Smyth puts Railway in cup favourites role

Jacqui Potter Cup quarter-finals
For the second time this season in cup competition, Railway Union shaded Hermes to advance by a single goal to ensure their hopes of silverware outside the Leinster league stay on track and will assume the favourites tag in the Jacqui Potter Cup.

They got off to a brilliant start as Emer Lucey shot home a corner and Jean McDonnell half-volleyed a Julia O’Halloran cross to make it 2-0 inside the first five minutes of their tie. Aine Connery returned to their line-up to bring a goal back a minute into the second half and it was all square via Lisa Jacob – proving a valuable returnee during the Dutch winter stop – with her second goal of the weekend.

Emma Smyth scored the key goal for Railway Union against Hermes Pic: Adrian Boehm

Emma Smyth scored the key goal for Railway Union against Hermes Pic: Adrian Boehm

But Emma Smyth won the game, getting on the end of a superb team move to see the reigning champions into the final four. There, they will be joined by Loreto, Pembroke and Trinity.

Pembroke had too much in the tank for Three Rock Ladies with a 6-0 outcome. Loreto, though, were pushed all the way by UCD’s second team. Despite missing some first team regulars, the Beaufort side did get off to a flying start with two goals from their first two penalty corners, courtesy of Sarah Clarke.

They appeared to be comfortably in control midway into the second half in a cold, at times snowy weather. But a rejuvenated UCD Seconds team slowly worked their way back into the match and were full value for their goal scored on the counter attack by Lauren McGrane with ten minutes left.

UCD sensed an upset on the cards and duly delivered another cracking goal from Caroline Hill with less than two minutes to go.  Extra time ensued and a slightly relieved Loreto produced the winning goal from a penalty corner, scored by captain Hannah Matthews in the first period of extra time.  The “silver” goal was enough to put them.

Trinity completed the quartet as their superb weekend continued, adding a 2-0 win over Old Alex via two early goals to their league win of a day earlier. Hannah Clark scored both of their goals.

Jacqui Potter Cup, quarter-finals: Hermes 2 (L Jacob, A Connery) Railway Union 3 (E Lucey, J McDonnell, E Smyth); Three Rock Ladies 0 Pembroke 6 (H O’Donnell 2, C Foley, M Faherty, A Ward, S Carey); Old Alex 0 Trinity 2 (H Clark 2); Loreto 3 (S Clarke 2, H Matthews) UCD II 2 (L McGrane, C Hill), after silver goal extra time

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