Greenfields made UCC sweat but the students hung on to win 2-1 and give their EY Hockey League survival hopes a significant boost at the Mardyke on Saturday.
Captain Nicola Kerr’s pair of first quarter goals looked set to put College on the road to a straightforward success, but with Maeve Hughes getting Greenfields’ second goal of the season, it was a slog to the finish line for the Cork girls.
Their third win of the campaign sees them leapfrog Ards into eighth, but the sides’ Mardyke meeting in early March already has a season-defining look about it. Greenfields are likely to finish 10th and in the automatic relegation spot, but whoever comes ninth faces a relegation play-off tournament against the provincial champions to maintain their national league status.
At the other end, Cork Harlequins missed taliswoman Cliodhna Sargent as they fell to a 3-0 home defeat to second-placed Railway Union, a result which drops them from third to sixth. Leeside native Julia O’Halloran was among the Railway scorers against her former club.
Pegasus’ 2-1 win over Ards made it six wins out of seven and marched them up to third, while Ulster Elks’ indifferent form continued - they lost 3-1 to Pembroke and have taken just a point from their last four outings.
Hermes are still the side setting the standards; Chloe Watkins’ early double helped them cruise to a 4-0 win over UCD, and the Dubliners will move 12 points clear if they beat UCC in their refixed game next Sunday.
A first Division 1 goal for Munster U16 forward Taine Amodeo helped a depleted Catholic Institute beat Bandon 2-0 and open up a commanding eight-point advantage. Ashton are just a point behind Bandon in third after nailing their third win in succession, 3-0 over Cashel/New Inn.
Blackrock had a day to remember as they beat Cork C of I 3-1 in the Division 1 Challenge, a special win for a club founded by numerous ex-C of I members in 2011.
Fermoy and Clonmel’s goalless draw did neither side’s hopes of moving up the ranks any favours while sisters Hilary and Jane Chapple scored for Clonakilty in a comfortable 2-0 win over Waterford.
On a quiet weekend on the men’s side, UCC secured a 4-0 success at Limerick in Division 1 while Galway and Harlequins shared 11 goals in Division 1B, Quins coming out on top 7-4.
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