Hockey: Naomi Carroll hat-trick drives Harlequins to top of table

Naomi Carroll’s hat-trick saw Cork Harlequins sweep aside Trinity 5-1 in the women’s EY Hockey League, boosting the Farmer’s Cross club into a share of top spot.

The Cratloe woman scored the only goal of a closely fought first half, but Harlequins scored three times between the 42nd and 47th minute to ensure they were home and hosed at Santry Avenue. Carroll got the second, before skipper Yvonne O’Byrne and Michelle Barry finished off some exquisite interplay. Another Carroll goal closed out the victory, before Quins took the novel approach of withdrawing their goalkeeper Lorna Bateman in favour of an extra outfielder player to pursue a bump in goal difference.

Bateman was deputising for Emma Buckley who was not risked following a rib injury sustained in training; she kept a clean sheet only to see Sally Campbell slot a Trinity goal into an empty net, the one blemish.

It comes a week ahead of Cliodhna Sargent’s return to the line-up, with coach Stephen Dale describing her “as colossal in terms of leadership and drive”. Sargent was part of the Irish side that swept through World League Round 2 — en route to eventual World Cup qualification — before announcing she was pregnant.

She has been back in training for the past three weeks, following the arrival of her baby, and is in the mix for a place in the Quins squad for their home tie against struggling Hermes-Monkstown next Saturday.

They are now top with Pegasus, who had a spectacular 6-0 win over Loreto yesterday, while UCD were held to a 0-0 draw by Pembroke to drop back to third in the rankings.

In Munster Division One, UCC continue to set the pace, courtesy of a 2-1 win in Bandon, Holly Lehane and Kate Harvey doing the damage to counter Moira Barrett’s goal. Catholic Institute sit three points back after a comfortable 4-0 win over Cork C of I.

In men’s competition, C of I fell to a 10-0 drubbing at the hands of Lisnagarvey, conceding eight times in the second half, a result that drops them to eighth place in the EY Hockey League table.

In Munster, UCC ground out a 4-3 away win over Limerick to maintain parity with Bandon at the top of the Division One table with three wins from three, as Glenn Healy netted a rare goal for the students.

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