Second half goals from Niamh Carey and Jodie Douglas saw Railway Union put an end to North Kildare’s groundbreaking run in the Jacqui Potter Cup as they won through to Saturday’s final with a 2-0 win.
Both goals came in the second half as the EY Hockey League side – predominantly fielding a youthful Under-25 side – had most of the game at The Maws but found goalkeeper Jade Arundell in sparkling form between the posts.
Both the Carey twins Niamh and Michelle, Douglas and Katie Fearon were denied efforts by Arundell in the first half in what was the Kildare side’s first ever semi-final at this level.
Niamh Carey opened the scoring midway through the second half after Lelia O’Byrne rescued the ball on the baseline and reverse swept it across goal for the underage international athlete to touch in.
Douglas got the second, reacting quickly to a rebound to first time a bouncing ball with an upright reverse into the backboard. They will meet the winners of Hermes-Monkstown and UCD who meet on Tuesday night in the other semi-final.
They are bidding to be part of a busy St Patrick’s Day line-up with five finals and a ParaHockey series at Grange Road. Confirmed on the agenda are Muckross and Railway in the Junior Jacqui Potter Cup final while Enniscorthy and Three Rock Rovers are in the Junior Jacqui Potter Plate final.
Corinthian’s men and women both have finals with the former taking on either Three Rock or Monkstown in the Mills Cup final while the women are in the Jacqui Potter Shield for a second successive year.
They will be clear favourites against Division Two side Old Alex II who eliminated their club’s own first team en route to this final.
The ParaHockey series, meanwhile, will see Three Rock Rockets, the Railway Railblazers and the Monkstown Strikers showcasing their skills. The three sides will also join forces this summer for a tournament in Barcelona in June.
On the domestic front in Leinster Division One, there was precious little change in the title race with the three front-runners all winning with something to spare.
Muckross beat Avoca 4-1 while Corinthian were 5-0 victors over Genesis. It means their Thursday night refixture will be ever more crucial with a win for the Donnybrook side handing them the Division One crown. Defeat and the season goes to the final day.
Old Alex kept their outside chances of the title alive with a 5-1 win over Glenanne with doubles from Lisa Jacob and Sylvia O’Mahoney. Our Lady’s moved back into the top half of the table with a 3-1 win over Rathgar while Clontarf and North Kildare drew.
Women’s Leinster Division 1
Saturday: Glenanne 1 (S O’Donoghue) Old Alex 5 (L Jacob 2, S O’Mahoney 2, P Hopkins); Our Ladys 3 (K Kennedy, A Kelly, S Kelly) Rathgar 1 (A O’Connor); North Kildare 1 (N O’Malley) Clontarf 1 (E Mullins); Avoca 1 (J Ringrose) Muckross 4 (L Hanlon, N Gowing, S Barnwell, R Murray); Corinthian 5 (A Quinsey, J McGrane, L McGrane, A Kinlan, H McKay) Genesis 0
Wednesday: Clontarf v Glenanne, 8.15pm, Mount Temple
Thursday: Muckross v Corinthian, 8pm, Muckross Park
Jacqui Potter Cup
Sunday: North Kildare 0 Railway Union 2 (N Carey, J Douglas)