Women’s EY Hockey League – day four round-up
Cork Harlequins 3 (K Bateman, R Barry, O Roycroft) Pegasus 1 (K Morris)
Cork Harlequins came from a goal down to beat Pegasus 3-1 and continue their perfect start to the campaign with a fourth successive victory, tying them for the lead with Pegasus.
The hosts had most of the early pressure and thought they had the lead in the seventh minute when Naomi Carroll netted from the first penalty corner but the effort was chalked off for a foot in the build-up.
Pegasus went straight up the other end of the pitch and against the run of play won a corner which was duly dispatched by a fine Katie Morris deflection. Quins bounced back quickly in the second quarter thanks to good approach play by Caoimhe Perdue, winning a corner which Karen Bateman deflected past Sammy-Jo Greer.
And they went in front in the 31st minute when Cliodhna Sargent’s pass was touched by Carroll into Rebecca Barry’s path and she fired home on her reverse.
The third quarter was a more even affair spent in the middle third of the pitch. Taite Doherty started getting on the ball more for the visitors while Alex Speers also started to find space. For Quins, Lina Geyer showed all her quality and experience, retaining possession well for the home side.
It was Quins who had the best chance of the quarter, with a Carroll effort cleared well off the line by the Pegasus defence after good build up play from Michelle Barry. But the crucial goal came two minutes into the final quarter; a fine Olivia Roycroft drag flick from a penalty corner made the game safe for the home side. Pegasus started to throw more players forward to try and were dominating possession but the Quins defence stood firm to close out the match.
Ards 2 (L McKee, C Brown) Railway Union 1 (C Joyce)
Chloe Brown’s second half goal saw Ards pick up their first win of the campaign, seeing off Railway Union 2-1 at Londonderry Park.
The Ulster side took an early lead after an exchange of corners, Lucy McKee finishing off nicely from Ards’ first set piece. Railway responded in kind, creating a number of chances and they got level in the second quarter following quick work down the left wing, working the ball in to Cecelia Joyce to slap home from close range.
The third quarter was end to end and saw Ards retake the initiative when Brown dragged in to the top corner in the 41st minute for a precious lead. Railway created a number of chances to level.
Sara Alexander, meanwhile, found space in the circle and fired a reverse stick shot that crashed off the post. In the last play, Railway won two penalty corners which Ards cleared successfully to preserve their three points.
UCD 4 (D Duke 2, K Mullan, L Ewart) Ulster Elks 1 (K Smiley)
Deirdre Duke’s double saw UCD continue their strong start to the women’s EYHL campaign, seeing off student rivals Ulster Elks to sit in third place after four rounds of matches.
The Irish international struck early on, flikcing home after a couple of early corners had come to nothing. UCD continued to push on during the second quarter with the Elks dropping deep and looking to counter but no further goals accrued before the break.
The Ulster side did break out of their shell in the second half, winning two consecutive corners and were level when Kathryn Smiley managed to tap in at the back post.
Katie Mullan, though, restored the lead for the Dubliners when she drove the ball into the circle, flipped it into the air and slotted home. Duke then created the third for Leah Ewart to tap in from a right baseline cross. Duke then killed off the game with five minutes to go.
Belfast Harlequins 2 (L Johnston, G Frazer) Pembroke 0
Belfast Harlequins recorded their first win in their short EYHL history, Laura Johnston and Gemma Frazer striking in the final quarter to cause Pembroke a few headaches after a fourth straight loss.
Harlequins started the game well and dominated possession. In the 7th minute Gemma Frazer set up Claire Weir who put her reverse stick shot wide and, soon after, Frazer made a decisive run only to be denied by Pembroke’s goal keeper Tiffaney Ellis.
Johnston went close when put through one on one while she also had an effort disallowed before Pembroke came into the game and created two corner chances of their own in a scoreless first half.
The third quarter continued to be tight with Quins notching a fourth an fifth corner but did not convert. It made for a tense closing quarter and it was the hosts who took the lead in the 54th minute.
Johnston converted a left wing cross from Lucy Geddes to finally get payment for all the Harlequins pressure. In the 55th minute, Pembroke’s Amy-Kate Trevor was yellow carded for not retreating five metres from a free hit.
During this time, Harlequins confirmed their dominance when Frazer neatly rounded the defender and scored with a clinical reverse stick shot.
The hosts did lose two players to sin-bin offences and Pembroke came on strong in the closing stages with a strong shot from Erika Markey was well saved by Jade Lamont.
Hermes-Monkstown 1 (A O’Flanagan) Loreto 0
For the second week running, Anna O’Flanagan struck the only goal of the game to hand Hermes-Monkstown a fourth straight win in the EYHL, denying an impressive Loreto.
The game started at a fast pace with Loreto pressing high up the pitch. They had more possession during the first quarter but neither team created any clear cut chances.
The second quarter was also played at a high tempo with both teams passing the ball well. Hermes-Monkstown won a penalty corner but the switch left was closed down.
As time wore on, the game became more and more open. Both teams created chances in the third quarter with Louisa Healy making a few saves and Rosie Carrigan and Sarah Greene making a couple of very good tackles and interceptions.
Hermes-Monkstown scored the only goal when an attack down the right led to a pass across the circle with Anna O’Flanagan sweeping in from around the penalty spot for her 11th goal of the campaign.
The last quarter was very tight with Loreto pressing for an equaliser and Hermes-Monkstown breaking forward when they could. A yellow card slowed down Loreto’s play and they weren’t able to create a clear chance in front of goal as the Merrion Fleet Arena hosts closed out the result.