Hermes still in running for four titles after double success

Women’s Leinster Division One
North Kildare 0 Loreto 1 (N McConnell)

Nikki McConnell’s penalty stroke deep into the second half earned them the narrowest of results at The Maws to keep them in touch in the IHL chase with two rounds of matches to go. The Kildare venue has proven a difficult place to go to for the top sides with UCD drawing there while fellow IHL chasers Railway Union and Pembroke have only escaped with single goal wins.

Jeamie Deacon netted twice for UCD in a rare appearance Pic: Adrian Boehm

Jeamie Deacon netted twice for UCD in a rare appearance Pic: Adrian Boehm

And so it proved once again in a high-paced, entertaining tie with lots of end to end counter-attacking. Loreto overall had more chances, putting the ball across the face of goal on a number of occasions before they got their goal via McConnell who was a key figure throughout. It came after the ball hit a back-stick during a penalty corner and was deemed deliberate, leading to the stroke.

UCD 4 (J Deacon 2, L Ewart, J O’Brien) Old Alexandra 1 (A Russell)
Irish rugby panelist Jeamie Deacon made a rare appearance for the UCD first team this season to score twice, helping them come from a goal down to defeat Old Alex at Belfield.

Abbie Russell gave Alex the lead inside the first ten minutes when she finished off a swift counter-attack move. But UCD were level in a matter of minutes with Jane O’Brien pulling the sides level and Deacon put them in front with her first of the day.

Leag Ewart got the third before half-time before Deacon completed the win in the second half, a result that pushes UCD into a share of second place and a win away from confirming their place in next year’s Irish Hockey League.

Trinity 1 (J Long) Hermes 3 (E Horan, C McGilp, S Loughran)
Hermes were the big winners on Saturday as they did all the damage in the first half against Trinity, taking advantage of results elsewhere to get back a two-goal lead in the women’s division one title race. In addition, they are just a point away from confirming an IHL berth.

Eimear Horan got them in front on ten minutes before Caitriona McGilp doubled up and Sinead Loughran made it 3-0 at half-time to all but kill off the game.

Trinity continued to attack in the second half and got their reward in the form of a single corner goal from Jenny Long – they won the corner count 4-2 – but nothing further arrived, leaving Hermes able to get over the line and a big step closer to the title.

Pembroke's Sorcha Clarke scored a key goal against Railway Pic: Adrian Boehm

Pembroke’s Sorcha Clarke scored a key goal against Railway Pic: Adrian Boehm

Pembroke 1 (Sorcha Clarke) Railway Union 1 (K Lloyd)
Pembroke and Railway drew 1-1 at Serpentine Avenue, a result that keeps the former just inside the top four with games against Trinity and Old Alex still to come while Railway lost a couple of points in the title race.

In an even first half, Railway missed the impetus created by Emma Smyth down the left side but still managed five main attacks which Jessie Elliott did well to keep out, leaving the scoreboard blank at half-time.

Straight after the break, Pembroke went 1-0 up when the hugely impressive Orla Macken, against her former club, led a counter down the right, crossing for Sorcha Clarke from around the penalty spot for a handy finish.

Railway were the better side from the on but Elliott made a couple of good saves from Railway’s key player Kate Lloyd while Grace McLoughlin also impressed in centre back.

With 15 minutes to go, Lloyd and Zara Delany’s interplay left the former through on the left of the circle where she unleashed a trademark reverse into the bottom right corner. They had one major chance to win the tie two minutes from time but Delany’s shot slipped wide, leaving a share of the spoils.

Glenanne 0 Corinthian 0
Glenanne ended up frustrated with their seventh draw of the season as they could not break through a well organised Corinthian defence though they did move back into a share of seventh place as a result. Marie Goulding won the game’s first corner ten minutes in but Siobhan Burke stood up and saved the first strike, which was to be her first of many saves throughout.

The Glens controlled the rest of the first half but struggled in the circle thanks to strong defending from Sophie Blennerhassett and Burke. Jen Rynne was ever-threatening down the right for the Glens, her killer ball across goal was only missed by inches at the back post by Hannah Delaney.

The Glens earned three more corners which went unconverted while Clare Shillington connected with a Goulding pass only for it to hit Burke on the helmet. The Tallaght side continued to put on the pressure in the second half, culminating in the key moment when Shillington’s deflection was saved by Burke before falling to Goulding.

She rode a stick tackle before finishing but, as the ball crossed the line, play was brought back for the initial foul with a corner given a split second before the ball went in.

Hermes Caitriona McGilp netted three important goals over the course of the weekend Pic: Adrian Boehm

Hermes Caitriona McGilp netted three important goals over the course of the weekend Pic: Adrian Boehm

For the reds, Hannah McKay was lively in midfield with some good attacking play down the right which presented some threat as Corinthian waited to try to catch the Glens on the break. The Glens defence was strong with clean tackles outside the circle giving Corinthian limited opportunity on goal.

A drag-flick late in the game by Sarah Daly produced another great save from Burke as seven short corners and 10 shots on goal told a frustrating tale for the Glens

Jacqui Potter Cup, semi-finals
Hermes will face Railway Union in the Jacqui Potter Cup final following their respective wins over Glenanne and UCD II.

Hermes continued their quadruple charge by reaching their first final with IHL and Irish Senior Cup semi-finals on the horizon. In a physical tie, Hermes went 1-0 via Caitriona McGilp but were pegged back when Jen Rynne’s pass picked out Saoirse O’Donoghue who slipped the ball in for Clare Shillington.

She finished on her reverse for 1-1. McGilp replied almost immediately with good composure to round the goalkeeper and score. Christine Quinlan scored from her side’s only corner, a switch move that she slapped home.

Railway were too strong for UCD II with Julia O’Halloran scoring twice in their 5-2 win to stay in the running to retain a title they have bossed for the last five years since winning their maiden crown in 2011.

The Park Avenue outfit were 3-0 up inside 20 minutes. Georgina Spillane struck from the top of the circle; O’Halloran made it two from Zara Delany’s switch and Hannah de Burgh Whyte’s corner strike added to the mix.

O’Halloran got the fourth in the second half before UCD got two back with Abby Oakes and Millie O’Donnell the two main threats with Lauren McGrane and Sadhbh Hoban Logan getting the goals but Delany eased any potential nerves with a reverse-stick finish to a de Burgh Whyte crash ball.

Results: Railway Union 5 (J O’Halloran 2, Z Delany, H de Burgh Whyte, G Spillane) UCD II 2 (L McGrane, S Hoban Logan); Hermes 3 (C McGilp 2, C Quinlan) Glenanne 1 (C Shillington)

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1