

That was one of the few clear chances throughout the tie as Pembroke managed to negate the main threats of Niamh Small, Hayley Mulcahy and Nikki McConnell for the most part after some initial danger that drew some good stuff from Jessie Elliott.

Pembroke won the corner count 3-1 and were able to keep the tie in control in the second half to claim the win and move up to third place in the table, moving above UCD and Loreto.

North Kildare 0 UCD 0
North Kildare produced probably the result of their short history in women’s Leinster division one as they drew 0-0 with UCD at The Maws, getting a point off a side in the top five of the table for the first time in their three seasons in the top flight.

For reigning champions UCD, it leaves them eight points off leaders Hermes and without a win in four games having garnered just three points from the last 12 available.

It was a close encounter which started off at a fast pace with UCD having some early chances. Maeve Weld in goals for North Kildare goal made some excellent save which kept them in the game before they had a clear cut chance of their own.

Good transfer play around the back and midfield led to a baseline run from Kim Baker who passed to Neassa O’Malley at the penalty spot. Only for a great save from the UCD keeper, Kildare might have had a shock lead.

Both sides had their short corners in the second half while North Kildare were put under pressure in the last ten minutes but held out for a well-deserved draw.

Corinthian 0 Hermes 1 (Aisling Naughton)
Aisling Naughton’s 18th goal of the season maintained Hermes’ three point lead at the top of women’s division one as they struggled to break through a well-organised and determined Corinthian defence at Whitechurch Park.

Indeed, they almost pulled off an unlikely draw but were unable to convert their first corner on the final hooter. For the most part, though, Hermes were well on top with lots of possession but Siobhan Burke had a fine game between the posts.

Naughton converted after a nice interchange with Caitriona McGilp to secure the result.

Old Alex 0 Railway Union 3 (Cecelia Joyce 2, Sarah Hawkshaw)
Two second half strikes from Cecelia Joyce and one from the returning Sarah Hawkshaw saw Railway move back up to second place in women’s division one to see off Old Alex at Milltown.

The first half was a low-key affair with the majority of play between the 25s with Railway shading matters with Sarah Canning and Kate Lloyd working well down the flanks.

Pembroke's Orla Macken gets away from Loreto's Nikki McConnell Pic: Adrian Boehm

Pembroke’s Orla Macken gets away from Loreto’s Nikki McConnell Pic: Adrian Boehm

Jo-nelke Swanepoel excelled at the back for Alex, taking one effort off the line with a superb diving effort, while Hawkshaw was enjoying a good battle with Leanne Ryan in midifield.

Railway went ahead when Emer Lucey’s straight strike was initially saved by Jo-nelke Swanepoel onto Pamela Smithwick but Joyce rebounded on the reverse. From another set-piece, she got a deflection to a ball from Sarah Canning for 2-0.

The only threat from Alex were a couple of half-chances from Abbie Russell and the hard-working Phoebe Hopkins but the home side missed Sally Campbell through injury which gave schoolgirl Chloe Harrison her senior league debut.

Delany, who had a fine game in midfield alongside Kate McKenna, created the third for Railway when she made a great run and split the Alex defence with her pass. Hawkshaw picked the ball up and drove left before getting her feet around the ball and unleashing a peach of a shot to the bottom corner.

Trinity 2 (Emma McErlean, Niamh Sweeney) Glenanne 2 (Rachel O’Brien, Audrey McCormack)
Little to separate the sides in the table and on the pitch as they drew for the second time this season. Glenanne, spurred by a close call at the far end early on, went ahead after a great ball down the line to Jessica Meeke was crossed to Audrey McCormack bursting forward from midfield who calmly placed home.

Saoirse O’Donoghue went close to a second with an effort that fizzed just past the top corner. Trinity got back on terms, though, soon after when Emma McErlean collected a loose ball in the circle and managed to squeeze it home after they had a number of good chances

The Glens went back in front from a corner routine with Kate O’Connor’s hit being met by a diving Rachel O’Brien. Trinity’s quick counter-attacks were causing plenty of problems and they capitalised on some uncertainty in the Glens defence with Niamh Sweeney getting a shot away from a narrow angle to make it 2-2.

She had earlier hit the post with a super upright reverse-stick shot while Sarah Quill went just wide from another quick attack after rounding the Glenanne goalkeeper while Jennifer Rynne made a crucial clearance before Glenanne regained their momentum via Niamh Cashman and McCormack.

Following a Marie Goulding shot, Clare Shillington did find the net for an effort that was initially given before an umpire’s consultation saw it ruled out for the ball adjudged to have been raised into the circle. A corner did follow but Glenanne could not convert.

Both sides ended feeling they could have made more from their chances but honours were shared once again.

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1