C of I left to rue missed opportunity

Cork Church of Ireland blew a superb chance to dump holders Lisnagarvey out of the Irish Junior Cup as the northerners snuck a 4-3 quarter-final win with a golden goal at Garryduff on Saturday.

Having fallen behind to a Stephen Johnston strike, C of I — inspired by Richard Sweetnam’s quick thinking at the back — built up a 3-1 lead through David Herbert, Gary Wilkinson and Stuart Miller. But Ian Davidson’s corner goal got Garvey back in the game and they equalised in the final seconds, despite being temporarily down to 10 men, through Robert Cummins.

And C of I’s misery was compounded when they fell asleep two minutes into the extra time, allowing Cummins to get to the circle unimpeded from halfway to lay off for James Dowling to reverse home the winner.

There was better news for the club’s women, who saw off Bandon 2-0 in a tight derby tie, Emma Dobson’s brace proving the difference. The last non-Leinster side left in the tournament, Philip Sweetnam’s charges must now face Loreto in the semi-finals.

Domestically, Cork Harlequins were the weekend’s big winners as Karen Bateman and Acacia Taylor’s goals proved enough to defeat UCC 2-0 at the Mardyke.

With two games to go, the key tie for Quins is away to Bandon, as a victory will copper-fasten second place — and automatic Irish Hockey League qualification.

UCC are in a three-way fight for third and an IHL wildcard qualifier slot with Bandon and Ashton, particularly after the latter’s 5-0 dismissal of UL.

Ashton’s hopes of mounting a late challenge for third place rely on their ability to get an unlikely win against champions Catholic Institute next time out, while College can put themselves in control if they win at home to UL.

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