Cork Quins and Pegasus take advantage of UCD draw

Saturday: Trinity 1 (S Campbell) Cork Harlequins 5 (N Carroll 3, Y O’Byrne, M Barry)
Cork Harlequins’ 5-1 win over Trinity moved them into a share of first place in the women’s EY Hockey League by the end of the weekend as three goals in a five-minute spell in the second half did the damage.

The first half was even enough with Quins winning a couple of corners in the first quarter with Avril Dooley O’Carroll playing a key role in defence. Naomi Carroll got the only goal of the half with a deflection just before the end of the first quarter.

Louise McCollum and Sally Campbell made a couple of strong breaks out of defence for Trinity – who were without Isy Delamer and Rachel O’Brien – while Rebecca Barry went close to a second but for a good stop from Carolyn Crampton.

Campbell had a corner shot go just over the bar early in the second half but seven minutes into the second half, Quins cracked the Trinity resistance and the game. A lovely interchange got to the baseline, setting up Carroll to score into an open goal.

A well-worked corner then found Yvonne O’Byrne on the penalty spot to slot another. Another sumptuous passing move fell to Michelle Barry, making it 4-0 in the 47th minute – their third goal in five minutes. Carroll’s near post deflection added a fifth in the fourth quarter.

Taite Doherty scores a goal for Pegasus. Pic: Billy Pollock (click for more images)

Quins took off their goalkeeper Lorna Bateman – standing in for Emma Buckley who sustained a rib injury in midweek training – in search of further goals but it backfired when Campbell got free in the circle and popped into the goal from a narrow angle.

Sunday: Railway Union 6 (K Lloyd 3, N Carey, S Canning, Z Delany) Hermes-Monkstown 0
Kate Lloyd’s hat trick propelled Railway Union to the first win of the season, adding to three draws, to launch them up to fourth place in the division as Hermes-Monkstown’s woes continue.

After a scoreless first quarter, Railway went in front from the penalty spot when Emma Smyth was fouled, Sarah Canning completing the job. Zara Delany tapped in the second and Niamh Carey made it 3-0 at half-time, getting the final touch after a Nina Heisterkamp initial shot.

Lloyd started her treble with a reverse in the second half and she used her preferred method of attack for the fifth before closing out the win with the sixth goal.

Pegasus 6 (L McKee, T Doherty, A Speers, H Grieve, M Harvey, R McMillan) Loreto 0
Pegasus moved into a share of top spot in the division thanks to a perhaps easier than anticipated win over previously unbeaten Loreto. Lucy McKee opened the scoring just three minutes in; Loreto had an instant chance to level but a penalty stroke effort went wide.

Alex Speers continued her excellent form with the second and Taite Doherty stretched the lead to 3-0 at half-time. That lead held to the three quarter mark before Michelle Harvey and Hannah Grieve scored corners in quick succession. Rachel McMillan completed the victory with five minutes to go.

Pembroke Wanderers 0 UCD 0
Pembroke survived a second half onslaught to secure a point against reigning champions UCD, moving the hosts up to seventh place with UCD dropping off top and into third at the end of round four.

Indeed, they almost came out the end of that spell of pressure to nick the win when Erica Hinkson’s shot shaved the line in the last few seconds. Katie Mullan and Sarah Twomey had chances repelled by Iseult Cambay in the first quarter and an end-to-end first half saw the scoreboard remained blank.

Zoe Wilson on the charge for Belfast Harlequins. Pic: Billy Pollock (click for more images)

The ante was upped in the third quarter with Twomey and Duke having further openings while the Russell sisters Emma and Abbie combined well but Cambay continued to keep them at bay, particularly from a Lena Tice corner shot. Pembroke finished strong with Laura Noble and Hinkson making incursions but they did not stick, leaving the honours even.

Belfast Harlequins 2 (J McAuley, L Geddes) Ards 1 (E Robinson)
Belfast Harlequins made it two wins out of three as two early goals from Jenny McAuley and Lucy Geddes put them on course for a feisty derby win against Ards.

Former international Jenny McAuley scored her first goal since returning to the first team when she touched in Jenna Watt’s cross from the second phase of a corner. Lucy Geddes made it 2-0 when a long aerial ball from Zoe Wilson caught everyone out and she was able to roll home from mid-circle.

Chloe Brown had a corner drag guided off the line by Rebecca Mercer before Ellen Robinson swooped to pull one back for Ards. Brown’s trickery opened up another chance but her reverse went wide in the second half. It was shaky at times but Harlequins stayed ahead for the three points, inflicting Ards first defeat of the season.

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