Ahern completes Alexandra comeback


Old Alexandra advanced to the quarter-finals of the Irish Senior Cup on Saturday when they fought back from a goal down to beat Ards 2-1 in the replay of their second round match at Whitechurch Park.

Without the services of the injured Trish Conway, their leading goal scorer, Old Alexandra had to recover from going a goal down in the 18th minute, when Joanne Menown opened the scoring for the Ulster side. Deirdre Deasy levelled eight minutes later from a short corner and Marissa Ahern set up a quarter-final clash with Loreto when she struck the winner 12 minutes in to the second half.

If Old Alexandra can beat Hermes in the quarter-finals of the Leinster Senior Cup they will face another meeting with Loreto, who won through to the semi-finals on Saturday with a victory over Glenanne on penalty strokes.

The teams were level at 1-1 after extra time, the goals coming from Loreto captain Aoife Pomeroy and Glenanne's Paula Davis, before Loreto won through to the last four, 6-5 on strokes. Leinster Cup holders Muckross will meet Hermes II in the second semi-final, to be played on February 15th, after two goals from Kathy Johnston helped them to a 3-1 win over Pembroke Wanderers at Rathdown on Saturday.

Deirdre McDermott, who recently returned to first team action for Hermes after a long injury lay-off, scored the winner for the club's second team against Loreto's seconds at Belfield on Saturday.

Randalstown, who knocked holders Hermes out of the Irish Senior Cup last weekend, went top of the Ulster Senior League on Saturday with a 7-1 win over Victorians - Heather Thompson scored five of the defending champions' goals.

In Munster a 3-0 victory over Belvedere yesterday at the Mardyke moves UCC a point clear of Harlequins, who have played the same number of games, at the top of the table. Goals from Jayne O'Brien, Lisa Ryan and EJ Walsh gave the students a comfortable win.

Meanwhile, the Irish under-21 team brought their training week in Sicily to an end with two draws against the Italian under-21s. Saturday's scoreless encounter was followed by a 1-1 draw yesterday - Portadown's Jill Orbinson put the Irish ahead eight minutes before half-time but the Italians equalised three minutes after the break. Orbinson, Shauna Parkhill (Randalstown), Pamela Magill (Pegasus), Johanna Hyland (UCC) and Vivienne Doran (Genesis) were the outstanding Irish players over the two games.