Dungannon ladies swept to their second win over North Down in the space of four days as they opened their Ulster Premier League campaign with a 5-1 victory over the Comber side on Saturday, writes John Flack.
Having won the corresponding Denman Ulster Shield game 9-0 midweek, the Tyrone girls again showed no mercy as they continued their great start to the season.
Only in their third season in the top-flight, Dungannon have improved year on year and now they look capable of pushing for a place in the top-three and the EYHL play-offs.
They are also in contention for a place in the Shield semi-finals for a second year in a row and, if they can draw with holders Lurgan in a rearranged game, then they will progress.
On Saturday, Laura White and Northern Ireland senior football international, Samantha Kelly, weighed in with two goals apiece, with the other score coming from Karen Elliott.
Queen’s, who are already sure of a Shield semi-final berth, opened their league campaign with a 1-0 win over Banbridge, with new recruit from Randalstown Katy Aston, hitting the winner.
Ballymoney are also sitting on maximum points after day one following a 2-1 win over the Ulster Elks, thanks to goals from Nikki Parke and Olivia Mullan with Leah Paul replying.
Randalstown defeated Portadown 3-1, Ruth Armstrong and CJ McDonald putting them 2-0 up with goals on either side off the break.
Amy Black pulled one back with her first senior goal but Ruth Gleghorne scored late on to make the points safe for Town.
The game between the newly-promoted teams Mossley and Rainey had to be abandoned in the 43rd minute after Magherafelt player, Jude Quigley, was taken to hospital after a collision which left her with back and whiplash injuries which will sideline her for up to a month.
In Senior One, Jenna Flynn scored a hat-trick as title favourites Lisnagarvey defeated Knock 8-0 while newly-promoted Omagh signalled their intentions with an impressive 6-1 win at Armagh at Ardmore.
There were also away wins for CI who had a 1-0 success over Ballyclare and Ballymena, who beat Victorians by the same scoreline.
In the men’s Kirk Cup, Chris Kirk hit a hat-trick as Instonians defeated Queen’s 5-0, the other goals coming from Gavin Lecky and James Palmer as the favourites eased into the semis.
Kilkeel will join them in last four after goals from Mark Stevenson and Johnny Aiken gave them a 2-1 win over Portadown, whose reply came from Niall Magee.
In the other games, two goals from Gareth McKeown and one from Josh Gilmore gave North Down a 3-2 win over Harlequins, whose replies came from Michael Patterson and Michael McKenna while South Antrim and Mossley drew 2-2.
Ulster Premier League: Banbridge 0 Queen’s 1 (K Aston); Mossley v Rainey abandoned; North Down 1 Dungannon 5 (L White 2, K Elliott, S Kelly 2); Randalstown 3 (R Armstrong, CJ McDonald, R Gleghorne) Portadown 1 (A Black); Ulster Elks 1 (L Paul) Ballymoney 2 (N Parke, O Mullan); Senior One: Armagh 1 Omagh 6 (A Buchanan, L Pinkerton, J Elkin, L McConnell 2, E Short); Ballyclare 0 CI 1 (J Hill); Lisnagarvey 8 (J Flynn 3, J McQueen, S Colgan, A Jebb, L Gamble, R Houston) Knock 0; Victorians 0 Ballymena 1 (B McFerran).
Kirk Cup: Pool A: Portadown 1 (N Magee) Kilkeel 2 (M Stevenson, J Aiken); South Antrim 2 (R Brown, A Glass) Mossley 2 (S Todd, A Monahan); Pool B: Instonians 5 (C Kirk 3, G Lecky, J Palmer) Queen’s 0; North Down 3 (G McKeown 2, J Gilmore) Belfast Harlequins 2 (M Patterson, M McKenna)
Linden Cup: Armagh 1 Ballynahinch 11 (Edgar 5, M Martin 3, Miller 3); Antrim 0 Raphoe 1 (S Cleverley); Cliftonville 1 (McParland) Bangor 4 (Easlie, Campbell, R Cunningham, A Creane)