Hermes progress into Senior Cup semi-finals with ease

Cup holders Ulster Elks book spot in last four after beating Pegasus 4-2 on strokes

Holders Ulster Elks, last season's beaten finalists Hermes, 2014 winners UCD and Ards all made it through to the semi-finals of the Irish Senior Cup on Saturday, both Ulster sides needing penalty strokes to advance, with only Hermes progressing with any ease.

Ballymoney were still in the game come half-time, just a goal down after Nikki Evans had given Hermes the lead at Booterstown, but the Dublin side ran away with the tie after the break, Anna O'Flanagan, Caitriona McGilp and Evans again securing a comfortable victory.

Over at Belfield, meanwhile, Gillian Pinder’s first- half goal proved enough for UCD to oust Loreto, although the students had to weather a determined second-half fightback from their visitors.

The game between Railway and Ards had to be delayed after snow en route to Dublin held up the Ulster side's arrival, and when they finally got going they fell behind to a first-half Kate Dillon goal after she was picked out at the back post by Zara Delany.


Railway survived going down to nine players at one point, in what was a fiery encounter, but Ards levelled after the break through a Chloe Brown short corner before prevailing on sudden death in a penalty strokes shoot-out.

And Ulster Elks booked their spot in the last four in the same manner, Alex Speers equalising for Pegasus seven minutes from time after Shirley McCay had given Elks a first-half lead, the cup holders then winning out 4-2 on strokes.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times