Top of the table Trinity and Old Alex moved four points clear of the women’s Leinster Division One table with their respective Saturday wins.
Trinity stretched their league streak to seven games without defeat this season when they beat Rathgar 2-0. From the beginning it was the students that were applying the pressure but with little return.
Rathgar’s defence and keeper Lia McCann remained solid throughout ,denying many dangerous chances from Ailish Long and Niamh Sweeney. Rathgar, however, found it difficult to breakdown the experienced defence led by Anna Boland and Carolyn Crampton as the first half ended scoreless.
The second half started much the same taking Trinity until midway through the second half to finally break down their opponents and score with Cliona McCullough’s ably finishing a rebound from a powerful Jenny Long run into the D.
Trinity visibly relaxed after this and a second goal came shortly after, Susie Osbourne scoring her first for the club on the near post after an excellent baseline run. Ailish Long and Louise McCollum had two near misses close to the final whistle while Rathgar will take confidence from a strong and promising performance with Erica Porter shining in their defence.
Old Alex, meanwhile, picked up a key win over now-fourth placed Glenanne with Fiona Bradish and Grainne Mulkerrin out-doing Saoirse O’Donoghue’s goal in a 2-1 success.
It puts both leading sides on 19 points. Muckross moved into third place in the table with a 3-1 victory over Corinthian with Sophie Barnwell, Claudia Cotter and Rachel Cuddy doing the damage.
A day later, North Kildare produced their biggest performance of the season to run up a 3-0 win over Rathgar. The Kilcock side has conceded just twice in six outings to date but had only scored once prior to this tie.
Rathgar dominated the first 10 mins of the game, playing with pace at The Maws. Against the run of play, North Kildare were clinical in winning a short corner scoring their first goal scored by Rachel Neary.
Momentum swung with both teams creating chances, however, the Kildare side caught Rathgar once again in the 25th minute on the break. It ended with a two-on-one situation with a perfect pass from Rachel Neary to Kathy Baker who slotted home with ease.
Half time saw North Kildare leading 2-0. Rathgar proceeded to dominate passages of play however the hosts held strong and the game began to open up.
North Kildare closed the game out well, though, and with 15 minutes to play, Baker confidently scoring at the far post with a perfect reverse stick shot.
In the Irish Hockey Trophy, YMCA won through to the quarter-finals following a strokes win over Portadown while Our Lady’s beat Avoca on strokes after normal time had ended 1-1.
Leinster Division One
Saturday: Old Alex 2 (F Bradish, G Mulkerrin) Glenanne 1 (S O’Donoghue); Rathgar 0 Trinity College 2 (C McCullugh, S Osborne); Muckross 3 (S Barnwell, C Cotter, R Cuddy) Corinthian 1 (J McGrane)
Sunday: North Kildare 3 (K Baker 2, R Neary) Rathgar 0
Tuesday: Avoca v Muckross, 7.45pm, Newpark
Irish Hockey Trophy, second round: Portadown 2 YMCA 2 (Willis, A McArdle), YMCA win 4-2 on strokes; Rainey 3 Clonakilty 2; Bandon 5 (A Buttimer, S Peters, C McCarthy, K Desmond, M Barrett) Ashton 0; Our Lady’s 1 Avoca 1, Our Lady’s win 4-2 on strokes
Postponed: Raphoe v Cork C of I; Galway v Ballymena; NUIG v Clontarf