Carroll crowns memorable week with Cork Quins winner

Women’s EY Hockey League
Pembroke Wanderers 2 (J Ringwood, A Naughton) Trinity 2 (S Campbell, E Noone)
Pembroke and Trinity share the points at Serpentine Avenue to mean the status quo remains between eighth and ninth place, leaving three points separating the sides after 12 rounds of matches.

Pembroke went in front seven minutes before half-time when Laura Noble passed into the D for Jilly Ringwood who swept home. Sally Campbell equalised for the students five minutes after half-time with a reverse-stick strike but Pembroke were back in front when KJ Marshall saw a shot saved and Aisling Naughton snapped up the rebound.

The hosts looked the more likely to extend the lead when Emily Beatty and Eanna Horan had chances denied by Carolyn Crampton while corner chances were also defended. Trinity also cleared off the line before they fought back and had the best of the closing stages, pushing for the equaliser.

And they got their reward from a quick counter which played in Ellie Noone to make it 2-2 for what could be an important point.

Pegasus 1 (T Doherty) Cork Harlequins 2 (E O’Leary, N Carroll)
Naomi Carroll’s goal 15 minutes from time earned Cork Harlequins an important victory over Ulster’s top side Pegasus at Queen’s to strengthen their place in the top two of the women’s EY Hockey League.

For Quins, the result sees them remain four points off leaders UCD but with a potentially easier run-in on paper. They did it the hard way against Pegs, coming from a goal down – Taite Doherty netting in the 15th minute – before Emily O’Leary struck back from the first penalty corner of the game.

Carroll capped a memorable week with her winner, keeping her top of the goalscoring charts with 10, just a few days after her hitting 100 Ireland caps.

And the Quins woman is looking forward to five home games out of the remaining six to ensure they are in the best shape for the Champions Trophy playoffs.

“We have most of our travelling done already so we are hoping to push for that top two place at the very least and get a good crossover game.”

Railway Union 2 (E Smyth, C Joyce) Ards 0
Railway Union put daylight between them and the chasers for the fourth spot they occupy with a strong 2-0 win over Ards, heightening hopes of a potential EY Champions Trophy spot.

They played the more attacking hockey throughout while Ards defended resolutely with the Dubliners, perhaps, guilty of being wasteful at times. Ards did win the first corner of the game after four minutes with Grace O’Flanagan saving from the Ulster side’s playmaker Chloe Brown.

Michelle Carey won Railway’s first corner but Kate Orr’s drag-flick was saved away. Brown flashed a revers across the face of goal while two further Railway corners were blocked before the end of the first quarter.

The Park Avenue hosts bossed the second quarter and almost went ahead from a vintage move when Kate Dillon crossed from the right wing for a sliding Emma Smyth but the touch went just wide. Minutes later Kate Lloyd flashed another Railway chance wide.

Smyth dispossessed Tamara McLeod and drove into the circle and placed her shot in the corner of the goal beyond the advancing Ards keeper for a half-time lead.

Quarter three continued in a similar vein albeit at a slower pace. Smyth and Dillon were tracking Chloe Brown closely, perhaps too much so as Dillon saw yellow in a feisty encounter. Carey and Lloyd connected well down the right side but the finishing touch ended up weakly in the goal’s side netting. Soon after, Kate Orr initiated a move from right back, involving Kate McKenna, who won a corner.

Railway scored their second goal from the corner when Cecelia Joyce deflected the ball into the net. Towards the end of the quarter, Amy Benson made a strong run into the Railway circle but O’Flanagan was quickly off her line to make the save.

In the closing stanza, Brown saw yellow to make the fightback more difficult for Ards and Railway created more chances but did not take them, content to record a 2-0 victory.

Loreto 2 (A Meeke, J McGirr) Hermes-Monkstown 0
Two early goals gave Loreto their third win of the season over Hermes-Monkstown, moving them into fifth place in the table after 12 games this season. Ali Meeke shot home a wonderfully-worked team goal in the 11th minute and Jessica McGirr double up four minutes later for a strong opening push.

The goalkeeping of Liz Murphy meant that is was not more for Loreto as they held most of the sway but Hermes-Monkstown stood firm in defence. The second half was scoreless with a number of cards shown, meaning Loreto had their fourth win of the campaign while Hermes-Monkstown remain bottom, two points off Trinity.

Pegasus’s Ruth Maguire and Cork Harlequins’ Naomi Carroll battle for the ball. Pic: Billy Pollock (click here for more pics

Belfast Harlequins 0 UCD 5 (D Duke 2, K Mullan, L Tice, K Egan)
UCD strengthened their place at the top of the women’s EY Hockey League table as they showed a clean pair of heels to Belfast Harlequins at Deramore Park. Ellen Curran and Emma Young were back from injury for the Belfielders but Emma Russell was out.

Lena Tice put them 1-0 up from a corner to set the ball rolling in the first quarter. Deirdre Duke got the first of her two goals when she slides home following a lovely pass from Abbie Russell. And they were 3-0 up before the big break when Katie Mullan scored a breathtaking reverse into the top left corner.

She would later depart with a gash on her knee while Leah McGuire also departed early with an ankle injury after a fine performance. The fourth goal came when Curran picked out Duke at the top of the circle to score on her reverse. Katherine Egan closed out the win with the fifth goal two minutes from time from a lovely passing move.

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