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Mighty Quins book their place in cup semi-finals

 

By John Flack

Belfast Harlequins are through to the semi-finals of the Irish Senior Cup after a stunning penalty shoot-out win over their Cork namesakes following a 1-1 draw at Farmer's Cross yesterday.

Goalkeeper Marianne Fox was the heroine of the hour with two superb stops as Davy Frazer's team won the penalty decider 3-2 to book a date with Pegasus next month.

The Belfast team's win was all the more notable considering they were without internationals Lizzie Colvin and Gemma Frazer, who were unavailable due to injury and work commitments respectively.

After a scoreless first half, Laura Johnston put the Ulster side ahead in the 55th minute from a Katherine Welshman cross.

Cork piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser and, after a series of penalty corners, it arrived with 20 seconds remaining when Naomi Carroll converted with a deflection.

If the Deramore side can go on and lift the trophy - holders UCD meet Loreto in the other semi - then they would qualify for the end-of-season Irish Hockey League play-offs.

On Saturday, Quins started a successful weekend as goals from Jenna Watt and Zoe Wilson gave them a 2-1 IHL win over Trinity.

Pegasus are four points clear in third place and look a safe bet to stay there after Hannah Grieve's 14th minute goal secured them a 1-0 win over basement side Monkstown at the Dub. Ards still have an outside chance of making the top four after a late equaliser from Irish striker Chloe Brown earned them a 1-1 draw against Loreto.

Meanwhile, Mossley are through to their first national final after Kathryn Smiley's double strike helped them defeat Bray 3-2 in the Irish Hockey Trophy semi at the Glade yesterday.

Queen's moved four points ahead of Lurgan at the top of the Ulster Premier League after Jessica McMaster scored a hat-trick in a 7-0 win over North Down in Comber.

Lurgan, who have a game in hand, defeated Mossley 2-0 at the Glade with first-half goals from Lauren Wright and Jo-Ann Wilson.

Finally, the Irish Under 21 team drew 0-0 with their USA counterparts in the first of a three-game series being staged at Bray this week.

Irish Senior Cup: quarter-final: Cork Harlequins 1 (N Carroll) Belfast Harlequins 1 (L Johnston) (Belfast won 3-2 on pens)

Irish Hockey Trophy semi-finals: Mossley 3 (K Smiley, N McMillan) Bray 2; Bandon 0 Catholic Institute 1

EY Irish Hockey League: Cork Harlequins 3 Pembroke 1; Loreto 1 (S Torrans) Ards 1 (C Brown); Pegasus 1 (H Grieve) Monkstown 0; Trinity 1 (N Sweeney) Belfast Harlequins 2 (J Watt, Z Wilson); UCD 2 Railway Union 1

Ulster Premier League: Mossley 0 Lurgan 2 (L Wright, J-A Wilson); North Down 0 Queen's 7 (J McMaster 3, C Whiteside 2, A Hutchinson, T Hastings); Portadown 0 Ballymoney 1 (O Mullan); Ulster Elks 3 (S Atkinson, A Hamilton 2)

Senior One: Ballyclare 1 (J West) Armagh 3 (E Mackey, K Johnston, S Anderson)

U21 International: Ireland 0 USA 0.

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