Hockey: UCD strike late to claim another Irish Senior Cup

Deirdre Duke’s goal two minutes from time denies Cork Harlequins in close contest

Women's Irish Senior Cup final: UCD 1 Cork Harlequins 0

Deirdre Duke’s goal two minutes from time saw UCD crush Cork Harlequins’ Irish Senior Cup dreams and collect their fourth title since 2009 at Belfield.

She tapped home from a perfectly worked two-on-one move with Sorcha Clarke, after Lena Tice's long overhead ball.

The goal came as Quins – with a player advantage after Katie Mullan’s sin-binning – pushed forward in search of a winner to end their 17-year wait for this title.


The tie was in stark contrast to their league meeting three weeks ago when UCD eked out a 4-3 win. This time, there were a similar amount of chances but not the finishing touches.

The first half was played at a frantic pace with UCD having the balance of chances. Quins arguably had the two clearest ones, Rebecca Barry denied just two minutes in Clodagh Cassin.

Olivia Roycroft’s incisive through ball located Michelle Barry and her touch to receive the ball put her through one-on-one but she blazed a wild shot over the students’ crossbar.

Robust tackles

Another couple of corners came and went for UCD as Gillian Pinder's floating runs gathered momentum. Roisin Upton, though, was dominating in the Cork defence with a series of robust tackles.

The second half was much more structured and chances were fewer. From the most dramatic of them, Roycroft almost had a most bizarre goal with 16 minutes to go as Cassin left the ball, believing it to be off target, before it bounced off the base of the post and across the goal line.

Three corners also went awry before UCD had their spell on top, aided by green cards for Rebecca Barry and Upton.

But it was when Mullan was sent to the bin with three minutes left that the Dublin side duly struck gold with Duke laying off for Clarke. Facing Emma Buckley, she selflessly laid off for Duke to take her time and pot the winner.

CORK HARLEQUINS: E Buckley, Y O'Byrne, R Kohler, N Kerr, N Carroll, K Bateman, O Roycroft, K Gaffney, I Burns, R Barry, R Upton. Subs: D Burkley, S Griffin, E Cripps, M Barry, C Perdue, L Geyer, L Bateman

UCD: C Cassin, S Twomey, A Russell, L Ewart, O Patton, E Russell, S Patton, G Pinder, L Tice, K Mullan, D Duke. Subs: S O'Loughlin, E Duncan, S Clarke, E Mathews, M O'Donnell, S Robinson, N Cooke

Umpires: G Garrett, F Davitt

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about hockey