Quins catch students on double

CORK HARLEQUINS raided the Mardyke twice in 24 hours to end the cup dreams of UCC’s men and women on a memorable weekend for the Farmer’s Cross club.

The men had things relatively easy in a 5-1 Peard Cup semi-final win, setting up a St Stephen’s Day decider against Cork Church of Ireland.

But it was the women’s 3-2 Munster Senior Cup quarter-final win, coming from two goals down, that was the talking point.

Beautifully-worked short corner moves had seen Ali O’Regan and Steffi Bowe put College ahead inside the first ten minutes, but the Quins fight-back began before the break when Orlagh Cotter profited from brilliant build-up play by Leanne Mullins and Acacia Taylor.

Rachel McSharry slapped home an equaliser before Munster U18 Elisa Buckley finished the job blasting a half-volley into Emma White’s near post top corner.

Quins were joined in the last four by Catholic Institute.

The Limerick side hammered UL (10-1), highlighted by Eimear Cregan’s six-goal haul, while Bandon notched their third win over C of I this term, with a 2-0 win at Garryduff.

Amy Roycroft continued her fine form by converting a penalty stroke after Emma Peters’ goal-bound reverse-stick sweep was illegally blocked, before Ciara McCarthy got the crucial touch at a corner to seal victory in an evently-matched tie.

A second-half collapse cost UCC’s men in their Peard Cup semi-final against Cork Harlequins, as tired legs from the previous day’s 3-0 league win over Cork C of I B also came into play.

Fionn O’Leary scored a brilliant hat-trick to win that encounter but College looked out of sorts and things didn’t get better a day later against Quins, as David Egner batted home a shoulder-high rebound for a single-goal half-time lead.

Mark Black was allowed too much time to place home the second before a disputed short corner was dragged home by David Eakins to kill the game off.

Quins escaped the UCC press all too easily and Egner notched his fourth with a vicious strike after Kieran Healy had saved his fourth attempt, before Malcolm Coombes got College off the mark with his first goal for the club.

But a swift Quins counter-attack killed any faint hopes of a student uprising, Phil McLaughlin doing the donkey work and Paul Lombard applying the deadly finish.

Cork Church of Ireland shook off a number of absentees to nail down a 3-1 league win over Bandon.

Gary Wilkinson’s poacher’s instinct, which yielded two goals, and a Stephen Sweetnam drag-flick gave them a first-half lead they never relinquished despite being without four key first-teamers.

Bandon felt aggrieved to see one first-half goal chalked off, but didn’t test Billy Lynch in the C of I goal often enough until David Smith intercepted and finished with aplomb for a consolation strike in the final minutes.

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