Town snatch important draw with Ards as Reds roll on in Leinster

Chloe Watkins’ penalty stroke in the 69th minute saw Monkstown grab a dramatic draw at home against Ards, ending the Ulster side’s 100% record in EYHL2 thus far. It ended a thrilling 3-3 draw at the ALD Merrion Fleet Arena in a brilliant advertisement for the game.

Ards came into the tie with three wins from three and a healthy lead over their rivals and they took a seventh minute lead when Zara Malseed hit the backboard from Harriet Platt’s assist. Town equalised in the second half when Jen Hamill’s quickly taken free led to a slap to Watkins around the penalty spot and the Irish international first timed it in.

Watkins then set up a Sophie Moore deflection for 2-1 but Malseed’s disguised pass to Emma Reid made it 2-2 with 23 minutes to go. Ellen Robinson then looked to have taken all the points for Ards when she tapped in from Platt’s counter-attack with six minutes left.

But a penalty corner was upgraded to a stroke with time running out for Town to earn their draw.

Elsewhere in the group, Jenny Clein’s 18th minute goal earned UCC a 1-0 win over Queen’s University. Those results leave Ards clear on 14 points but with an extra game played; Monkstown and UCC – who meet on December 7 – are both on eight while Queen’s are back on four.

In Pool A, Trinity produced a remarkable late fightback to beat NUIG 4-3 in Dangan. The Dublin college trailed 3-2 going into the final quarter but Amy Buttimer – playing against her sister Jenny – and Ailish Long summoned two late goals to turn things around. Earlier, Trinity had led 2-0 before Roseanne McCullough, Carmel Heery and Kate Langan put the Galway side in front.

At Garryduff, Olivia Gibson won the day for Lurgan 2-1 against Cork C of I with less than two minutes to go. After a scoreless first half, Lydia McNeill gave the visitors the lead but Ciara Sexton tied things up at 1-1 until that winner came from a penalty corner.

Corinthian lead the way on 12 points with Trinity next on eight, Lurgan on seven and Cork C of I on six while NUIG are in fifth on four points with a game extra played.

In Leinster, Corinthian built a six-point lead at the head of the Division One table with two more wins. They eased to a 7-0 win over Rathgar on Saturday with Lauren McGrane and Sara Quill both bagging a brace each.

They followed up with a 2-1 win over Avoca on Sunday, falling behind to a corner goal from Morrin O’Neill in the second quarter before Milly Lynch and Quill reversed the result. That was the reds’ seventh win from seven in Leinster thus far.

The water damage at Mount Temple on Saturday

As such, the league is looking like a two-horse race already with the reds six clear of Trinity who have a game in hand. There is a further six points to go back to third placed Genesis who lost 3-0 to Naas while Glenanne – who beat North Kildare via a Marie Goulding goal – are in fourth on eight points.

Avoca’s Saturday game with Clontarf was postponed due to a waterlogged Mount Temple pitch – it makes this week’s sports capital grant for the school’s pitch replacement all the more timely.

Women’s EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Cork C of I 1 (C Sexton) Lurgan 2 (L McNeill, O Gibson); NUIG 3 (R McCullough, C Heery, K Langan) Trinity 4 (E Markey, R Keating, A Long, A Buttimer)

Pool B: Monkstown 3 (C Watkins 2, S Moore) Ards 3 (Z Malseed, E Reid, E Robinson); UCC 1 (J Clein) Queens University 0        

Leinster Division 1

Saturday: Genesis 0 Naas 3 (O Brennan, S Farrell, L Cope); North Kildare 0 Glenanne 1 (M Goulding); Rathgar 0 Corinthian 7 (L McGrane 2, S Quill 2, I Maleady, J McGrane, M Lynch)

Sunday: Corinthian 2 (M Lynch, S Quill) Avoca 1 (M O’Neill)

Postponed: Clontarf v Avoca – waterlogged pitch

Irish Hockey Challenge: Bangor 2 (L Clarke, L McNaught) Botanic 2 (E Hinchy, A Nolan), Bangor win shoot-out 2-1; Kilkenny 0 Cork Wanderers 1; Galway 5 Larne 2; NICS 2 (J Boyle 2) Weston 0; Portrane 1 (C Mangan) NUIG 0; Athlone 5 Mullingar 0; Clonmel 4 Greenfields 5

Examiner Cup – Round 2: Bandon w/o Limerick scr; Waterford 0 Ashton 3 (T Johnston, S Fagan, N Murphy)

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1