Belfast Quins avoid banana skin to finally take up second round spot

Belfast Harlequins finally took their place in the second round of the women’s Irish Senior Cup as Irish international Zoe Wilson scored as they came from behind against Queens in the Belfast derby at Upper Malone.

An upset looked a distinct possibility after the Ulster Premier League side edged the first half against their local rivals. But Quins ultimately deserved their win which earns them a second round date with Pembroke Wanderers.

Belfast Harlequins celebrate Laura Johnston’s crucial goal. Pic: Billy Pollock (click for more pics)

Triumphant coach Davy Frazer said to John Flack: “I think we were maybe a bit arrogant going into the game and thought we just had to turn up to win. But I told the girls at half-time just to relax and that the goals would come and that’s what happened fortunately.”

Queen’s boss Simon Bell was pleased with his side’s gutsy first-half display if not the result.
He added: “I thought we had the better of the opening 35 minutes and, had we made more use of our penalty-corners, we could have been further ahead.”

“We had a great chance to make it 2-0 later in the game before they scored and that was probably the turning-point.”

Jodie Kee broke the deadlock in the 11th minute when she touched home Erin Getty’s pass at a set-piece. Quins’ keeper Marianne Fox made a brilliant save from a Tori Hasting shot four minutes into the second-half after Jessica McMaster had set up the chance.

But that was as good as it got for Queen’s as Quins went on to dominate, Wilson equalising from the penalty-spot in the 45th minute after her initial shot had been stopped by a defender’s foot on the line.

Laura Johnston made it 2-1 from close-range before Wilson got her second from a penalty-corner drag flick with five minutes left.

UCD won their all-EYHL battle with Ards, also coming from 1-0 down to win 3-1. Chloe Brown scored from a second minute corner for the visitors to Belfield before Lena Tice levelled 16 minutes later.

Katie Mullan put the students in front with a spectacular one-woman effort and, with four minutes to go, Sorcha Clarke was picked out by Tice to compose herself and fire home.

Kate Lloyd’s pair put Railway Union through to the quarter-finals when they beat neighbours Muckross 3-1, one a cracking reverse, the other a stylish deflection. Jean McDonnell’s corner goal accounted for the other while Jane Fennelly was on the mark for Muckross.

Cork Harlequins also went through to the last eight with two goals in each half against Ballymoney. Michelle Barry and Cliodhna Sargent put them 2-0 up at the break before Naomi Carroll and Sargent extended out a 4-0 success.

Pegasus versus Genesis, Loreto against Monkstown and Ulster Elks’ tie with Lurgan were all victims of the weather.

Women’s results
Irish Senior Cup
First round: Queens 1 (J Kee) Belfast Harlequins 3 (Z Wilson 2, L Johnston)
Second round
Thursday: Old Alex 4 (F Bradish 2, S O’Mahony, R Gray) Glenanne 0
Saturday: Cork Harlequins 4 (C Sargent 2, N Carroll, M Barry) Ballymoney 0; Muckross 1 (J Fennelly) Railway Union 3 (K Lloyd 2, J McDonnell); UCD 3 (L Tice, K Mullan, S Clarke) Ards 1 (C Brown)
Postponed: Pegasus v Genesis; Loreto v Monkstown; Ulster Elks v Lurgan

Irish Hockey Trophy, first round: Our Lady’s 1 Greenfields 2
Munster Senior Cup, first round: Ashton 0 Bandon 2 (V Burns, M Barrett); Belvedere 0 Cork C of I 1 (E Coyne)
Postponed due to frost: Catholic Institute v UCC

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