By Stephen Findlater
The two Cork sides in the EY Hockey League found newly promoted opposition tricky to negotiate. Both Harlequins women and C of I’s men missed out on the spoils on Saturday.
C of I, in the absence of injured talisman John Jermyn, did fight back twice against YMCA, before securing a 2-2 draw.
After a strong start, they let things slip with a couple of turnovers and Brazilian Gabriel de Grandis profited from one, to fire in the only goal of the first-half.
YM missed a penalty stroke, allowing Stephen Parker the chance to draw C of I level, but they went behind again when Grant Glutz scored from a second chance from the spot. This time, Alex Deane conjured up the leveller for the Garryduff side.
For Harlequins, in the women’s competition, it was an exercise in frustration, as former UCC player, Aine Connery, scored a fourth-minute goal for Old Alex on her debut.
Quins had numerous chances, but could not break through and ended up on the wrong end of a 1-0 result.
From a Munster perspective, there was no major joy in the women’s Irish cup competitions, with UCC bowing out on home turf against Ballymoney, 2-0, in the Irish Senior Cup.
In the Trophy, Ashton fell to Mossley, Belvedere to Clontarf, and Waterford to Weston.
The one Munster winner was Cork C of I, regular challengers at this level, who overcame a tough battle in Kilkenny, 3-1.
It was tight throughout, with the cats going 1-0 up, before Hannah Honner tied things up at half-time. Nicola Kerr, a returnee after a few years away, got on the end of a well-worked corner for the first goal of her second spell with the club.
Honner then gave them some breathing space, with a super solo goal that ensures their passage to the second round.
On the men’s side, there were more reasons to be upbeat, with Ashton netting three times in the first-half, through Cian Kavangh, Clyde Buttimer, and Philip Sweetnam, putting them on course for a 3-1 win over Newry.
Waterford were emphatic, 6-1 winners in their first game of the season, Irish underage international Ben Johnson scoring a hat trick.
UCC, meanwhile, won their derby date with a 3-2 success over Cork Harlequins, meaning Dave Egner saw the team he coaches beat the team he plays for.
Birthday boy, Billy Mulcahy, got two of them, while Mark Horgan was also on the mark to put them into the round-two pot.