Lloyd double puts Railway on track; Cork Quins move clear at top of women’s EYHL

Women’s EY Hockey League – day five round-up
Railway Union 3 (K Lloyd 2, N Heisterkamp) Belfast Harlequins 2 (J Watt, Z Wilson)
Railway Union won a cracker at Park Avenue to continue their unbeaten start to the season, holding at bay a Belfast Harlequins outfit that pushed them all the way.

The Sandymount hosts started brilliantly, hunting in packs in the press, and broke the deadlock in the seventh minute when Kate Lloyd smashed in on her forehand following a left-wing attack broke to her. Jade Lamont denied Lloyd a second moments later from Nina Heisterkamp’s turnover. Heisterkamp made it two when she finished off a glorious pitch-length move just before the end of the first quarter.

Quins, though, have a fearsome midfield line-up in Zoe Wilson, Gemma Frazer, Jenny McAuley and Lizzie Colvin and they generated lots of second quarter chances. Grace O’Flanagan saved brilliantly down low to tip away Lucy Geddes’s shot to retain the 2-0 lead.

Jenna Watt put the tie back into focus with 20 minutes to go when her touch to Wilson’s switch move spun through the clutches of the Railway corner defence. Crucially, Railway replied instantly with the Orla Fox – who impressed in defence – slapping a ball into Lloyd’s path to ramp the ball into the roof of the net. It was her fifth goal in a week.

Wilson banged in a powerful corner shot to reduce the gap to 3-2 with 14 minutes to go. And the Irish international lined up another power-hit at goal five minutes from the end but, this time, O’Flanagan got down at full-stretch to deflect the ball around the post for a hard-fought three points. Railway move up to third while Quins drop to seventh.

UCD 2 (B Barr, A Russell) Pegasus 0
Goals from Bethany Barr and Abbie Russell fired UCD to a significant 2-0 win over previous table-toppers Pegasus 2-0 at Belfield in a high-quality tie at a damp Belfield.

After a strong start from the Belfielders, drawing the best from Sammy-Jo Greer, Pegasus came more into the tie toward the end of the first quarter. Katie Mullan came close to breaking the deadlock and the first goal arrived two minutes before half-time, a cracking move from Leah Ewart to Deirdre Duke to Barr who scored on her backhand.

Railway Union’s Michelle Carey takes on Belfast Harlequins’ Robyn Chambers. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Pegasus went down to nine briefly in the second half with Shirley McCay and Alex Speers taking green cards. Back at full strength, they made most of the moves in the third quarter with Taite Doherty having the key chance which was eventually snuffed out by a combination of Lena Tice and Clodagh Cassin.

The game was put to bed in the 63rd minute, though, when Mullan effected a great turnover and set up Russell to score the second. Ellen Curran almost created a third at the death for Russell but it was not required as they secured their third win of the season.

Ards 2 (C Brown, F Brown) Trinity 0
Ards moved back into the top half of the table with a goal in each half to defeat Trinity at Londonderry Park. They had most of the play in the first quarter but found the Dublin students in strong defensive form, keeping it scoreless until the half-hour mark when Chloe Brown scored from a corner.

The third quarter was an even affair before the game was settled in the 55th minute when Tamara MacLeod pounced on a loose ball to feed Francesca Brown who scored on her reverse-stick for 2-0.

Monkstown 0 Cork Harlequins 4 (R Barry, E O’Leary, J O’Halloran, S Murphy)
Cork Harlequins moved clear at the top of the women’s EY Hockey League table courtesy of a goal in each quarter at the Merrion Fleet Arena.

Rebecca Barry opened the scoring in the seventh minute and they went two up through Emily O’Leary two minutes into the second quarter. Town had a couple of first half corners with Rosie Carrigan – standing in as captain with Sinead Loughran, along with Liz Murphy, not available – on the top but they were not able to convert while Lily Lloyd also went close.

Roisin Upton dragged in a corner but it was prematurely injected and so a reset set-piece was the outcome which was eventually cleared. Julia O’Halloran did make it 3-0 following a classy passing move. Sarah Murphy added the final goal on the hooter, entering the circle on the right and shooting home a composed finish.

Loreto 2 (H Matthews 2) Pembroke 1 (J Ringwood)
Hannah Matthews’ set-piece double saw the Beaufort club bounce back from their rough day out against Pegasus to record their second win of the campaign. She opened the scoring in the 29th minute from a corner while Sara Quill was in the sin-bin on a yellow card.

Matthews doubled the advantage from the stroke spot following a flowing move early in the second half. Jilly Ringwood pulled one back with 12 minutes to go to set up a nervy closing phase, especially when Jessica McGirr picked up a green card, but Loreto held on for the win.

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