Top three move further clear of women’s EY chasing pack

Women’s EY Hockey League – day eight round-up
Railway Union 2 (K Dillon, E Smyth) Pegasus 2 (T Doherty, A Speers)

Former international Kate Dillon’s first goal of the season in the last two minutes saw Railway Union salvage a draw from their Park Avenue date with Pegasus. The Ulster side took the lead early on when a loose aerial clearance from Railway was intercepted and worked across the backline for Taite Doherty to score.

The Dubliners levelled in the second quarter when Railway worked a couple of short, secure passes to Nina Heisterkamp who passed to Emma Smyth to neatly slot away. Pegs went back in front, however, from a corner with Alex Speers taking the ball passed the first runner to shoot home.

They held this lead through a scrappy third quarter with plenty of good chances but no further goals, the pick of which fell to Cecelia Joyce from Kate McKenna’s pass but she could not finish off. The final quarter was similarly end to end with Railway having most of the play. Throwing caution to the wind, they withdrew their goalkeeper in the last three minutes and it drew instant dividends, winning a corner that Dillon deflected home.

Ards 1 (J Kilpatrick) Cork Harlequins 3 (C Sargent, K Bateman, C Perdue)
Cork Harlequins got back on the winning trail to strengthen their place in the top three of the table. Thet started their tie at Ards the sharper and went in front after just three minutes, Cliodhna Sargent hammering home a corner shot from the top of the circle.

Quins went 2-0 up in the second quarter when Karen Bateman intercepted a pass and drove through the middle, before drifting left and finishing smartly on the reverse.

Ards looked like they might find a way back into the game when Sara Alexander picked the ball up on the left side of the circle and drove past two defenders, but couldn’t find the finish to beat the Quins keeper.

Pegasus's Michelle Harvey battles for the ball with Railway's Michelle Carey. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Pegasus’s Michelle Harvey battles for the ball with Railway’s Michelle Carey. Pic: Adrian Boehm

It stayed 2-0 going into the final quarter before Ards came out with all guns blazing in the final quarter, and got a lifeline right away when Jane Kilpatrick took a quick free inside the 23, drove left and into the circle and fired home a reverse stick shot to make it 2-1.

The home teams hope was short-lived, Quins restarting and driving up the pitch, where Caoimhe Purdue fired home to make it 3-1.

Ulster Elks 0 Loreto 1 (H Mulcahy)

Loreto moved up to fifth place in the league as Hayley Mulcahy’s solo strike gave the Beaufort side their second win of the campaign.

Loreto began the brighter on the two sides with plenty of early ball possession though there were few chances of note in the first quarter.
The key moment came in the 20th minute when Loreto broke the Elks play down in midfield and pressed quickly into the circle where a ball across goal was tapped in by Hayley Mulcahy at the back post.

From there, both teams struggled to get any flow into their game with most of the play restricted to between the 23m lines.

Anna May Whelan holds off Hannah McMillan. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Anna May Whelan holds off Hannah McMillan. Pic: Adrian Boehm

The fourth quarter began with Elks looking to get back on level terms. They created several opportunities but could not equalise, leading to a frenetic closing phase but stout defending from Loreto served them well to record a clean sheet and three points.

Belfast Harlequins 1 (A Geddes) UCD 2 (S Clarke 2)
Sorcha Clarke’s pair of first half goals saw UCD maintain their place in second in the women’s EY Hockey League.

Early on, the momentum shifted quickly between the sides before UCD had a strong spell. Helen Stevenson, in the Harlequins goal, pulled off a lively save in the seventh minute before Clarke opened the scoring for UCD in the 13th minute with a classy field goal.

Quins continued to fight and quickly secured an equaliser from a well-worked corner by Amy Geddes inside the first quarter. UCD continued to press with three penalty corner which were all well defended or saved by Stevenson who put in a great performance.

On the half hour, Clarke put UCD back in front with a good deflection from a cross field ball. The students went on to dominate the third quarter but found Stevenson equal to everything thrown at her.

It left UCD open to a potential counter-striker, especially when Quins won a corner but Laura Johnston fired wide.

Pembroke 1 (S Quill) Hermes-Monkstown 4 (A O’Flanagan 3, C Watkins)
Hermes-Monkstown’s brilliant run of form stretched to an eighth successive win as Anna O’Flanagan scored a hat trick for a second week running, bringing her seasonal tally to 19 goals.

She broke the deadlock in the 17th minute, picking up the ball on the right wing and her shot from the edge of the circle found the net. She converted a penalty corner in the 24th minute for her second goal. Pembroke replied through Sara Quill in the 35th min with a reverse stick shot.

Pembroke had a chance in the 48th minute to equalise but Maebh Horan’s shot was diverted over the back line as the game remained in the mix.

Orla Fox lines up a shot for Railway Union. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Orla Fox lines up a shot for Railway Union. Pic: Adrian Boehm

But Hermes-Monkstown closed out the win in the closing quarter. A pass from Chloe Watkins found O’Flanagan in the circle who finished off for her hat-trick. Just before full time, Watkins made it 4-1 when she scored a penalty corner. Her side continue to lead the table by four points as a result.

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