Irish Senior Cup specialists UCD are in the final four yet again as they produced a stunning late show to beat Railway Union 4-3 in a spectacular advert for the club game.
The Belfield students move a step closer to a potential fourth title in five editions of the competition following a rollercoaster contest.
Grace Keane and Niamh Carey had the hosts flying at 2-0 with just 22 minutes gone but Railway turned the game on its head either side of half-time. Sarah Hawkshaw got them on the board just before the break and, in the 38th minute, it was level courtesy of the in-form Kate Lloyd.
Zara Delany then put Railway ahead for the first time in the third quarter. But UCD had plenty left in the tank and twins Michelle and Niamh Carey – playing against the side their mother Una McCarthy coaches – swapped the lead once more in the last 11 minutes with a goal each.
Pembroke marched on with a 4-0 win over Queen’s after a battling display from the Ulster side at the Dub.
Twenty places separate the two sides in the Irish pecking order but the EYHL national league leaders were made to work hard for their victory.
Simon Bell’s side did have their chances and, despite the result, Pembroke’s Emma Buckley was marginally the busier of the keepers. The Cork woman pulled off a string of fine saves, denying the hosts particularly at the start of the second half when she was forced into three excellent stops.
But by that stage, Queen’s were already two goals down and chasing the game but their performance belied their domestic form which has seen them slip to 10th in the Ulster Premier League.
Alyssa Jebb was foiled by Buckley at a set-piece early on before former Ireland player Sinead Loughran drove home the opener in the 24th minute, her corner taking a deflection off a home stick.
Two minutes later, Queen’s conceded again in similar fashion, this time Issy Delamer converting with a direct shot.
After Buckley’s early second-half heroics, it took the Leinster side until the 64th minute to add to their tally, Delamer adding her second with a carbon copy of her first.
With two minutes left, Pembroke wrapped things up with the best of the bunch. Good work by 2018 World Cup silver medallist Gillian Pinder and Rachel O’Brien set up Martha McCready who scored from a rebound off the keeper’s pads.
Irish Senior Cup, quarter-finals: Queens 0 Pembroke 4 (I Delamer 2, S Loughran, M McCready); UCD 4 (N Carey 2, G Keane, M Carey) Railway Union 3 (S Hawkshaw, K Lloyd, Z Delany)
Postponed: Banbridge v Catholic Institute; Muckross v Pegasus
EYHL Division 2
Pool A: UCC 1 (C Perdue) Ards 3 (Z Malseed 2, J Ryan)
Postponed: Corinthian V Galway
Pool B: Cork C of I 1 (J Coyne) Lurgan 1 (S McClure); NUIG 0 Monkstown 2 (A Barnwell, A O’Flanagan)
Irish Hockey Trophy, quarter-finals: Ashton 2 (K Harvey, A Nagle) Clontarf 1 (A Bailey); Genesis 1 (A Orton) YMCA 3 (M Adams, A Kennedy, C Flavin); Raphoe 1 (Z Tinney) Armagh 0