UCD and Cork Harlequins advance to Irish Senior Cup final

Special weekend for students as league win on Saturday puts them on top of the table

Cork Harlequins celebrate the final whistle after victory over Pegasus. Photograph: Rowland White/InphO/Presseye

Cork Harlequins celebrate the final whistle after victory over Pegasus. Photograph: Rowland White/InphO/Presseye

 

UCD and Cork Harlequins will contest this season’s Irish Senior Cup final after the sides came through their respective semi-finals on Sunday in wildly contrasting fashions.

The students cruised to a 7-0 win over Pembroke Wanderers while Harlequins’ tie against Pegasus went to a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw.

Harlequins’ success in Belfast was all the more impressive in light of the fact they’d played an Irish Hockey League game at home just 24 hours earlier, and then had to make the long trip north. Pegasus, meanwhile, had Saturday off after their IHL game against Hermes-Monkstown was postponed due to a frozen pitch.

Irish international Roisín Upton gave the Cork side the lead from a penalty corner after 28 minutes but Pegasus were level through Ruth Maguire six minutes after the break. There were no further scores from play with Rachael Kohler getting the decisive goal in the shoot-out to put Harlequins through to their first final since 2003 – in which Kohler and her fellow veteran team-mate Karen Bateman both played.

A hat-trick

Both UCD and Harlequins also won their IHL games on Saturday, UCD taking advantage of Hermes-Monkstown’s game being postponed by beating Railway Union 2-1 to go top of the table for the first time this season.

Harlequins stayed third by beating Pembroke 3-0, while Loreto held on to fourth place, goals from Ali Meeke and Freya McDermott earning them the points away to Ards. In the game between the bottom two, Belfast Harlequins prevailed, beating Ulster Elks 3-2.

Hockey League – Saturday: Cork Harlequins 3 (K Bateman, K Gaffney, Y O’Byrne), Pembroke Wanderers 0; UCD 2 (L Tice, S Clarke), Railway Union 1 (M Carey); Ards 1 (L McKee), Loreto 2 (A Meeke, F McDermott); Belfast Harlequins 3 (R Millar, A Geddis, R Johnston), Ulster Elks 2 (E O’Leary, A Hamilton); Pegasus v Hermes-Monkstown, postponed.

Irish Senior Cup – Sunday – Semi-finals: UCD 7 (D Duke 3, K Mullan 2, A Russell, O Patton), Pembroke Wanderers 0; Pegasus 1 (R Maguire), Cork Harlequins 1 (R Upton). Harlequins won 4-2 on penalty strokes.

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