UCD remain four clear with big win over Railway

Women’s EY Hockey League – day 14 round-up
UCD 2 (E Russell, K Mullan) Railway Union 1 (C Joyce)

UCD put in a superb performance to win one of their toughest games of the season, over-turning a Jacqui Potter Cup final defeat to the same opposition seven days earlier.

For UCD, Katie Mullan came back into the team but Deirdre Duke and Sara Twomey were missing through concussion protocols and Sorcha Clarke was also out. Railway had Emer Lucey, Emma Smyth, Cecelia Joyce and Kate Dillon all come back in.

UCD’s Katie Mullan provided the key goal against Railway. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Despite this, the Belfielders got off to a glorious start with Emma Russell breaking the deadlock before the influential Mullan made it 2-0. Joyce got one back in the second quarter and that was how it remained in a high quality, quick-paced tie. The win keeps the students four point lead in place with four rounds of games to go.

Pegasus 1 (H Grieve) Hermes-Monkstown 0
Hannah Grieve’s 14th minute goal proved the difference as Hermes-Monkstown put in another robust defensive performance against highly-ranked opposition but fell to a single strike.

Grieve struck from a corner amid a frantic start at Belfast HS and they held the upper hand for much of the rest of the tie with Monkstown sitting deep and looking to counter.

But they were unable to eke out a precious goal and so remain on four points, needing at least two wins from their remaining league ties. For Pegasus, the win strengthens their place in the top three playoff places.

Cork Harlequins 3 (R Barry 2, R Upton) Pembroke Wanderers 0
Cork Harlequins kept up the pressure on UCD at the head of the women’s EY Hockey League table with a 3-0 win over Pembroke at Farmer’s Cross. Roisin Upton’s penalty corer in the 15th minute got them up before Rebecca Barry put them further ahead in the second quarter.

The hosts did ride their luck just before half-time with Emma Buckley called on to save a penalty stroke to remain two up. Barry made the game safe with her second goal in the third quarter. They remain four points behind UCD, hoping for a few favours in the closing weeks of the season.

Loreto 1 (S Torrans) Ards 1 (C Brown)
Loreto and Ards shared the spoils at Beaufort, a result that makes it harder for the two clubs to get within range of the playoff places as they sit in fifth and sixth place, respectively.

Sarah Torrans gave Loreto the lead in the second quarter from a corner move and they held that advantage all the way through to 10 minutes from time when Chloe Brown levelled matters. Loreto saw Hannah Matthews depart early with a nasty head injury. They have six points to make up on fourth place Railway with four rounds of games to go.

Trinity 1 (N Sweeney) Belfast Harlequins 2 (J Watt, Z Wilson)
An early Belfast Harlequins blitz propelled them to an important win at Santry Avenue that eases them away from any potential fears of a relegation playoff.

The first came four minutes in when Quins passed the ball around Carolyn Crampton with Jenna Watt on hand to finish off. Zoe Wilson then netted a penalty stroke 11 minutes in for a dream start for the visitors.

Trinity fought back and had one disallowed before Niamh Sweeney got them on the board with a cracking reverse-stick finish before the half-time break.

Into the second half, the students had another effort disallowed while Quins went close to making the game safe from a Wilson drag-flick at a keeperless Trinity goal but Isy Delamer brilliantly tipped it away. It did not matter in the final reckoning, though, as Quins got their fourth win of the campaign while Trinity stay in the relegation playoff spot.

Irish Senior Cup, quarter-final
Cork Harlequins 1 (N Carroll) Belfast Harlequins 1 (L Johnston), Belfast Quins win shoot-out 3-1

Belfast Harlequins raided Cork to land an Irish Senior Cup semi-final spot following buckets of late drama. Both goals came in the closing three minutes of normal time, Laura Johnston putting Belfast in front only for Naomi Carroll to equalise with a minute to go.

In the shoot-out, Zoe Wilson, Jenna Watt and Orlagh O’Shea all scored while Marianne Fox saved twice to win the day and the semi-final spot.

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