UCC’s ladies and Cork C of I’s men made emphatic opening day statements in the new-look EY Hockey League, with big wins over Greenfields and Cookstown. Alex O’Grady and Niamh O’Leary were among the new faces on target for College in a 4-0 success in Galway that puts them top of the pile after the first round.
Cork Harlequins, without skipper Cliodhna Sargent and goalkeeper Emma Buckley, were unable to trouble Railway Union too much as Emer Lucey and Niamh Carey’s first-half goals saw the Dubliners win 2-0.
Anna O’Flanagan’s hat-trick helped Hermes defeat her former club UCD 3-2, while two final quarter goals from Sara Alexander saw Ards produce a famous comeback to draw 3-3 against Ulster rivals Pegasus. Shirley McCay’s brace helped Ulster Elks come from behind to beat Pembroke 3-1.
A hat-trick from Irish international top goalscorer John Jermyn saw Cork C of I pull away from Cookstown in the final quarter for a 4-1 success.
Gareth Watkins’ late double saw reigning national champions Monkstown snatch a 2-1 win over Railway Union while Lisnagarvey picked up an important 3-2 win over Pembroke. Stephen Dowds inspired Banbridge to a 3-1 success over Annadale while Three Rock Rovers made light of a turbulent preseason with a 4-1 win over Glenanne.
Meanwhile, Harlequins held Munster men’s title favourites UCC to a 1-1 draw while C of I B and Limerick had easy wins over Ashton and Galway respectively.
In the women’s top tier, Bandon and Ashton shared a 1-1 draw, favourites Catholic Institute eased to a 5-0 success over Waterford and new-look Cork C of I were pushed hard by Limerick in a 3-2 win.
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