UCC have a home draw against Clontarf to look forward to in the semi-finals of the men’s Irish Trophy after they came back from the dead to see off Rathgar Chiefs 4-3 in Dublin.
But it was a miserable day for Cork C of I, who threw away a two-goal lead against Cookstown, eventually going down by the same scoreline to exit the Irish Senior Cup in dramatic fashion at Garryduff.
For College, it was a second successive triumphant victory far from home, after their win over Raphoe in Donegal seven days earlier.
But they had to do it the hard way; Roger Gray’s early drag-flick for UCC was cancelled out by Cian Denham’s roofed deflection, before an excellent Jonny Orr half-volley on the counter and Daire Coady’s smashed corner rebound had the Chiefs 3-1 up at half-time.
However, a mazy Roger Gray dribble and finish got his side back in the game, and Andy Gray made it 3-3 from the penalty spot, before Fionn O’Leary reversed home at the back post with 60 seconds to go to cap a dramatic victory.
At Garryduff, David Hobbs and John Jermyn had C of I seemingly cruising against Cookstown, but Andy Barbour’s crash and a quickfire pair of deflections from Greg Allen turned the game on its head.
Nick Burns restored parity for C of I with four minutes left but Thomas Hutchinson sealed victory for the Tyrone men — now in the last eight.
Domestically, David Lombard and Mark Black scored at the end of each half to help Cork Harlequins shake off a resilient Bandon outfit 2-0.
Cork C of I B eked out a first win of the season, 3-1 over Catholic Institute, as the Limerick side replace them at the bottom of the table.
Meanwhile, Ciara McCarthy and Hilary Chapple provided the crucial interventions as Bandon advanced to the last eight of the women’s ESB Irish Trophy with a 2-0 win at Suttonians.
Ashton can join them there if they see off Clontarf next week, after Caroline McCarthy’s excellent hat-trick helped them see off Wexford 5-2 in a re-fixed round one tie.
Back in Munster, Catholic Institute put their league title fate firmly in their own hands as Eimear Cregan’s touch of class gave them a 1-0 win over nearest rivals UCC as they continued their 100% league record.
Institute are now almost over the horizon, possessing a five-point lead with as many games remaining. College — who have yet to travel to Institute — must now hope for two unlikely slip-ups from the Limerick girls.
College did recover to win 2-0 at third-placed Cork Harlequins — who have a game in hand — to give them six points breathing space in second as they bid for one of two automatic Irish Hockey League qualification spots.
An ever-improving UL side gave C of I a fright on the new sand pitch at Garryduff, but skipper Amy Roberts calmed the nerves with a goal after the break before Elisa Buckley knocked in a second for a 2-0 success.
Elsewhere, Three Rock Rovers claimed their third National Indoor Trophy crown in four years at the NBA in Tallaght, defeating YMCA 5-3 in the final.
Armagh are the women’s champions after former Irish outdoor international Emma Stewart grabbed the winner (2-1) with the last play of the game against Railway Union.