Key issues up for decision in women’s Division One

Leinster women’s Division One’s big issues are more than likely to be determined this weekend with a double weekend for many teams with the league title, playoff places and relegation positions all potentially nailed down.

At the top, thanks to last weekend’s 3-1 win over Muckross – Niamh Small, Ali Meeke and Sarah O’Loughlin on the mark – Loreto are just a point off victory and have achieved their primary objective of an EY Hockey League playoff place. They meet Corinthian on Saturday before facing Glenanne on Sunday in rounds 16 and 17.

Abbie Russell scored a key goal for Old Alex. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Abbie Russell scored a key goal for Old Alex. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Old Alex’s push for the second guaranteed playoff place took a series of boosts last Saturday. First off, Abbie Russell’s goal earned the Milltown side a 1-0 win over Genesis. With Muckross losing to Loreto, Alex also got favours from Rathgar and Corinthian to eke out a five-point gap back to Trinity and Glenanne.

The students were held at bay by Rathgar in a scoreless draw which, while it stretches their unbeaten run to ten games, leaves them needing favours from elsewhere to close the gap. Their weekend sees them travel to Avoca on Saturday.

Glenanne, meanwhile, were undone 1-0 by a single Sarah Torrans goal as Corinthian made it five games since their last defeat, notching 13 points from the last available 15. The reds’ run may be a little too late to grab a place, especially as they must play Loreto and Alex over the weekend, but they can be rightly pleased with their excellent run of form.

At the bottom, North Kildare produced an excellent Monday night win against Avoca to move out of range of the Blackrock club. They built a 3-1 lead before eventually running out 4-2 winners with Emilie Ryan-Doyle scoring twice while Aideen Griffen and Sophie Moore scored the other.

Avoca now face a potentially crucial game on Sunday against Rathgar. The latter have yet to win this season but a win could move them level on points with their opponent and make for an intriguing final day of the season.

From women’s Division Two, Pembroke II have won the league but Our Lady’s are in place for at least a playoff place.

Avoca do have two cup finals to look forward to. Rachel Boyce’s single goal saw them through to the Irish Hockey Trophy final while they also have a place in the Jacqui Potter Shield final on St Patrick’s Day against Glenanne.

Leinster Division One, last Saturday:
Glenanne 0 Corinthian 1 (S Torrans); Genesis 0 Old Alex 1 (A Russell); Loreto 3 (N Small, A Meeke, S O’Loughlin) Muckross 1 (S Barnwell); Rathgar 0 Trinity 0
Monday: North Kildare 4 (E Ryan-Doyle 2, A Griffen, S Moore) Avoca 2 (H Clark, I Pavanello)

Fixtures
Saturday:
Avoca v Trinity, 2.30pm, Newpark; North Kildare v Genesis, 2pm, The Maws; Glenanne v Rathgar, 11am, Glenanne Park; Corinthian v Loreto, 2.30pm, Whitechurch Park; Muckross v Old Alex, 3.30pm, Muckross Park
Sunday: Corinthian v Old Alex, , Whitechurch Park; Glenanne v Loreto, 1.30pm, Glenanne Park; North Kildare v Muckross, 1.30pm, The Maws; Avoca v Rathgar, 3.30pm, Newpark

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1