Muckross and Old Alex gave an early indication that they will once again be contenders for the playoff places following opening day wins in Leinster Division One.
The Donnybrook side struck twice in the closing eight minutes against a strong North Kildare outfit at Muckross Park. Neassa O’Malley had given North Kildare the lead with a fine counter-attack goal before Muckross turned things around with efforts from Katie Fitzgerald, captain Sophie Barnwell and Niamh Gowing.
Muckross coach Sarah Scott said afterwards to Dublin City FM’s Declan Hughes it was a good learning experience for her side.
“We’ve had a successful preseason and are looking to build on last year. We have a very talented young side with a good balance; our five over-20s are in key positions and dictate the play.
“The young players are learning all the time how to make quicker decisions. The big thing for us is that they work things out for themselves so this is a good level for them.”
Her North Kildare counter-part Rowland Rixon-Fuller, meanwhile, said he was “disappointed to concede three” but said that his side performed well against a quality outfit.
“In fairness, against a very good Muckross side with quite a lot of pace, we held them off quite well. Two goals in the last eight minutes is tough to take.
“The emphasis in preseason has been on counter-attack and how we can then attack at pace. It’s not just about defence, it’s about then utilising the space when we attack. We are a developing side and so we are trying to build their knowledge base and grow as an attacking side through the season.”
Old Alex, meanwhile, were comfortable 5-0 winners over Rathgar with Fiona Bradish, Sophie Roopnarinesingh, Rebecca Evans on the mark in addition to the returning Anna Roopnarinesingh and Rachel Grey.
Genesis recorded a rare win over Glenanne – who missed the services of Saoirse O’Donoghue – as they kept out a massive 16 penalty corners with Sorcha Cunningham excelling between the posts. It meant that Sorcha McCooey’s single was enough to land the three points.
Avoca and Corinthian had yet another 1-1 draw in a wide open tie at Newpark, matching the scoreline of both their encounters from last season.
Caoimhe Proud-Murphy guided in the reds goal in the first half before Sophie Clements equalised in the second period for Avoca. It came during a second half of ping-pong with the ball racing from end to end.
Our Lady’s beat newly promoted Clontarf 2-0 with Karla Kennedy breaking the deadlock before Emma Kilbride thumped home a corner past an unpadded goalkeeper late in the game as Tarf chased a share of the spoils.
Leinster Division 1: Muckross 3 (K Fitzgerald, S Barnwell, N Gowing) North Kildare 1 (N O’Malley); Genesis 1 (S McCooey) Glenanne 0; Rathgar 0 Old Alex 5 (F Bradish, S Roopnarinesingh, R Evans, A Roopnarinesingh, R Grey); Our Lady’s 2 (E Kilbride, K Kennedy) Clontarf 0; Avoca 1 (S Clements) Corinthian 1 (C Proud-Murphy).