Alex clean sweep secures wildcard ticket to Cork

Old Alex made full use of home advantage in the women’s EYHL wildcard playoffs as they secured four wins without conceding in Milltown.

That is not to say it was an easy ride as three of those wins came from a single goal, Lisa Jacob getting the only strike of a hard-fought 1-0 win over Leinster rivals Corinthian in the first game of the weekend.

They followed up with a 4-0 Saturday win over Dungannon with Hannah and Rachel Kelly, Jacob and Sylvia O’Mahoney all scoring in the victory.

Catholic Institute emerged as their main rivals, starting off with two 2-0 wins, the first via Laura Foley and Kym Daly against Dungannon, the latter courtesy of Roisin Begley and Christine O’Shea.

With Queen’s fighting back to draw 4-4 against Corinthian, it pretty much left the Limerick side and Alex as the last two sides standing in the chase for the spot in the next phase.

And so their Sunday morning showdown was to be make or break. It stayed in the balance all the way until six minutes from the end when Rebecca Evans slipped through to Rachel Kelly to score from close range.

It left Insta on the back foot but they did what they could to put the pressure on Alex in the closing stages of the tournament. Laura Foley scored twice with O’Shea on the mark once again in a 3-0 win over Corinthian.

The host club needed a draw to get over the line and they again got a 1-0 result, this time Evans shooting home from a Fiona Bradish pass in the second half against Queen’s.

Alex join UCC, Lurgan, Muckross and the winner of NUIG and Greenfields in Connacht in a fortnight’s time at the Mardyke.

EYHL Wildcard Provincial Play-offs:
Saturday: Corinthian 0 Old Alex 1 (L Jacob); Dungannon 0 Catholic Institute 2 (L Foley, K Daly); Queen’s 4 (T Hastings 2, E McStea, J McMaster) Corinthian 4 (A Kinlan, N Torrans, J McGrane, L Motyer); Old Alex 3 (R Kelly, L Jacob, S O’Mahoney) Dungannon 0; Catholic Institute 2 (R Begley, C O’Shea) Queens 0

Sunday: Dungannon 0 Corinthian 1 (L McGrane); Catholic Institute 0 Old Alex 1 (R Kelly); Queen’s 0 Dungannon 0; Corinthian 0 Catholic Institute 3 (L Foley 2, C O’Shea); Old Alex 1 (R Evans) Queens 0

Standings: 1. Old Alex 12pts (+6) 2. Catholic Institute 9pts (+6) 3. Corinthian 5pts (-3) 4. Queens 2pts (-3) 5. Dungannon 1pt (-6)

Partners of The Hook