Hockey: 15-year wait over for Quins

Cork Harlequins, despite playing two games in just over 24 hours, advanced to the Irish Senior Cup final for the first time in 15 years.

Cork Harlequins celebrate their victory against Pegasus in the Women's Senior Cup semi-final in Belfast yesterday. Picture: Inpho

Stephen Dale’s charges kept their good EYHL form going with Karen Bateman’s magic half-volley the highlight of a 3-0 win over Pembroke on Saturday in Cork.

They then hit the road for Belfast where they took on Pegasus, Roisin Upton’s drag putting them in front before the hosts - who were fresher having seen their Saturday game postponed due to frost - levelled in the second half. 

Quins keeper Emma Buckley excelled in the shootout, her side prevailing 4-2 on strokes.

They’ll face a UCD side in the final who are also flying high after a productive weekend. 

They routed Pembroke 7-0 in their semi-final yesterday, showing no ill-effects from a tough EYHL clash with Railway Union the day before.

UCD now top the table for the first time after a clever move off a fourth-quarter restart helped Sorcha Clarke net the winner in a 2-1 win over Railway, taking advantage of long-time leaders Monkstown’s postponed tie at Pegasus.

Loreto kept up their push for the play-offs with a 2-1 win at Ards while Belfast Harlequins struck a major blow in their bid to avoid relegation, edging basement side Ulster Elks 3-2. 

Munster’s Division 1 remains a three-way battle for the title with UCC, Catholic Institute and Cork C of I all winning. 

Emma Barber’s winner helped College edge Bandon 2-1, Institute were 5-0 winners over Waterford and a Hollie Moffett-inspired C of I came back from a goal down to beat Ashton 4-1. 

Lisnagarvey and Pembroke produced an EYHL tie to remember as the Ulster men overturned a two-goal deficit to claim a 5-4 win at Comber Road.

Matthew Nelson’s one-handed overhead smash to open the scoring is already a viral hit, but ‘Garvey will be more pleased at recovering from 4-2 down after Alan Sothern’s hat-trick and a magnificent David Quinn strike showcased Pembroke’s counter-attacking abilities.

Cork C of I and Three Rock Rovers had more success with playing on the break as they both won 3-1 away from home. 

Philip and Stephen Sweetnam were amongst the third quarter goals for C of I at UCD, who are without a win since November 5, while quick hands and quicker thinking from Jody Hosking and Luke Madeley did the necessary for Rovers at Glenanne. Banbridge stay top on goal difference from Garvey and did their tally no harm by routing Instonians 6-0.

In Munster, Bandon reached the Munster Senior Cup final with a 3-1 win over Limerick while Calvin Casey’s brace against the run of play helped Ashton draw 2-2 at UCC in the league.

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