Karen Bateman the Cork Harlequins heroine

Karen Bateman’s brace ended Catholic Institute’s hopes of another Munster Senior Cup final upset as she guided Cork Harlequins to a 2-1 success at Garryduff yesterday.

Karen Bateman the Cork Harlequins heroine

Quins, missing Ireland internationals Cliodhna Sargent and Yvonne O’Byrne, were given a stern examination by a youthful and game Institute outfit, who had stunned them on penalty strokes in last year’s decider.

But a sharp reverse finish and a penalty stroke from Bateman had them two up at half-time, before Niamh O’Keeffe finished a tidy move to bring Institute back into it after the break. They were left to rue a series of missed short corners as Quins held on.

Waterford almost caused a huge surprise in the Munster Senior Plate decider, holding Bandon to a 1-1 draw before eventually being defeated on sudden death penalties, despite some goalkeeping heroics from Karen Sweeney.

There was more drama in the Division 1B Cup final as Blackrock twice came from behind, including a last-minute short corner goal from Mel Ryan, to draw 3-3 with Belvedere. The Rockies claimed a penalty shootout 4-1.

UCC won their first men’s Munster Junior Cup final with a 3-2 win over Cork Harlequins. Sam Grace, Shane O’Halloran, and Greg Chambers built a 3-0 lead for UCC but they allowed Quins dominate the last third of the game. Peter Carroll and Wes Bateman hit back for the Farmer’s Cross men but they ran out of time.

The Irish Senior Cup finals dominate the national agenda this weekend, but for two Munster clubs, there is history in the making. Bandon hope it’ll be third time lucky in their Irish Trophy final against Kilkenny tomorrow (3pm). Denis Pritchard’s men have lost the last two finals — the 2015 defeat to Clontarf coming in contentious circumstances — but will arrive in Belfield with their strongest squad of that period.

Beforehand, Midleton compete in their first national decider, the Irish Challenge final (1pm). They lost 4-1 to the Wicklow side in this competition last year but have strengthened since and will look to Eric Callender, Andy Levis, and Jack Northridge to ignite their challenge.

In Sunday’s senior cup finals, Lisnagarvey and Monkstown is an Irish international-laden battle between Ireland’s two best men’s teams this season. Giant-killing Ards will attempt to topple holders Ulster Elks in the women’s showpiece.

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