Leading quintet clean up against bottom five as IHL race remains incredibly tight

Women’s Leinster Division One
The women’s Leinster division one top five remains as tight as ever with the leading quintet all running up wins over those in the bottom half without conceding a goal.

It leaves everything to play for in the closing few weeks of the season with three points covering second to fifth while the title battle is also up in the air.

Goals from Sorcha Clarke and Erika Hinkson saw Pembroke land their second win in five days to keep pace with the leading sides and keep up their interest in the IHL places, getting the better of Trinity 2-0.

They struggled to convert from a string of seven penalty corners as Trinity defended well but eventually broke through via Clarke who embarked on a great solo run before finishing off. Hinkson made the game safe from a deflected penalty corner.

Loreto built on their impressive win last weekend against Hermes in the league with a 4-0 success against Old Alex as the Milltown side continues to struggle in front of goal, going four games without netting.

Hayley Mulcahy, Lizzie Colvin and Niamh Small were all goalscorers while Sarah O’Loughlin scrambled in another. They now have a big game on Thursday evening against UCD that will go a long way to determining where they will finish in the table.

Hermes were always in control in this top versus bottom of the league clash against North Kildare. Rosie Carrigan got the first goal, having been set up by Sinead Loughran in the second minute with a lovely finish quickly followed by number two from Loughran herself both goals coming from open play.

Aine Connery scored the third, a cracker with a reverse strike into top corner giving the keeper no chance. The fourth and fifth came from Loughran and Carrigan, to complete their brace, and send the league leaders into 5-0 half time lead.

Loreto's Sarah O'Loughlin scores in their win over Old Alex Pic: Adrian Boehm

Loreto’s Sarah O’Loughlin scores in their win over Old Alex Pic: Adrian Boehm

In the second half, Hermes were finding it difficult to break down the North Kildare defence with the goalkeeper making some fine saves. Eimear Horan made it six, scoring a delightful goal from the top of the circle and a lovely corner variation was slotted home by Christine Quinlan.

The final goal was a lovely team goal finished from an acute angle by Aisling Naughton, handing them an 8-0 win that keeps them three clear of Railway Union, albeit with a game extra played.

UCD maintained their place in third place with a third win in succession as international trio Anna O’Flanagan, Nikki Evans – two each – and Deirdre Duke all scored to run up a comfortable 5-0 win at Whitechurch Park against Corinthian.

Railway stayed within three points of leaders Hermes as they secured a win over Glenanne for the second week running.

In a very open game with lots of space, Railway took their chances and got one up when Georgina Spillane broke the line of press to intercept and score the opening goal, pushing into the bottom corner. The second came from a Hannah de Burgh Whyte crash ball to Cecelia Joyce who turned sharply and reversed into the net.

The Glens were much stronger in the second half but could not convert while Railway got their third via Julia O’Halloran after she jinked past three players before cracking the ball to the back post for the Cork native to finish off.

Women’s Division One: Corinthian 0 UCD 5 (A O’Flanagan 2, N Evans, D Duke; Old Alex 0 Loreto 4 (H Mulcahy, L Colvin, N Small, S O’Loughlin); Railway Union 3 (J O’Hallroan, G Spillane, C Joyce) Glenanne 0; Hermes 8 (S Loughran 2, R Carrigan 2, C Quinlan, E Horan, A Naughton, A Connery) North Kildare 0; Pembroke 2 (Sorcha Clarke, E Hinkson) Trinity 0

Rosie Carrigan scores for Hermes against North Kildare Pic: Deryck Vincent (click image for more pics)

Rosie Carrigan scores for Hermes against North Kildare Pic: Deryck Vincent (click image for more pics)

Jacqui Potter Cup, quarter-finals
Railway Union, Hermes, Glenanne and UCD II made it through to the final four of the Jacqui Potter Cup with Sunday wins in the quarter-finals.

Railway got the better of Trinity 5-0. Sarah Canning got them up and running from a corner before Julia O’Halloran got a great second with a sliding finish following an eight-pass build-up move. Trinity had their moments with Vera Taaffe, Avril Dooley-O’Carroll and Anna May Whelan to the fore.

But the tie was killed off when Kate Lloyd scored a scorcher on the openside from the top of the circle into the top corner. Georgina Spillane created the fourth with a crash ball across for Lloyd’s one-handed sliding deflection at the back post. Hannah de Burgh Whyte completed the scoring from a corner rebound from Emer Lucey’s initial shot.

Railway were denied two sides in the final four, though, as Millie O’Donnell’s single goal saw UCD II beat the Park Avenue side’s second string 1-0.

Glenanne prevailed against division two’s Muckross as they fought back to tie the game at 2-2 before winning out on penalties. Hermes got some revenge for their league defeat against Loreto a week ago as they ran up a 3-1 win in their quarter-final.

Caitriona McGilp and Rosie Carrigan gave Hermes a 2-0 half-time lead before Hayley Mulcahy got one back for Loreto but McGilp gave Hermes more breathing room with her side’s third goal.

Jacqui Potter Cup, quarter-final results: Railway Union 5 (K Lloyd 2, S Canning, J O’Halloran, H de Burgh Whyte) Trinity 0; Muckross 2 (R Dillon, L White) Glenanne 2, Glenanne win on penalties; Railway Union II 0 UCD II 1 (M O’Donnell); Hermes 3 (C McGilp 2, R Carrigan) Loreto 1 (H Mulcahy)

Semi-final draw (February 15): Hermes v Glenanne; Railway Union v UCD II

Women's Leinster Senior Div 1