Quins fall short as UCD can’t be caught in League title race

Cork Harlequins’ remote hopes of overhauling UCD in the women’s EY Hockey League were ended in emphatic fashion.

Quins were hoping for a UCD loss and a pair of wins over the weekend but such fanciful thoughts were out the window by the end of the first quarter of Saturday’s action.

By that stage, UCD had three on the board at Ards, en route to a 7-1 win at Londonderry Park.

Quins — without Naomi Carroll — were finding the going much tougher and only ended with one point out of six, falling 4-3 to Loreto on Saturday before facing a far more motivated Trinity on Sunday, drawing 1-1.

Nonetheless, they have a Champions Trophy semi-final to look forward to against Pegasus on May 5 at Grange Road. UCD will face either Railway Union or Loreto in the other semi.

Cork C of I ended the weekend assured of their men’s EY Hockey League status despite an inauspicious 4-0 defeat to Three Rock Rovers.

Both Railway Union and Cookstown suffered heavy losses over the course of the weekend to leave C of I five points clear of the relegation play-off spot.

Given the club had seen 13 players move on from last year’s line-up, mostly for work reasons in Dublin or further afield, it was a reasonable outcome with new faces like Tony Brophy and Kevin O’Dea blooded.

Their season closes on Saturday against Pembroke Wanderers, a side featuring eight Munster men in their line-up.

One of them, Stephen Sweetnam, opened the scoring for Pembroke on Sunday in the 7-2 win over Cookstown which kept C of I up — Alan Sothern incredibly got the other six.

The win lifts Pembroke to fourth and in pole position to secure the final EY Champions Trophy ticket.

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