UCD and Loreto both nabbed crucial goals to pave their way into the Jacqui Potter Cup semi-finals where they will be joined by Pembroke and Old Alex.
For UCD, they were indebted to Orla Patton’s final second penalty stroke to draw with Leinster Division One’s Corinthian before eventually winning a shoot-out in the third round of sudden death.
The reds had a remarkable first half to the season, reaching the Irish Senior Cup semi-final and winning all of their games in Leinster Division One and EYHL2.
And, after soaking up early pressure, they went in front in the 13th minute when Jessica McGrane calmly rounded the UCD keeper to slot home a fine goal.
The students had a stroke before the end of the first quarter but Patton was denied by Holly Micklem, keeping the narrow lead intact. Corinthian continued to sit deep and counter and had a second goal disallowed just before half-time from a corner.
It remained at 1-0 wiith Emily McKay and Leanne Kelly keeping UCD at bay and they almost had the game sewn up when Sara Quill, Cilia Holdermann and Leigh Pelow combined for a corner which McGrane cracked onto the post.
But, from the final play of the game, UCD won a corner which ended up as a stroke which Patton, this time, converted. It led to one-on-ones with the sides locked at 2-2 in the regulation five; the next two rounds were blank but UCD nabbed the winner in the third round to advance.
At Beaufort, Railway Union’s reign came to an end at the hands of Loreto in a 2-1 result. Grace Donald put the hosts in front when she dribbled from right to left across the top of the circle and hit a lovely reverse-stick shot.
Martha McCready continued her ascent into the first team with the leveller. She had been driving the press and ended up with the ball in the Loreto 23 on the right where she pushed on into the D and unleashed a backhand into the far side netting.
From there, it was tight with both sides having their chances to win the tie but it was settled when Mia Jennings showed some lovely skills to beat a couple of defenders and then reverse-flicked home.
Railway’s second string bowed out at the hands of Pembroke at Park Avenue 3-0, Orla Macken and Laura Noble on the mark in the first half before Ava Beatty completed the scoring.
Old Alex were the big scorers, meanwhile, with a 6-0 success against Naas. The Milltown side effectively ended the tie with four first quarter goals before the Kildare side tightened up – Hannah McDermott got two while Orna Bools, Jeamie Deacon, Sarah Robinson and Emma Russell netted the others.
In the only Irish Hockey Trophy tie to be played, Pippa Best got the only goal as Armagh beat Avoca 1-0 in a tie switched from Sion Hill to Newpark to avoid the frost.
In men’s action, South Antrim recorded a 6-1 win over Rathgar in the only Trophy game to get the go-ahead.
Leinster Jacqui Potter Cup, quarter-finals: UCD 1 (O Patton) Corinthian 1 (J McGrane), UCD win shoot-out 3-2; Old Alex 6 (H McDermott 2, O Bools, J Deacon, S Robinson, E Russell) Naas 0; Loreto 2 (G Donald, M Jennings) Railway Union 1 (M McCready); Railway Union II 0 Pembroke 3 (O Macken, L Noble, A Beatty)
Irish Hockey Trophy – Quarter Finals: Avoca 0 Armagh 1 (P Best)
Postponed: North Kildare v Kilkenny, Portadown v Raphoe; Lisnagarvey v NUIG
Munster Division 1
Postponed: Cork C of I v Waterford, UCC v Bandon; Limerick v Ashton
Irish Hockey Trophy, quarter-finals: South Antrim 6 (C Henry 2, M Taylor 2, P Maguire, J Brown) Rathgar 1 (M Breton)
Postponed: UCC v Waterford; Belfast Harlequins v NICS; Raphoe v Portrane
Munster Division 1: Bandon 5 (A Smith, D Smith, R Smyth, C Crowley, E Hamilton Foott) Ashton 2 (C Buttimer, N Packham)