Banbridge pile on misery for Harlequins

The demise of Cork Harlequins as a national force was ruthlessly exposed by Banbridge on Saturday, as they claimed a facile 8-0 Irish Senior Cup first round win at Farmer’s Cross.

Quins, 2012 champions but since decimated by retirements, lost to Bandon for the first time in Munster League history on Thursday night and things only got worse as an impressive Banbridge side ran riot, Stephen Dowds bagging a hat-trick.

Bann — who have yet to taste defeat this term — will have to return to Leeside for round two having been drawn away to Cork Church of Ireland, who should provide a sterner test of their credentials.

The other surprisingly one-sided tie saw Glenanne rout Railway Union 6-1, reversing a 2-0 Leinster League defeat in the process. UCC’s backs-to-the-wall effort wasn’t enough as they lost 3-0 away to holders Monkstown, while Ross Canning’s crisp reverse-stick strike helped UCD shake off Instonians 3-2.

Cork Harlequins’ women showed their mettle by coming from two goals down with 10 minutes remaining to clinch a 3-2 extra-time victory at Belfast Harlequins, Cliodhna Sargent and Abby Oakes reeling in the hosts before Alex O’Grady bagged the winner. They must hit the road again in round two to face Old Alex.

Quins carry the flag for Munster on their own after Catholic Institute and UCC both came unstuck in Ulster. Ards hammered Institute 5-1, while two early goals proved enough for Queen’s University to beat College.

Nikki Evans claimed five as UCD cruised to a 10-1 over Corinthian, while four Railway Union players claimed doubles in their 9-0 stroll against North Kildare.

Domestically, Ashton missed a big opportunity to scalp an under-strength Cork C of I as the Garryduff girls held on for a 2-1 win, despite a fine deflected Caroline McCarthy effort from thevisitors.

Limerick and Bandon both claimed their first wins of the season.

Goals from Laura Foley, Lucy Schuke and Jenni Lyttle did the damage for Limerick as they edged UL 3-2, while short corner strikes fromteenagers Ingrid Burns and Saoirse O’Leary saw Bandon beat Fermoy 2-0.

In the men’s league, Cork Church of Ireland cruised to a 6-1 victory over their own seconds to maintain their 100% record.

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