Women’s Weekend Review

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Former winners Ballymoney and Ulster Elks along with Banbridge are all through to the second round of the Irish Senior Cup after beating UCC, Genesis and Corinthian respectively on Sunday.

Nikki Parke and Susannah Brown got the goals for Money in their 2-0 win in Cork while Judithe Allen hit a double for Elks in the 5-0 victory over the Dublin side at Jordanstown.

Paula Haugh claimed a hat-trick and Stef McCullough got two for Bann in their away win over Corinthian, who had fought back to draw level at 3-3 late on.

In the Irish Hockey Trophy, Mossley were 2-0 winners at Ashton but Castle lost 7-0 to NUIG in Galway while Lisnagarvey and Raphoe progressed on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Pegasus trail Loreto only on goal difference at the top of the EY Irish Hockey League standings after maintaining their 100% record with a 4-2 comeback win over Pembroke Wanderers. Alex Speers hit two of the goals and provided an assist in what turned out to be a comfortable victory in Dublin on Saturday. Katie Jane Marshall put the hosts ahead early on when she scored from a penalty corner but Speers struck twice before half time. The former Ireland captain then set up Rachael Murdock and Kate Gourley added a fourth before Sorcha Clarke’s late consolation.

Belfast Harlequins are two points off the pace after staging a stunning comeback to draw 2-2 with Railway Union at Park Avenue. Two minutes into the first quarter, an interception by Kate Lloyd ended with her smashing home for a rare goal on her open side.   The rest of the quarter was played at a high tempo with Railway having the best chance after great work by Lily Lloyd and Katie Fearon.  Just after the start of the second quarter, Anna May Whelan gave a great through ball to Sarah Hawkshaw who struck in a sweet backhand for 2-0.  Harlequins had two corners early in the second quarter but these were well dealt with by Railway defenders but Zoe Wilson did get one back from their third with a straight strike.   The visitors started the third quarter strongly and were rewarded with a very well taken goal by Lucy Geddes in the opening minutes.   Quins continued to pile on the pressure and had two corners but Railway held them out, leaving both sides on four points to date.

Belfast coach Davy Frazer said: “We made a slow start in what was our first away match of the season and conceded two sloppy goals.  But we played on the front foot for the remainder of the game, piling on the pressure and managed to score two great goals.  We were unlucky not to have come away with all three points but we’re pretty happy with a point away from home after losing there 3-2 last season.”

Hannah McLoughlin scored a debut goal for UCD to nick a 1-0 result at Ards who put it up to the reigning champions for long periods but have yet to break their scoring duck after an opening 0-0 draw with Muckross.  In the first half, Naomi McKnight did well to save a couple of corners while Ards had a good amount of the ball with Alanah Doyle, Caroline Adams and Naomi Grundie to the fore.   But UCD eventually forced home a corner with nine minutes to go to give them their first win of the campaign.

Ards co-captain Mcknight said: “The season so far has seen two strong performances from a very new young squad who are still adjusting to EYHL hockey.   In particular the game against last year’s title winners UCD was a very strong team display and we were very disappointed to not get at least a point from the game.   During the first half it looked like all three points were for the taking but controversy late in second led to UCD’s goal.  We have shown in our two games so far that we are a team who are incredibly hard to break down with our goals against currently only rivalled by top of the table Loreto.  The only thing separating us from a position at the top are converting a few of our chances in the last quarter of the pitch.   The confidence gained from the weekend have proved that we are capable of competing with the top teams in the country and we are feeling positive going in to our next game against Pegasus.”

In the Ulster Premier League, champions Lurgan got off to a winning start when they defeated Dungannon 3-1 at the Royal School. Chloe McCann gave them an early lead but Karen Elliott levelled from a set-piece before Sarah McClure replied in kind just before half-time and Lauren Wright sealed the win in the 48th minute.

On Friday night, Queen’s came from 1-0 down to beat Ballymena 3-1, second half goals from Tori Hastings, Koren Ferguson and Jessica McMaster cancelling out Clare Gillespie’s opener.

In Senior One, Coleraine got their first win since their return as Caroline McNickle scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over North Down while Jo Orr got both goals from Club KV in a 2-0 success at Omagh.

Irish Senior Cup: Corinthian 3 Banbridge 5 (P Haugh 3, S McCullough 2); Ulster Elks 5 (A Hutchison, J Allen 2, B Kretzmann, E Quinn) Genesis 0; UCC 0 Ballymoney 2 (N Parke, S Brown).

EYHL: Ards 0 UCD 1 (H McLoughlin); Cork Harlequins 0 Old Alex 1 (A Connery); Loreto 5 (S Torrans 2, M Jennings, S O’Brien, N Small) Muckross 0; Pembroke 2 (K-J Marshall, S Clarke) Pegasus 4 (A Speers 2, R Murdock, K Gourley); Railway Union 2 (K Lloyd, S Hawkshaw) Belfast Harlequins 2 (Z Wilson, L Geddes)

Irish Hockey Trophy: CI Ladies 0 Lisnagarvey 9 (J Flynn 3, C McIlwaine 3, R Houston, S Holdsworth, R Chambers); Raphoe 3 (W Patterson, L Patterson, L Smyth) Rainey 1 (A Hegarty); Ashton 0 Mossley 2 (R McConnell, K Dixon) ; NUIG 7 Castle 0.
Ulster Premier League: Dungannon 1 (K Elliott) Lurgan 3 (C McCann, S McClure, L Wright); Ballymena 1 (C Gillespie) Queen’s 3 (T Hastings, K Ferguson, J McMaster); Senior One: North Down 0 Coleraine 1 (C McNickle); Omagh 0 Club KV 2 (J Orr 2)

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