Railway Union end Banbridge’s Irish Senior Cup reign

Banbridge’s reign as Irish Senior Cup holders came to an abrupt end while there were also big successes for non-EY Hockey League sides on a turbulent cup weekend.

Railway Union end Banbridge’s Irish Senior Cup reign

Bann ended a 29-year wait for ISC glory when defeating Cork C of I in extra-time in last year’s decider, but Railway Union torpedoed their hopes of retaining the crown, winning their second round tie 3-1 at Park Avenue.

C of I are still standing after a dogged 3-0 success over Kilkeel, with Alec Moffett, Philip Sweetnam and Stephen Sweetnam among the goals.

Monkstown now assume the mantle of favourites after demolishing UCC 6-1 at the Mardyke.

YMCA’s 6-3 success at Annadale was a big scalp for a side that failed to qualify for this season’s new national league, while Mossley almost emulated that feat, only to go down on penalties to Glenanne after a 3-3 stalemate.

Cork men, including Lynch brothers Jason and Karl, accounted for six of Pembroke Wanderers’ goals in their 9-1 win over South Antrim.

In the men’s Irish Trophy, Bandon were drawing 3-3 with Fingal after twice coming from behind when they finally clicked into gear, running out 8-3 winners. Ashton lost 6-0 at Queens University and Limerick’s interest was ended by a 4-2 defeat at Kilkenny.

Most of the big guns survived in the women’s Irish Senior Cup — and there was again a win for a non-IHL side, Loreto, against the top tier’s UCC, a 3-0 success at Beaufort.

Hermes edged the battle of the big guns against Cork Harlequins 2-1— their second success over the Leesiders in eight days — to end Munster’s interest in the competition for this year.

As the national league’s pace-setters, Hermes are now ISC favourites too, but Ulster Elks — 6-1 winners over Corinthian — and Railway Union, who edged Lurgan 2-1, are among the other big guns still in the mix too.

Munster’s current top two, Catholic Institute and Bandon, will fly the flag for the province in the quarter-finals of the Irish Trophy. Munster U16 Lauren Ryan’s hugely impressive debut season in the Insta first team continued as she hit her fourth goal in as many games as they saw off Ashton 2-0 at Rosbrien.

Bandon had goals from their Munster U18 pair Katie Desmond and Aoife Roche plus a top rearguard action from Val Buttimer to thank for their 2-0 win at Naas.

Domestically, Fermoy and Clonmel confirmed their places in Munster’s Division 1 Challenge alongside already-qualified Blackrock.

Fermoy came from two goals down to win 3-2 at Tipperary, with 14-year-old Grace Fitzpatrick’s first senior strike getting them back into the contest. Clonmel’s 2-2 draw against the Rockies saw them leapfrog Belvedere — who were held 0-0 by Cork Wanderers — for the final qualification berth.

Those three qualifiers from Division 1B will be joined in the new league by three sides dropping from the top tier — any three of six could mathematically join them with next weekend’s final round of games proving decisive.

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