Naomi Carroll goal earns heroic win for Harlequins

Naomi Carroll’s goal 15 minutes from time saw Cork Harlequins record another marquee win on the road as they beat Ulster’s finest, Pegasus, 2-1 at Queen’s in the women’s EY Hockey League.

It was perhaps the finest result on an excellent weekend for Munster clubs with Cork C of I drawing on the road on the men’s side while Bandon advanced to the final four in both the men’s and women’s Irish Hockey Trophy competitions.

For Quins, the result sees them remain four points off leaders UCD but with an easier run-in on paper.

They did it the hard way against Pegs, coming from a goal down — Taite Doherty netting in the 15th minute — before Emily O’Leary struck back from the first penalty corner of the game.

Carroll capped a memorable week with her winner, keeping her top of the goalscoring charts with 10, just a few days after her hitting 100 Ireland caps.

And the Quins woman is looking forward to five home games out of the remaining six to ensure they are in the best shape for the Champions Trophy playoffs.

“We have most of our travelling done already so we are hoping to push for that top two place at the very least and get a good crossover game.”

UCD showed few nerves in dispatching Belfast Harlequins 5-0 to remain four points clear of Quins.

The Cork side will hope Pegasus can take points off the students in early March.

In the men’s league, John Jermyn fired a hat trick of penalty corners to share the points at Annadale, inching Cork C of I another point further away from the relegation playoff place.

He scored in the first minute of their 3-3 tie at Strathearn before netting twice in the third quarter of a high octane battle.

It puts them five points clear of ninth placed Cookstown.

Bandon, meanwhile, had a Saturday to remember.

Clinton Sweetnam fired in four times for the men to record a big 7-3 win over NICS in west Cork, putting them through to the last four of the Trophy along with Raphoe, Portrane and Bangor who edged UCC in a shoot-out.

Bandon’s women finished strong against Ballymena in their quarter-final, winning 5-2.

They were initially cruising at 2-0 before Rebekah Reynolds equalised with a pair of replies.

Vicki Burns, Rachel Desmond and Katie Desmond, though, saw them race home and into the last four with Bray and Catholic Institue, 4-1 winners over Belvedere.


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