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UCD and Cork Harlequins set up a thrilling January showdown as they both produced big wins over the weekend, keeping the women’s EY Hockey League very tight going into the winter break.

The students ran up six second half goals on Sunday en route to a 7-1 win over Trinity, a result that returned them to the top of the table after nine matches in the competition. Deirdre Duke and Katie Mullan were in spectacular form, making and creating many of the goals, while Bethany Barr also played a starring role.

Cork Harlequins scored a 5-1 win over the usually tight-knit Ards at Farmer’s Cross. The key spell came early in the second half when Naomi Carroll scored twice a minute either side of a goal from Olivia Roycroft. It turned a 1-0 advantage – created by Roisin Upton – into a four-goal lead to kill off the tie.

UCD and Quins will meet on January 20th in what promises to be a big showdown in the battle for the regular season title.

Pegasus are the third side in the title mix following their 1-0 win at Railway Union with Lucy McKee scoring the only goal of the game. They have five points to make up but have a game in hand.

On Sunday, Pegs recorded a 6-0 win over Genesis to advance to the next round of the Irish Senior Cup.

Hannah Matthews’ amazing hat trick helped Loreto come back from 3-0 down to draw at Belfast Harlequins in the other tie of the weekend. Zoe Wilson’s drag-flick and further strikes from Jenna Watt and Jenny McAuley put the Ulster side in control but a pair of penalty strokes in quick succession allowed Matthews to close the gap. She then scored from a penalty corner breakdown in the last minute to secure a draw.

Women’s EY Hockey League, day nine results
Saturday: Railway Union 0 Pegasus 1 (L McKee); Cork Harlequins 5 (N Carroll 2, R Upton, O Roycroft, Y O’Byrne) Ards 1 (C Brown); Belfast Harlequins 3 (Z Wilson, J Watt, J McAuley) Loreto 3 (H Matthews 3)
Sunday: UCD 7 (D Duke 2, S Clarke, K Mullan, S Young, F McDermott, A Richardson) Trinity 1 (E Noone)

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