Institute impress but Munster elite suffer in IHL

The first round of the Irish Hockey League quickly descended into a nightmare for the majority of Munster sides, with Catholic Institute’s 3-1 win over Greenfields the sole bright spot.

Institute impress but Munster elite suffer in IHL

Naomi Carroll and Katie Campbell shared the goals in Galway after going behind to a Mary Healy goal early on.

Cork Harlequins led 2-0 at Loreto thanks to goals from Cliodhna Sargent and Rachael Kohler but with Sargent forced off at half-time, they duly conceded four without reply to lose 4-2.

Things were even worse in the men’s competition; Cork Harlequins were never likely to trouble a Three Rock Rovers side riding high on a first Irish Senior Cup success in 40 years, but an 11-0 defeat — the most one-sided score in the competition’s history, eclipsing Railway Union’s 9-0 win over UCC in 2011 — was nonetheless tough to take.

Cork Church of Ireland didn’t have an enjoyable day in Banbridge either, losing 7-2 and seeing Stephen Parker red-carded for an off-the-ball incident with Phil Brown.

There was much better news for Munster in the women’s Irish Junior Cup quarter-finals, where Bandon notched a superb 4-1 win over Hermes, underpinned by Ciara McCarthy’s hat-trick.

They are joined in the semi-finals by Cork Harlequins, for whom Alma Carey notched a pair of short corner strikes in a 2-0 success over local rivals Cork C of I.

Quins’ men also booked a place in the last four with an impressive 5-1 win over Instonians, Paul Lombard and Killian Deasy bagging doubles.

More success on the national stage came in the Irish Hockey Challenge; Clonakilty’s 6-0 win over Gorey means they’ll contest the women’s final, while Jonny Powell, Cathal Duggan and David Cardy fired Limerick into the men’s decider with a 3-1 victory at Armagh.

Domestically, Ashton’s flurry of first-half goals saw them win 3-0 at Fermoy; the North Cork side dominated the second half but couldn’t find a way through and defeat ensures they will finish bottom of Division 1.

Whether they will be relegated depends on the form and desire of Cashel/New Inn; they are 11 points off the lead in Division 2 with five games in hand. A top two placing would be enough to earn promotion.

Amy Roberts hit a double hat-trick in Cork C of I’s facile 12-1 win over UL while UCC won 4-1 in Bandon to keep their faint title hopes alive.

In the men’s top tier, Fionn O’Leary’s second-half hat-trick rescued a draw for UCC as they came from 3-0 down in Bandon, after Ali Smith’s double and Dave Smith had the hosts in control.

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