Railway Union and Loreto will contest the Jacqui Potter Cup final on St Patrick’s Day after they made it through their respective semi-finals last Sunday.
For Railway, they became the first side to eliminate Hermes from a competition, shading their tie on strokes after normal time had ended 1-1. The Booterstown outfit were without internationals Nikki Evans, Anna O’Flanagan, Naomi Carroll and Chloe Watkins as well as Christine Quinlan, Sinead Loughran and Emma Gray but, nonetheless, were in the contest throughout.
They did fall behind 1-0 to a Julia O’Halloran goal in the first half when she was set up by great play that allowed Emma Smyth to play a superb first time ball into the Cork woman in the circle. She round the goalkeeper and fired past the covering Hermes players on the line.
Hermes replied with a run of penalty corners and, from the sixth of them, a slip left went to Eimear Horan to score, making it 1-1 at half-time. The second half was end to end with Smyth and Michelle Carey picking up cards for stick tackles but no further goals accrued.
It eventually led to strokes. The first eight were all scored, locking the game at 4-4 before Grace O’Flanagan made the key save. O’Halloran converted to win the tie for the Park Avenue side as they look to win the title for a fourth time.
Loreto’s route to the final was more straightforward as they got the better of Genesis for the second time in consecutive days, winning out 4-1. On Saturday, they won 8-0 in the league with both Hannah McLoughlin and Niamh Small ending the weekend with four goals each.
In women’s Leinster Division One, Glenanne were the big winners in the race for the EYHL playoff places, getting the better of Muckross 2-0 thanks to a pair of Audrey McCormack goals.
In rainy conditions in Glenanne Park, the tie started off evenly until the Glens won their first corner which McCormack finished off on the switch. The Tallaght side then controlled the rest of the first half thanks to the hard work of Marie Goulding, keeping the ever threatening presence of international Nicci Daly at bay.
In the second half, though, Muckross had a lot of the attacking phases but could not find a way through. The Glens, meanwhile, went close via Jessie Meeke on the reverse before a cracker from McCormack caught everyone off guard when she deflected over the goalkeeper from the top of the circle for 2-0.
The last 10 minutes was a massive fight but Glenanne held firm and they remain in the top three of the table while Muckross drop back to fifth place, four points off a playoff spot.
Alex are two points better off than the Glens thanks to a 3-1 win over Avoca with Lauren Kingston, Leanne King and Fiona Bradish scoring the goal. Trinity extended their unbeaten run to nine games with a 5-1 win over North Kildare to stay and sit in fourth place.
Loreto are one win away from guaranteeing themselves a playoff place while four points from the last 12 on offer will confirm they win the regular season top spot. They host Muckross on Saturday.
Leinster Division One: Genesis 0 Loreto 8 (N Small 3, H McLoughlin 2, L Tice, S Evans); Glenanne 2 (A McCormack 2) Muckross 0; Trinity 5 North Kildare 1; Old Alex 3 (L Kingston, L King, F Bradish) Avoca 1 (A Richardson); Corinthian 3 (M O’Leary 2, S Torrans) Rathgar 1
Next Saturday: North Kildare v Avoca, , The Maws; Glenanne v Corinthian, 12.30pm, Glenanne Park; Genesis v Old Alex, 1pm, St Raphaela’s; Loreto v Muckross, 1.45pm, Beaufort; Rathgar v Trinity, 2.15pm, High School
Jacqui Potter Cup semi-finals (Sunday): Genesis 1 Loreto 4 (H McLoughlin 2, N Small, K Crotty); Railway Union 1 (J O’Halloran) Hermes 1 (E Horan), Railway won 5-4 on strokes