Women’s EY Hockey League day four round-up
Cork Harlequins 0 Catholic Institute 2 (N Carroll, L Clery)
Catholic Institute prevailed in the all-Munster derby in a tight encounter at Farmer’s Cross, moving them into a share of the lead after four rounds of matches.
Current internationals and Olympians Róisín Upton and Naomi Carroll were joined by former Irish players Pamela Smithwick and the dynamic Rebecca Barry in the Institute side.
Harlequins welcomed back captain Michelle Barry after illness to join the experienced Yvonne O’Byrne in midfield for Cork Harlequins. A scoreless first quarter saw Institute with the majority of chances.
Harlequins began to get a better footing in the game and would have been disappointed to concede a corner just before the end of the second quarter that gave Institute the edge going into half time. A well worked routine saw Naomi Carroll deflect the ball giving Harlequins’ Lorna Bateman no chance in goal.
Catholic Institute doubled their lead in the third quarter when a powerful breakaway was finished at close range by the energetic Leah Clery. Both teams squandered further chances as the game opened up, but Institute maintained their lead to give them a deserved win in this first Munster derby.
Muckross 1 (S Barnwell) Railway Union 2 (L Lloyd, K Fearon)
Railway Union got back to winning ways, emerging with the spoils from Grange Road from a corner battle with all three goals coming from the set piece. The first half saw Railway start on the front foot but Muckross replied in kind with plenty of their own attacks and a corner a piece before half-time.
The scoring began in the second period with Lily Lloyd netting early in the third quarter from a smart double-deflection move, going right before switching it left into her path in front of goal.
And Katie Fearon grabbed the next in the same phase, this time finishing off breaking ball from the injector’s spot from a scrappy corner that was initially blocked.
Sophie Barnwell pulled one on the three-quarter time whistle with a deft touch to Julia Blacerzak’s corner sweep to keep the game very much in the balance going into the last quarter.
Balcerzak did flash a shot across goal while Kim Baker also went close but Railway survived those efforts and then had a series of corners to copper-fasten the tie but 2-1 proved enough.
UCD 5 (G Keane, K Egan, H McLoughlin, S McAuley, S Cole) Belfast Harlequins 0
UCD moved into a share of third place as part of a group of teams on seven points thanks to their second win of the season. They led from the first quarter with Grace Keane applying a lovely finish from open play to get the ball rolling.
It remained that way until half-time before they really cut loose. Katherine Egan double lead and a corner goal from Hannah McLoughlin all but assured the points. Sarah McAuley got in on the act with her first goal since joining the student club and Sophia Cole completed the rout.
Pembroke 0 Old Alex 1 (E Russell)
Emma Russell got the only goal of the game as Old Alex got back to winning ways while Pembroke fell to their first loss of the season.
The early stages saw plenty of action with Mikayla Power’s strong shot drawing the best from Emma Buckley down low and the youngster also won a corner soon after. It was end to end stuff with the main chances coming from the set piece.
Pembroke’s best of the first half saw Emily Beatty pounce on a ball in midfield, slip to Sally Campbell whose long pass to Aisling Naughton ended with the ball flashing wide from a great move.
More corner openings came and went in the third quarter before the sole goal arrived just before the end of the third quarter. Jessica McGirr sent a shot across the face of goal where Russell was in the right place to send it home.
They were hungry for more at that stage with Leah McGuire making vital interventions to keep out Abbie Russell a couple of times. Emma Russell also had a great effort rebound off the frame of the goal before Pembroke came on strong in the closing stages, winning a couple of corners but to no avail.
Loreto 0 Pegasus 0
Pegasus remain in a share of top spot but with a different opponent following a 0-0 draw with Loreto saw them stay in pole position, now alongside Catholic Institute rather than Pembroke.
It was a scrappy, even game with chances at a premium throughout. The first penalty corners took until the final quarter to arrive with Pegs winning the first couple which Loreto snuffed out while Christin Hamill got the first for the Beaufort club in the closing stages but it deflected off a Pegasus stick to bounce out to safety.