UCC were left to regret missing two open goals in the opening exchanges against second-placed Pegasus; the students were level at half-time thanks to a Holly Lehane goal, but a late collapse saw them lose 5-1.
College must now win away to champions Hermes in their final game, and hope Ards laps their last two to avoid a promotion/relegation playoff.
Hermes showed just how tough that ask will be as former Clare dual GAA star Naomi Carroll scored a camogie-style goal of the season contender in the Dubliners’ remarkable away day 7-0 drubbing of fourth-placed Ulster Elks.
Any lingering playoff hopes harboured by Cork Harlequins were extinguished by UCD’s 4-3 win on Leeside, the lead changing hands numerous times prior to Leah Ewart’s winner.
Cork Church of Ireland’s men slipped into the relegation playoff place with four rounds remaining after a 4-0 defeat at Cookstown, which moves the Tyrone men out of the bottom two for the first time all season.
Ian Hughes saved a penalty stroke from C of I talisman John Jermyn as ‘Town took a 2-0 lead into half-time; the Cork men’s discipline deserted them in the final quarter as they finished with nine men and the hosts added two more goals.
At the other end, Lisnagarvey’s 3-2 success over Pembroke means they are just one win away from clinching the title.
A brace from Ireland panellist Simon Wolfe brightened up the weekend for Cork C of I as their seconds reached the Irish Junior Cup final for the first time since their 2009 success with a 3-1 win at Glenanne.
They’ll play Monkstown in the decider as Guy Sarratt’s brace in the final six minutes saw them past Instonians 2-1.
In Munster, Alison Bourke’s double dented Ashton’s hopes of qualifying for the EYHL playoffs as her Limerick side won 2-1 in Cork to leapfrog their opponents into third place.
A treble from Ireland U16 starlet Lauren Ryan helped leaders Catholic Institute ease to a 6-0 success over Cashel/New Inn.
Clonakilty won the Division 1 Challenge with Trish Moloney’s goal 12 minutes from time seeing off a determined effort from basement side Fermoy 1-0, adding to a midweek win over Blackrock on the same scoreline.
Cork C of I and Waterford confirmed they will be promoted alongside the West Cork girls; Amy Roberts notched four in C of I’s 9-1 win over Clonmel while Waterford ended Blackrock’s promotion hopes after winning by the odd goal in three in Cork.
On the men’s side, Bandon’s Division 1 title march continued with a 5-0 rout of Limerick.
Ashton had their fourth successive win, a 4-0 success in Galway, to ignite their hopes of leapfrogging Harlequins to take the Division 1B title.