Clinical Hermes end Cork Harlequins Senior Cup dream

Hermes’ greater chance-taking ability left Cork Harlequins gutted, as they fell to a 3-0 Irish Senior Cup semi-final defeat on Saturday.

Quins, chasing a first final appearance since 2001, had plenty of possession and chances, including five penalty corners, but Sinead Loughran notched a solo effort before teeing up Caitriona McGilp for number two before the break. Christine Quinlan finished things off late in the second half.

They will face Ulster Elks in a novel final, after Ricky Lee’s side drew 1-1 with Railway Union but prevailed 6-5 on penalty strokes.

UCC took advantage of their rivals’ national cup crusade to move top of Munster Division 1 with a 2-0 success over Ashton, thanks to two moments of magic from Amy-Kate Trevor. It moves Phil Oakley’s College a point ahead of Quins and they can make a big statement tomorrow if they beat third-placed Catholic Institute at the Mardyke. The Limerick girls won out against UCC in the Munster Senior Cup, though, and will be desperate to get back in the title mix.

Bandon’s luck in national cups ran out as Armagh scored a 2-0 Irish Hockey Trophy victory. It leaves holders Cork C of I as Munster’s last side standing; they visit Kilkenny in the quarter-finals in a fortnight.

Clonmel bowed out of the Irish Hockey Challenge at the semi-final stage, Barbara Ryan’s goal not enough to prevent Wexford leaving Tipp with a 2-1 win.

Cork C of I haven’t yet mathematically won the men’s Division 1 but that day looks to be fast approaching. They rarely looked under threat in the first half against Cork Harlequins, following a Philip Sweetnam brace and one from John Jermyn. But a pair of John Hobbs strikes made things interesting before Stephen Sweetnam made it safe for a 4-2 success.

UCC kept up pressure with a hard-earned 3-1 in Bandon, to complete a three-game series between the sides. College won 3-2 at home in the league, but fell to a pair of extra-time goals in the Munster Senior Cup last weekend. Gary Wilkinson got them on the board here before former Munster U18 colleague Andrew McGregor netted twice in succession, rendering Colin Kingston’s short corner strike for Bandon academic.

UCC lie three points behind C of I, but with a game extra played; the sides meet twice in eight days in March.

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