UCC enjoy a rare victory over Cork Harlequins

UCC defeated Cork Harlequins for only the second time in a decade to give their EY Hockey League survival hopes a major boost.

UCC enjoy a rare victory over Cork Harlequins

Phil Oakley’s students hadn’t won since the opening day of the season — against Greenfields, the only side below them in the table — but ex-Quins players Antonia McGrath and Claire O’Sullivan came back to haunt their former club.

Clodagh Moloney’s corner strike gave College a first-half lead and they survived long bouts of Quins pressure including six penalty corners before McGrath put the students two up. Yvonne O’Byrne pulled one back in the third quarter but O’Sullivan sealed it late on. It means Quins drop from third to fifth while UCC stay ninth, but have closed the gap with Ards, whose tie with Ulster Elks was postponed until the new year.

At the top of the table, Hermes opened up a commanding nine-point lead for the winter break after coming from behind to defeat nearest rivals Railway Union 2-1. Pegasus and UCD continued their resurgent form to move into the top four with wins over Greenfields (4-0) and Pembroke (2-0), respectively.

Cork Church of Ireland arrested their recent run of men’s EY Hockey League defeats but won’t be entirely happy with a 1-1 draw at home to struggling Pembroke Wanderers in a game of few clear-cut chances.

John Jermyn’s 10th of the season put the hosts in front while Richard Sweetnam’s miraculous diving goal-line clearance kept C of I in front until the 53rd minute, when a clever corner move saw Ronan Flannery equalise for the visitors. C of I have nevertheless moved up to sixth, but they will need to rediscover the swagger that characterised the wins in their first three games during the second half of the campaign.

Timmy Cockram’s dead time goal saw Lisnagarvey claim an eighth win in nine outings, defeating Railway Union 3-2 to retain their four-point lead at the top. They stay clear of Monkstown who were too good for Annadale at Lough Moss, Peter Caruth scoring three against his former club in a 5-2 success.

Banbridge had their fourth draw in four games when Eugene Magee’s deflected corner goal earned them a 3-3 draw at Glenanne. Three Rock Rovers bounced back from a heavy defeat to Lisnagarvey with a battling 2-1 win at Cookstown with Fred Morris scoring first and last, sandwiching a Paul Thompson goal for the Tyrone outfit.

In Munster, Cashel/New Inn claimed the final place in Division 1 when the league splits after Christmas; their 3-2 playoff win over Clonakilty at Garryduff despatches the West Cork girls to the Division 1 Challenge in the new year.

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