Caoimhe Perdue’s strike gave Cork Harlequins a big lift as they defeated Muckross at Farmers’ Cross to get them back in contention for a top-four EY Hockey League play-off place.
She scored 15 minutes in and despite a number of further chances, particularly from penalty corners, it was all they required to secure a 1-0 victory.
The result puts eight points between the sides and leaves them three adrift of the play-off spots.
As such, it has been a decent recovery from a slow start to the season with two wins in their last three outings as they adjust to realigned targets.
Quins were national finalists last spring but the summer was a hard one with Roisin Upton returning to her home club in Limerick, Catholic Institute, Naomi Carroll ruled out with a cruciate knee ligament injury while Emma Buckley moved to Belgium.
At the top, Loreto and Pegasus continue to set the pace thanks to wins over Belfast Harlequins and Old Alex, respectively, while UCD dropped back with a 1-1 draw against Railway Union.
In Munster Division One, Hillary O’Donovan kept Ashton’s perfect record intact with a 1-0 victory over Cork C of I, one of three sides who went into the weekend with a 100% streak.
It means Ashton are the surprise leaders in the competition but Catholic Institute are an ominous threat three points back and with a game in hand.
They continue to cut a swathe through the league with a 4-0 away win at Bandon, making it four straight wins with 23 goals scored and just one conceded.
The top three sit six points clear of the rest with UCC finally finding some form to beat Belvedere 7-1 while Waterford were off the mark courtesy of a 2-0 win over Limerick.
On the men’s side, just one EYHL was played as the Irish international side’s World Cup preparations lay waste to the schedule.
The Green Machine are in action in Amstelveen against the Netherlands this evening at 5.45pm (Irish time) in the last of their World Cup warm-up games.
It means a whole raft of refixed ties will be on the agenda in the new year. On the field, Pembroke produced another incredible comeback, recovering from 3-0 down at half-time to beat YMCA 5-3 with Cork man Patrick Shanahan on the mark.
It was their fourth time this season to recover from a losing position to claim the spoils.
Locally, Ashton’s men emulated their women by edging into first place with a score draw against Waterford, the 2-2 scoreline lifting them to seven points, one ahead of Cork Harlequins.
Bandon got their first win of the campaign with a thumping 7-0 success over C of I B with seven different scorers on the sheet.
Catholic Institute did likewise with Cian Sparling getting the only goal in a 1-0 away win at UCC.