Monkstown and Ards going back up to women’s EYHL first division

Monkstown and Ards are both back in the big time as they won feisty battles in the women’s EYHL Division Two semi-finals to confirm promotion at Whitechurch Park.

First up, Monkstown won out 3-1 against hosts Corinthian with Anna O’Flanagan scoring twice. The first half were characterised by fierce tackles and a set of penalty corner battles and it was through this method the opening goal came just before half-time.

Olympic duo Chloe Watkins and O’Flanagan combined with the former slapping to the right post where the latter deflected in.

Lauren McGrane evened things up four minutes into the second with a super goal but parity only lasted just over a minute as O’Flanagan scored a similarly high quality effort.

Claire O’Reilly put them out of range in the 46th minute before Town had to endure a lot of pressure and suffered a number of cards in the closing quarter.

But they finished out the tie well to ensure promotion to return to the top tier for the first time since 2018.

The second quarter-final, Queen’s took the lead early on when Madison Bowyer followed up a penalty corner shot from Zoe Wilson that Naomi McKnight blocked.

Ards’ Amy Benson gets away from Alyssa Jebb Pic: Max Fulham

Ards fought back in and Zara Malseed whacked in a direct penalty corner to make it 1-1 by half-time and Ellen Robinson got what proved to be the crucial goal in the third quarter.

The two sides advance to Sunday’s EYHL Division 2 final at Whitechurch Park at 3.30pm on Sunday, looking to add an extra special end to their season.

Women’s EYHL Division 2, semi-final: Monkstown 3 (A O’Flanagan 2, C O’Reilly) Corinthian 1 (L McGrane); Ards 2 (Z Malseed, E Robinson) Queen’s 1 (M Bowyer)
Sunday, final: Monkstown v Ards, Whitechurch Park, 3.30pm