Pembroke, UCD and Old Alex all ran up high-scoring wins as the three women’s Irish Senior Cup ties provided 25 goals, a tasty starter for the season ahead.
UCD produced an amazing last 20 minutes to come back to beat Catholic Institute to record a remarkable 7-4 victory in Limerick, coming back from 4-2 down.
The result came despite a goal on her return after 14 months out injured from Naomi Carroll. In a remarkable tie, the Limerick side led 4-2 with 20 minutes to go but contrived to lose 7-4 to perennial contenders UCD.
Aoife Hickey and Rosie Pratt gave them a dream start before UCD tied things up by half-time but the two-goal buffer was restored in the third quarter via Carroll and Christine O’Shea.
But, inspired by a Hannah McLoughlin hat trick and a Niamh Carey double, the students completed their comeback.
Cork Harlequins’ reign as Irish Senior Cup holders ended at the first hurdle as their overhauled panel could not keep pace with Pembroke at Serpentine Avenue.
After last May’s joy, their panel has undergone a major overhaul with Ingrid Burns and Olivia Roycroft returning to Bandon, Julia O’Halloran taking a break while Saoirse Griffin and Caoimhe Perdue have been co-opted by UCC.
With Cliodhna Sargent out long-term with an ACL injury and Yvonne O’Byrne unavailable due to international commitments, it meant it was always going to be a huge ask to replicate last season’s heroics with Saturday’s squad’s average age being under 19.
And so it proved as they were dismantled 5-1 by a fired-up Dublin side who have ambitious plans this term. Former Cork C of I and UCC player Amy-Kate Trevor hammered in their first before Alex O’Grady replied in kind for 1-1 at quarter-time.
But that was as good as it got for Quins as Jilly Ringwood swept home for 2-1 before Eanna Horan, Aisling Naughton and captain Orla Macken all netted.
At St Andrew’s, a blistering spell of four goals in four minutes in the third quarter saw Old Alex shake off the attentions of Glenanne in another goalfest.
It was 1-1 at half-time with Ann-Marie Cave and Paula Pena exchanging goals. Alex, though, raced into a 5-1 lead all of a sudden early in the second half and while Marie Goulding got one back, the Milltown side were safe.
Leinster Division One provided plenty of thrills and spills with the pick of the games between Naas and newly promoted Clontarf. The Caragh Road hosts went 2-0 up inside 10 minutes via a Ruth Gardiner penalty corner which deflected high into the goal and Saidhbh Farrell’s close range effort.
Tarf got back to parity through a classy Becky McMullen corner switch and Nicola Taylor’s goal just before half-time. Naas returned to the lead in the final quarter with Jane Brownlee’s first goal since joining from Pembroke but Robyn Merrey levelled late on for 3-3.
Genesis beat Rathgar 1-0 courtesy of Lorna Fox’s single goal in the final quarter. The Stillorgan club had strong performances from Laura Barrie at the back, the energetic Annie Kavanagh in midfield and Fox up front while Aisling and Aoife Lardner impressed on their debuts.
They also needed the returning Sorcha Cunningham to make a number of great saves to survive sustained pressure from a volley of corners at the end.
Former Suttonians’ Issy Delamer and Erika Markey scored in Trinity’s 2-0 win over Avoca. The result sees the student club extend their unbeaten run in the province to 50 games in Leinster Division One, encompassing the entirity of the 2016/17 and 2018/19 seasons as well as 13 games in the 2015/16 campaign. The last loss was on November 9, 2015.
Corinthian began their season in confident fashion with a 5-1 win over North Kildare. Jessica McGrane set them on their way before Sarah Quill made it 2-0 at half-time.
Her second and one each for Nicola Torrans and Jodie Douglas stretched out a 5-0 lead before Niamh Delaney got one back. Wednesday night sees Monkstown take on Glenanne in a tie postponed due to the first round of the Irish Senior Cup.
Irish Senior Cup – Round 1: Catholic Institute 4 (A Hickey, R Pratt, N Carroll, C O’Shea) UCD 7 (H McLoughlin 3, N Carey 2, S Kelly, S Thomas); Glenanne 2 (A-M Cave, M Goulding) Old Alexandra 6 (F McDermott 2, P Pena, H McDermott, E Russell, O Bools); Pembroke 5 (A-K Trevor, J Ringwood, E Horan, A Naughton, O Macken) Cork Harlequins 1 (A O’Grady)
Leinster Division 1: Corinthian 5 (S Quill 2, J McGrane, N Torrans, J Douglas) North Kildare 1 (N Delaney); Genesis 1 (L Fox) Rathgar 0; Naas 3 (R Gardiner, S Farrell, J Brownlee) Clontarf 3 (R McMullan, N Taylor, R Merrey); Trinity 2 (E Markey, I Delamer) Avoca 0