When you only manage seven forays into the opposition’s circle and your opponents rack up almost 40, you’d expect to be on the end of a hiding.
But cup hockey doesn’t always work that way, as Cork Church of Ireland can attest to.
Their against-the-odds 4-3 Irish Senior Cup quarter-final victory at Lisnagarvey last weekend has been hailed as one of the biggest shocks in the competition’s history, but C of I earned it.
Scoring four times from just seven chances is exceptionally clinical and they will have drawn great heart from their defensive solidity.
The renewed confidence was streaming through the five members of their first team who togged out again to help their seconds hammer Ashton 10-1 just 24 hours later, and both sides will be keen to build on that progress with a double-header of Munster Senior and Junior Cup clashes against Cork Harlequins tomorrow.
Elsewhere, in the MSC, Bandon host UCC in a game that Denis Pritchard’s men will be targeting to give themselves a tangible result for the progress they are making.
Ashton travel to Limerick in need of some inspiration after that tough day against C of I.
Bandon ladies pushed Catholic Institute all the way before being downed on penalty strokes in the cup last time out and they will require all that belief again as they host champions and league leaders Cork Harlequins. Cork C of I’s meeting with Ashton is a repeat of the pre-Christmas clash in which a 0-0 draw saw both sides remain in Division 1.
It’s a big day for six of the eight clubs in the Division 1 Challenge, who have seen their slates wiped clean as they begin a new competition.
Limerick, one of the early favourites based on their performances in Division 1 before Christmas, host a Belvedere side that required a play-off to qualify from Division 1B but have Holly Leacy’s searing pace as a dangerous outlet.
Cashel/New Inn are the other side fancied to be competing for the title but they start off with a difficult trip to Waterford, who excelled in the first half of the campaign with former Irish international Kristin Farrell scoring for fun.
Fermoy are the other side dropping from the top tier and they’ll see their clash with Tipperary as a chance to notch a first win of the campaign.
UL begin life in Division 1B with a home clash with Cobh.
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