Muckross made it three wins out of three in women’s Leinster Division One with a 5-0 win over Our Lady’s in Muckross Park on Saturday, leaving them as the only side with a perfect record to date.
An early goal from Niamh Gowing set the tone, followed by a superb strike from captain Sophie Barnwell to make it two, before Caroline Mathews gave Muckross a three-goal lead heading into the half-time break.
Plenty more attacking prowess on show in the second half, with both Gowing and Barnwell finding the net again, and some near-misses past the posts. A comprehensive 5-0 victory at the final whistle, putting Muckross top of Division One with a maximum of nine points from their first three matches of the league season.
For Our Lady’s, they never got out of the blocks but goalkeeper Niamh Mahon – just 18 last week – produced a very strong performances.
Muckross now switch their focus to the Irish Senior Cup this weekend, with a tough away draw to EYHL team Ards in Round One but will be no doubt bolstered by the return of Irish international Nicci Daly to the squad.
Old Alex’s winning start came to an end at the hands of Trinity – another unbeaten side – thanks to Ailish Long’s single goal.
Trinity got off to a good start in the first half, holding most of the possession and creating lots of chances, particularly in the first few minutes. Following a quick turnover by Trinity’s press, a great sequence of play between Niamh Sweeney and Long resulted in the latter slipping one past the Alex keeper with just under 20 minutes gone.
Glenanne moved into a share of second place with a 3-0 win over Corinthian at Whitechurch Park. The Tallaght side toko the lead from a corner which Kate O’Connor took at the top right hand side of the circle, working the ball with Jessica Meeke into the net.
The reds, especially with attacks down the left, were making Glenanne’s defence work, drawing Roisin O’Brien into action on a number of occasions.
But they were stung by a second goal for Glens from a quick free on the 23 metre line which was driven inside the circle and struck powerfully by Saoirse O’Donoghue while taking a deflection to put it into the top left corner of the goal.
Corinthian pressure led to a couple of corners early in the second half but they could not convert. The Glens bounced back and transferred the ball up the right with Sarah Jane Kelly getting to the baseline to score for 3-0.
Genesis continued their impressive start to the campaign, too, with a 2-0 win over Rathgar with Caitriona Lavelle scoring early on before Laura Barrie completed the win late in the game.
Avoca drew 0-0 with North Kildare, leaving something of a split between the top five and the bottom five at this early stage in the season. The top half have lost just once between them and four points to spare over the bottom half who have yet to record a win.
This weekend, attention turns to the Irish Senior Cup for most of the sides with the league taking a break. Just one game is on October 22 – Glenanne vs Trinity – before a fuller series takes place on October 29.
Elsewhere, the Irish Hockey Trophy draw was made during the week with Avoca, Our Lady’s and Clontarf all getting byes. Rathgar have a tough tie away to a Cork C of I side who have strengthened heavily this season.
Bray host Greenfields – a side that played in the EYHL last term – while Naas travel to Galway. YMCA take on North Kildare in a Leinster showdown, testing the comparitive level between Division One and Two. Three Rock Ladies host Portadown for the second time in recent years.
Women’s Leinster Division One (Saturday): Trinity 1 (A Long) Old Alex 0; Corinthian 0 Glenanne 3 (K O’Connor, S O’Donoghue, S-J Kelly); Avoca 0 North Kildare 0; Genesis 2 (L Barrie, C Lavelle) Rathgar 0; Muckross 5 (S Barnwell 2, N Gowing 2, C Mathews) Our Lady’s 0
Irish Hockey Trophy, first round draw (November 12): NICS v Raphoe; Galway v Naas; NUIG v Armagh; Bray v Greenfields; YMCA v North Kildare; Three Rock Rovers v Portadown; Rainey v Waterford; Cork C of I v Rathgar
Byes: Bandon, Avoca, Our Lady’s, Ashton, Ballymena, Clonakilty, Clontarf, Mossley.
Irish Hockey Challenge, first round draw (November 19): Kilkeel v Weston; Mullingar v Athlone; Greenfields v NUIG; Blackrock v Tipperary
Byes: Belvedere, Wexford, Clonmel, Botanic