Alex through in ISC but Queens and Belfast Quins must go again

Queens and Belfast Harlequins will hope they can finally complete their women’s Irish Senior Cup first round tie on Saturday after a couple of false starts.

The pair’s refixed tie got underway on Wednesday night but was abandoned after 20 minutes due to a water-logged pitch at Upper Malone with Belfast Harlequins and Queen’s drawing 1-1, Tori Hastings scoring for the students to cancel out Jenna Watt’s opener.

Fiona Bradish scored twice for Old Alex in midweek. Pic: Adrian Boehm

The game will now be restaged on Saturday at the same venue with the winners scheduled to face Pembroke Wanderers with home advantage in the second round.

Old Alex did manage to get their game completed on Thursday evening, becoming the first side to reach the quarter-final of the competition as Fiona Bradish’s double put them on course for a 4-0 win over Glenanne.

They await the results and the outcome of the draw followng a series of seven games on Saturday with plenty of battles between EYHL sides and provincial league contenders.

Muckross’s date with Railway Union is a D4 derby that the former side will hope will become a more regular fixture on their annual schedule since their rise to the upper end of Leinster Division One.

Railway need to be wary of the sharp-shooting of Sophie Barnwell and will be well aware of former goalkeeper Rachel Barnett’s ability between the posts.

Genesis have a tough assignment on their hands against a rampant, free-scoring Pegasus at Queen’s when they travel north. Pegs ran up 12 against Corinthian in the first round and so it will be a big ask to try and keep the score down but Ash Harrison’s team have been one of the tightest defences in Leinster so far, something they will need to continue.

Ulster leaders Ballymoney have won six from six leading into the longest away trip of the weekend, from the north coast all the way down to the in-form Cork Harlequins for whom Rebecca Barry and Naomi Carroll were in aggressive form last weekend.

In the all-EYHL games, Loreto will fancy their chances against Monkstown who are still looking to find their scoring touch. UCD against Ards is probably the pick of the ties as the national champions take on an Ards side at Belfield who have not had more than two goals in the difference in any game they have played this term.

Ellen Curran will sit out Ireland’s trip to Spain this week due to a niggling injury with UCD club mate Leah Ewart taking her place in the side for that trip following her strong form this season.

Ulster Elks and Lurgan contest an all-Ulster Premier League derby. In the Irish Hockey Trophy, Our Lady’s face Connacht’s finest in their first round match-up at Terenure with Mark Lambe’s side looking to get one over a side for whom former international Brenda Flannery can have a defining influence.

In Munster, Catholic Institute and UCC lock horns in the first round of the Senior Cup, meaning one of the big guns will fall at the opening hurdle. UCC have yet to lose in the domestic campaign while Insta have had just one setback in six outings while handing numerous players their first senior starts.

Women’s fixtures (Saturday unless stated)
Irish Senior Cup
Thursday: Old Alex 4 (F Bradish 2, S O’Mahony, R Gray) Glenanne 0

First round: Queens v Belfast Harlequins, 1pm, Queens
Second round: Cork Harlequins v Ballymoney, 1.05pm, Farmers’ Cross; Loreto v Monkstown, 1pm, Beaufort; Muckross v Railway Union, 3pm, Muckross Park; Pegasus v Genesis, 4pm, Queens; Ulster Elks v Lurgan, 1pm, Jordanstown; UCD v Ards, 2.50pm, Belfield.

Irish Hockey Trophy, first round: Our Lady’s v Greenfields, 1pm, Terenure

Munster Senior Cup, first round: Ashton v Bandon, 12.30pm, Ashton School; Belvedere v Cork C of I, 1pm, Ballincollig CS; Catholic Institute v UCC, 12pm, Rosbrien.

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