Railway, Hermes, Cork Harlequins and Elks through to ISC semi-finals

2013 champions Railway Union progressed to the semi-finals of the Irish Senior Cup with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Glenanne, denying them another scalp to their list.

The Glens had started the stronger with Kate O’Connor’s long passes regularly hitting their targets to cause problems for the Railway defence. But they were punished from a first penalty corner, won by Kate Lloyd, which initially broke down but was worked around the circle to Kate McKenna and eventually Lloyd poked home at the left post.

One became two when McKenna threaded a weighted ball through to Julia O’Halloran who, reeling away from goal to the right, struck first time to wrong-foot the Glens goalkeeper.

Again, Glenanne started the second half the stronger with Audrey McCormack solid in midfield and Claire Shillington a constant threat up front. But Railway always had the class to unpick their defence and a lovely interchange down the left between Emma Smyth and Kate Dillon set the latter free and she walloped home high into the net.

The fourth came via Zara Delany’s explosion of pace down the right and she located Dillon in between two defenders to touch home. Shillington got one back with three minutes to go from a near-impossible angle after Grace O’Flanagan’s first touch had forced her wide.

There was late drama at both Booterstown and Farmer’s Cross as Hermes and Cork Harlequins claimed winners right at the death of their respective ties.

Hermes were pushed all the way by Belfast Harlequins on home soil, having to wait until the last play of the game to eventually kill off the tie with the returning Aine Connery getting the winner.

Earlier Amy Geddis and Lauren Thomas had exchanged goals to see the tie locked at 1-1 going into the closing phases before Hermes took the semi-final spot with their third single goal win in succession.

Cork Harlequins had to wait even longer before they got the better of Pegasus, winning out in silver goal extra-time with Lesley-Ann Daunt scoring the key goal in a 2-1 success.

Ulster Elks will be the northern province’s final four representative after they netted twice in the second half to break Lisnagarvey 4-2. The first half had ended 2-2 before the Elks – who were without Megan Frazer with a hamstring injury – prevailed.

Glenanne's Rachel O'Brien and Railway Union's Kate McKenna collide Pic: Adrian Boehm

Glenanne’s Rachel O’Brien and Railway Union’s Kate McKenna collide Pic: Adrian Boehm

On home turf in Leinster divsion one, the student sides enjoyed fine results as UCD strengthened their place in the IHL places with a 4-1 win over Pembroke. The return of their international players was key with Anna O’Flanagan scoring twice while Nikki Evans and Emily Beatty also on the mark.

Trinity, meanwhile, picked up their third win of the season to move up to seventh in the table as former Wesley schoolgirls Anna May Whelan and Niamh Sweeney netting in a 2-0 win over North Kildare.

Irish Senior Cup, quarter-finals: Glenanne 1 (C Shillington) Railway Union 4 (K Dillon 2, K Lloyd, J O’Halloran); Ulster Elks 4 (L McAlpine, L Wright, J McMaster, L Neish) Lisnagarvey 2 (S Colgan, J McQueen); Cork Harlequins 2 (L Buckley, L-A Daunt) Pegasus 1 (A Speers); Hermes 2 (L Thomas, A Connery) Belfast Harlequins 1 (A Geddis)

Leinster Division One
Saturday:
North Kildare 0 Trinity 2 (AM Whelan, N Sweeney); UCD 4 (N Evans 2, A O’Flanagan, E Beatty) Pembroke 1 (H O’Donnell)

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1