Ards and Pegasus will be the only Ulster sides in Tuesday’s Irish Senior Cup quarter-final draw after the difference in standard between the national and domestic leagues was illustrated in Saturday’s second round games.
Ballymoney, Lurgan, Ulster Elks and Banbridge all crashed out after losing to EY Irish Hockey League teams while Pegasus were too strong for Trinity and Ards overcame top-flight rivals Belfast Harlequins.
The game at Londonderry Park produced the only surprise of the day as Ards’ revival continued with a 3-2 win over Quins, who reached the semi-finals last season. After her team moved a point off the bottom of the EYIHL table with only their second point from nine games a week earlier, Francesca Brown’s second double in the space of seven days proved decisive.
Lucy Geddes put the visitors ahead but Brown’s brace added to a penalty corner strike from Becky Weir made it 3-1 before Abigail Edwards’ late reply. Harlequins were without Ireland World Cup silver medallist Zoe Wilson, who aggravated a hamstring injury during the national team’s trip to Spain last week.
However, they would have been expecting to add to their recent league win over Ards, who had been struggling without last year’s top scorer Chloe Brown, who is now playing for East Grinstead.
Pegasus, who lost to UCD in last season’s final, comfortably beat Trinity 5-2 to book their place in tomorrow’s draw.
The Belfast side led 4-0 at the break with goals from Michelle Harvey, Lucy McKee, who got two, and Hannah Craig. The Ulster side took their foot off the pedal after the break and the Dublin students replied with two Sally Campbell goals before Alex Speers sealed the win late on.
Ballymoney lost 2-1 to Loreto at the Joey Dunlop Centre where Olivia Mullan got a late consolation while Ireland star Megan Frazer was on target for the Elks in a 3-1 defeat to Railway Union. Banbridge made the long trip home empty-handed after going down 5-0 to Cork Harlequins while Lurgan lost 6-0 to UCD in Dublin.
In the second-tier Irish Hockey Trophy, there were wins for Omagh, Portadown and Raphoe while Randalstown defeated Rainey 2-1 in the Denman Ulster Shield. Town trailed to an early Betty Scott goal but replied with strikes from Kia Doherty and Emma Clyde to to chalk up their first win of the season.
On the men’s front, a superb hat-trick from Ryan Burgess sealed Annadale an excellent 3-2 EYHL win at Cork C of I. The result has pulled the Belfast team further clear of the relegation zone after the former Bangor penalty corner expert scored twice late in a superb comeback win.
In IHL 2, William Robinson scored twice as Instonians beat Kilkeel 4-2 but Bangor were hammered 8-3 by UCD. Johnny Taylor’s late goal gave Newry a surprise 3-2 win over Ulster Premier leaders Mossley while Chris Henry was the hat trick hero for South Antrim in a 4-1 win over Queen’s with Portadown beating NICS 2-1 at Stormont.
Ballynahinch will meet Antrim in the Linden Cup final on New Year’s Day after identical 4-1 wins over Ballymena and CIYMS respectively on Sunday.
Irish Senior Cup 2nd Round: Ards 3 (F Brown 2, B Weir) Belfast Harlequins 2 (L Geddes, A Edwards); Ballymoney 1 (O Mullan) Loreto 2 (S Evans, C Hamill); Cork Harlequins 5 (A O’Grady, O Roycroft, E O’Leary, C Sargent, R Barry) Banbridge, 0; Old Alexandra 0 Muckross 3 (L Hanlon, N Gowing, Y Pratt); Pegasus 5 (L McKee 2, M Harvey, H Craig, A Speers) Trinity 2 (S Campbell 2); Pembroke 4 (L Noble 2, C Foley, A Ward) Monkstown 0; Railway Union 3 (Z Delany, O Fox, K McKenna) Ulster Elks 1 (M Frazer); UCD 6 (S Young 2, M Carey, L Tice, N Carey, L McGuire) Lurgan 0
Irish Hockey Trophy 2nd Round: Bandon 0 Three Rock Rovers 1 (A McCarthy); Bray 1 (R McDonagh) Greenfields 1 (K Dunleavy), Greenfields win shoot-out 4-3; Cork C of I 2 (K Coombes, R Kingston) Mossley 1 (N McMillan); Lisnagarvey 1 NUIG 2; Omagh 5 (E Shortt 2, A Buchanan, E Fulton, A McCollum) Rathgar 1; Our Lady’s 2 Clontarf 1; Portadown 2 (S-J Corry, C Dunn) North Kildare 1 (E Ryan-Doyle); Raphoe 6 (W E Patterson, L Smyth, V Wray, S McErlean, S Barnett, Z Tinney) Weston 0.
Denman Ulster Shield: Randalstown 2 (K Doherty, E Clyde) Rainey 1 (B Scott);
Senior One: Castle 1 (T Munn) Armagh 2 (J Stevenson 2); North Down 2 (A Kimber R Lucas) CI 2 (L Mercer 2); Priorians 2 (N Lowry, N McSparron) Club KV 2 (R McCormack, J Orr)