Cork Harlequins, without skipper Cliodhna Sargent and goalkeeper Emma Buckley, were unable to trouble Railway Union too much as Emer Lucey and Niamh Carey’s first-half goals saw the Dubliners win 2-0.
Anna O’Flanagan’s hat-trick helped Hermes defeat her former club UCD 3-2, while two final quarter goals from Sara Alexander saw Ards produce a famous comeback to draw 3-3 against Ulster rivals Pegasus. Shirley McCay’s brace helped Ulster Elks come from behind to beat Pembroke 3-1.
A hat-trick from Irish international top goalscorer John Jermyn saw Cork C of I pull away from Cookstown in the final quarter for a 4-1 success.
Gareth Watkins’ late double saw reigning national champions Monkstown snatch a 2-1 win over Railway Union while Lisnagarvey picked up an important 3-2 win over Pembroke. Stephen Dowds inspired Banbridge to a 3-1 success over Annadale while Three Rock Rovers made light of a turbulent preseason with a 4-1 win over Glenanne.
Meanwhile, Harlequins held Munster men’s title favourites UCC to a 1-1 draw while C of I B and Limerick had easy wins over Ashton and Galway respectively.
In the women’s top tier, Bandon and Ashton shared a 1-1 draw, favourites Catholic Institute eased to a 5-0 success over Waterford and new-look Cork C of I were pushed hard by Limerick in a 3-2 win.