Mixed luck for Munster sides

Cork Church of Ireland and UCC marched into round two of the men’s Irish Senior Cup but the alarming decline in Cork Harlequins’ fortunes continues.

Mixed luck for Munster sides

Dragflickers Julian Dale and Sam Grace - who were both named in Andrew Gray’s Munster U21 panel yesterday - settled ties for C of I and UCC. The Garryduff men scrapped to a win at Corinthians while College saw off university rivals Trinity, both on 1-0 scorelines.

Ireland U18 starlet Dale joined C of I in the summer, having come up through the youth system at rivals Harlequins, to gain experience in the EY Hockey League. The club he left behind have since continued to fall on hard times in men’s hockey.

The warning signs were there for Quins after heavy Munster league defeats by Limerick and Bandon but Saturday’s 14-1 loss at Kilkeel is hard to stomach for a club that won the Irish Senior Cup in fairytale fashion as recently as 2012.

It wasn’t the only eye-wateringly one-sided first round ISC clash. Instonians beat Avoca 9-1 and Monkstown won 13-0 at Weston while in the women’s competition, Pegasus beat North Down by the same score and Hermes got just one less in a 12-0 rout of Greenfields.

UCC’s women were also involved in a high-scoring game, sharing eight goals with Belfast Harlequins at the Mardyke but running out 5-3 winners.

Kirsty Coombes became one of the youngest goal-scorers in an Irish Senior Cup game.

The 15-year-old Munster U16 forward netted a fine solo goal for Cork Church of Ireland but it was in vain as they lost 7-2 at Ballymoney.

In the Irish Hockey Trophy, Kate Burke’s short corner strike settled the all-Munster battle between Ashton and Limerick in the former’s favour.

Eimear Ryan’s brace helped Catholic Institute win 3-2 at Ballymena, while Katie Desmond starred for Bandon in their 6-1 success at Larne.

Clonakilty and Waterford’s interest was ended by defeats to Rathgar (5-2) and Waterford (1-0) respectively, but Bandon are on course in the men’s Irish Trophy after former Ireland international Ali Smith guided them to a 3-2 success at Portadown.

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