Our Lady’s long wait for a women’s Leinster Division One victory finally ended at the 12th attempt as they got the best of Rathgar 2-0, getting off the mark.
The Terenure side had been building, though, with wins in the Irish Hockey Trophy and the Jacqui Potter Cup and these three points give them something to cling onto for the run-in.
Rathgar were then stronger side in the opening minutes of the game, pushing up high and getting a few near chances. However, the Terenure side held out the pressure and had their own spell on top.
Aoife Kelly broke the deadlock when a long ball from a free hit was deflected into the net. The second half began with a string of corners for each of the sides. Ten minutes in, a break from Claire Ryan, who ran the baseline, saw her sneak the ball in past the keeper to make the scoreline 2-0.
Each team had chances in the remainder of the half but the full-time scoreline remained 2-0 to Our Lady’s.
Otherwise, it was as you were at the top with the leading trio continuing to be covered by just a single points.
Trinity are at the head of the pack after their 3-1 win over Avoca. Sally Campbell put the students one up in the 20th minute of a dominant early performance, raining down shots on the excellent Aoife Glennon.
Avoca, though, stuck to their task and got back to 1-1 at half-time when Ruth Norris gobbled up a rebound off Isabel McGovern’s parried save, shooting home from mid-circle.
Trinity reasserted their lead when Amy Buttimer got a subtle touch to Campbell’s strike from a short corner move. Erika Markey set up Ailish Long for the killer goal in the second half from the edge of the D.
“We’re in a really good position,” Trinity coach Brian Scully told the University Times of their performance. “If the season finished right now today, we’d be very happy. We just need to keep going as is.”
Chloe Watkins scored a hat trick for Monkstown as they won 5-0 at Naas, scoring four in the second time to stay hot on Trinity’s heels.
Corinthian, likewise, ran up a 5-1 win to stay a point off the pace. Jodie Douglas roofed a shot to get them up and running but Emilie Ryan-Doyle got North Kildare back in the game around half-time.
From there, the Whitechurch Park club stormed clear with youth international Nicola Torrans making it 2-1 before Douglas advanced it to 3-1 with 18 minutes to go.
Millie Lynch’s stroke was added to by Torrans’ second, tapping a lovely pass from Lynne Pomeroy.
They face a huge game on Monday evening when they travel to Rathdown for a date with Monkstown (8.15pm).
Glenanne strengthened their hold on fourth place with a 1-0 win over Genesis, jumping five points clear of North Kildare. Kate O’Connor got the only goal.
The first quarter was dominated by Glenanne’s defence moving it around and seizing up the opposition to Genesis’ frustration.
The Stillorgan club had the pick of the chances, though, when they robbed possession and drew the best from Roisin O’Brien.
This put the much needed spring in Glenanne’s step and got the ball rolling. Immediately after, the link play between the girls in green was more fluid as the ball moved from right back to right wing in a matter of seconds resulting in a well-deserved short corner.
Focused and composed, O’Connors direct strike got what proved to be the only goal. Much of the second half was focused on protecting the lead and trying cause trouble in the oppositions 25. The tie ended in a short corner for Genesis which Sarah Jane Kelly guided over the sideline to retain the three points.
Leinster Division 1: Avoca 1 (R Norris) Trinity 3 (S Campbell, A Long, A Buttimer); Corinthian 5 (J Douglas 2, N Torrans 2, M Lynch) North Kildare 1 (E Ryan-Doyle); Glenanne 1 (K O’Connor) Genesis 0; Naas 0 Monkstown 5 (C Watkins 3, R Moore, S Moore); Our Lady’s 2 (A Kelly, C Ryan) Rathgar 0
Monday: Monkstown v Corinthian, 8.15pm, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena
Wednesday: Genesis v Our Lady’s, 8pm, St Raphaela’s