Cliodhna Sargent’s last-minute penalty corner smash has kept Cork Harlequins’ outside chances of EY Hockey League glory alive.
It finally released the pressure valves as Quins finally broke through a congested Hermes-Monkstown defence, the bottom side content to stick 11 players behind the ball from the outset, making it so difficult for the Cork side.
Indeed, the lack of visting threat was evident when goalkeeper Emma Buckley was sin-binned for some frustrated verbals with eight minutes left.
Rather than put in a replacement goalkeeper, the Cork side were confident enough they could keep pushing and continued with 10 outfielders for that two minute period.
And their ambition eventually bore fruit with the last ditch strike and a 1-0 win. They remain four points off leaders UCD who had a similar victory, Sara Twomey scoring four minutes from the end of their tie at third-placed Pegasus.
It was UCD’s ninth win in a row, conceding just two goals in that time. Miles Warren hailed his side’s composure in the face of what he felt was an overtly physical Pegasus, attempting to stick to their swift-passing moves.
Their goal came during a string of penalty corners in the closing minutes with captain Twomey scoring her first of the campaign.
In Munster, UCC are on the brink of the provincial title following a 6-0 win over Waterford with Kate Harvey netting a hat-trick.
That victory means they need just a point against Belvedere in a fortnight’s time to secure the title.
That permutation is thanks to Catholic Institute’s 2-1 win over Bandon over the weekend.
A number of the Insta players will be straight back in action today with Crescent Comprehensive in the Munster Schools Senior Cup final replay, facing Mount Mercy in Fermoy at 4pm.
In the Cups, Susan McCourt’s solo goal gave Cork Wanderers the Division 3 title as they beat C of I 1-0 at Garryduff while Blackrock are the Division 4 champions courtesy of a shoot-out win against UCC.
On the men’s front, Julian Dale scored his second goal of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup early on Saturday morning in an ultimately fruitless 4-1 loss to India, ending the campaign in sixth place out of six.
Bandon’s 4-2 win at Limerick put them another big step closer to Munster Division One glory, Clinton Sweetnam, Ali Smith, David Smith and Eoin Nyhan doing the damage.
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