Jenny Long’s pair of goals saw Trinity take control of women’s Leinster Division One ahead of a quick-fire double-header this week.
They held off Avoca 2-1 last weekend and subsequently profited from Old Alex’s 3-2 loss to North Kildare at the Maws to build a three-point lead at the top of the table with a chance to extend that in the coming days.
Against Avoca, Trinity got the breakthrough when a strong drive into the D was put away low in the corner by co-captain Jenny Long with the backhand. The Blackrock club, however, levelled just before half-time through Susie Cannon from a corner.
The second half was a tense affair as both sides sought a winner. Tireless pressing from Louise McCollum and Susie Osborne caused Avoca problems and they got back in front with Long grabbing the winner, taking control at a penalty corner and swept to the back post. It took a series of deflections before nestling over the line with 10 minutes to go.
It was their sixth win in succession and they have the chance to move further clear on Wednesday evening when they play a refix against North Kildare.
They know it will not be an easy task against a Kildare side who have found a free-scoring touch with Emilie Ryan-Doyle’s double and one from former Trinity player Lucy Small earning a hugely significant win against Alex.
In the chasing pack, Glenanne and Muckross will be battling to move into second place when they meet on Wednesday. Muckross beat Avoca 2-0 in midweek last time out to move into third, moving back above the Glens who beat Genesis 3-1.
On Saturday, Genesis and Corinthian tied 2-2 to see them lose a bit of contact with the leading pack with North Kildare moving level with them. At the bottom, Rathgar got their first point of the campaign with a 2-2 derby draw against Our Lady’s.
In the Irish Junior Cup, meanwhile, there were a series of close-run battles. In Cork, Loreto won a lively 4-2 battle against Ashton.
Aoife Taaffe put Loreto in front inside 60 seconds after intercepting a loose transfer pass. Jade Lawless equalised a few minutes later, deflecting Nikki Barry’s corner shot in at near post. Both are Munster Under-16 players.
Loreto went on a dominant run then as they over-ran Ashton in midfield and built a 4-1 half-time lead via another Taaffe goal, a Cathy McKean stroke and a Sarah Clarke corner bash.
The second half belonged to Ashton thanks to a changed press and more aggression. Sinead Houstoun gave them a lifeline with 10 minutes to go after exchanging passes with Sophie Merry off a corner. Ann Harvey forced a superb save from Loreto keeper late on but was too little too late; 4-2 it finished for a deserved Loreto win.
Pembroke were run extremely close by a very young Pegasus who featured three 15-year-olds, three aged 16 and two 17-year-olds. The Dubliners led 2-0 before Pegasus fought back with two young ones D’Arcey Campbell (16) and Anna Jamieson (17) on the mark.
But Pembroke won the tie with two minutes to go from a corner, winning out 3-2 to keep alive their chances of reaching the IJC final for a fifth time in six seasons.
Railway Union also won in dramatic fashion as Nina Heisterkamp’s sublime last minute goal earned them a 3-3 draw against Monkstown and they duly won through to the last eight.
Genesis bowed out on strokes at Lisnagarvey after Aisling Field scored in a 1-1 tie, cancelling out Sophie McNeice’s goal. Goalkeeper Sara McGuckan made the key saves in the stroke competition.
UCD and Queen’s had big wins and will meet in the next round of the competition. Old Alex are another Leinster side to advance, Yvonne Rogers scoring the only goal against Avoca.
Leinster Division One
Saturday: North Kildare 3 (E Ryan-Doyle 2, L Small) Old Alex 2 (A Barton 2); Rathgar 2 (E Porter, A O’Connor) Our Lady’s 2 (P Dennehy, G Jones); Trinity 2 (J Long 2) Avoca 1 (S Cannon); Corinthian 2 (L McGrane, A Kinlan) Genesis 2 (J Lavery, C Lavelle)
Wednesday: Genesis v Avoca, 8.15pm, St Raphaela’s; Glenanne v Muckross, 8.30pm, Glenanne Park; North Kildare v Trinity, 8.30pm, The Maws
Irish Junior Cup, second round
Saturday: Avoca 0 Old Alex 1 (Y Rogers); Lisnagarvey 1 (S McNeice) Genesis 1 (A Field), Lisnagarvey win 4-3 in strokes; Muckross 0 Queen’s University 7 (McIlwaine 3, Bryans, Graham, Hylands, Morrow); Banbridge 2 (S Mount, P Haugh) Cork Harlequins 4 (A O’Farrell, V Fenton, N Brady, A O’Driscoll); Railway Union 3 (E Dolan, N Heisterkamp, J Douglas) Monkstown 3 (H Sarratt, C Watkins, A Kealy), Railway win on strokes; Ashton 2 (S Houstoun, J Lawless) Loreto 4 (A Taaffe 2, C McKean, S Clarke); Pembroke 3 (E Thompson, A de Jong, S Carey) Pegasus 2 (D Campbell, A Jamieson); UCD 8 (A Roache 2, K Hennessy 2, R Gray, A Marsh, A Oakes, E Duncan) Ballymena 0
Quarter-final draw (January 21): Cork Harlequins v Pembroke; Old Alex v Lisnagarvey; Queen’s University v UCD; Railway Union v Loreto