UCC on the ‘Money to keep IHL hopes alive

UCC provided the sole bright note for Munster sides in the Irish Hockey League, winning 2-0 against Ballymoney to get their campaign back on track.

UCC on the ‘Money to keep IHL hopes alive

Second-half goals from Ciara Sexton and Amy-Kate Trevor gave Phil Oakley’s ever-improving students a memorable victory, and keep alive their outside hopes of a semi-final berth.

There was no such joy for Cork Harlequins, as they felt the full brunt of a UCD backlash, the Munster kingpins going down 6-1 to the national champions.

Nikki Evans scored twice for Jonathan Harte’s charges, who welcomed back some of their Irish international contingent after being stung by an 8-3 Chilean Cup intervarsities final defeat to University of Ulster on Monday.

It leaves both Quins and UCC with one home win and an away defeat after two rounds, and thus requiring something from their next games — away to Ards and Hermes respectively — in round three later this month to stay in the hunt into 2015.

Both Munster’s men’s sides kissed goodbye to any lingering hopes of a semi-final spot. Cork C of I suffered a second successive 5-0 defeat, this time to a Peter Blakeney-inspired Three Rock Rovers who did four goals’ worth of first-half damage.

UCC gave a spirited performance in their first ever home IHL clash but left themselves too much to do against Annadale. William and John Edgar helped the Ulster men build a 3-0 lead before half-time, meaning Stuart Miller and Wesley Brownlow’s efforts weren’t enough in a 4-2 loss.

Pembroke Wanderers produced the performance of the weekend, surviving for 31 minutes without a goalkeeper and winning 4-2 at Cookstown.

Netminder Mark Ingram took a ball to the throat on 31 minutes with the game finely balanced at 2-2, necessitating a precautionary departure to hospital. With no substitute keeper in situ, Pembroke player-coach Paddy Conlon decided not to don the protective pads but instead play as an 11th outfielder — known as a “kicking back” due to their ability to use their feet in their defensive circle — and he took one shot on the thigh before shinning away another. Justin Sheriff and Matthias Podpera did the necessary at the other end to secure a memorable success for the Serpentine Avenue men.

Domestically, newly-promoted Cashel/New Inn caused the shock of the Munster season so far in defeating IHL hopefuls Cork C of I 2-1.

UL’s problems continued as they were unable to field a team against Bandon, and they will now be forced to look at whether they can continue to compete in Division 1, having recently suffered an eye-watering 28-0 defeat to C of I when also understrength.

That result prompted the Munster Branch to this week introduce a new rule this week dictating that 10 goals will now be the largest differential recorded on official match cards.

Elsewhere, Limerick took full advantage of a severely depleted Fermoy, Lorraine McGowan helping herself to a hat-trick in a 5-1 defeat. In the men’s league, Bandon claimed wins over Catholic Institute (2-0) and Ashton (9-2) while Cork Harlequins beat Institute 4-0.

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