Friday 24 May 2019

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Quins’ fight back to claim second Senior Cup win

Wednesday, 15th May, 2019 4:25pm

No Cork hockey club had claimed the women’s Irish Senior Cup since 2000, until last weekend.

Cork Harlequins followed up that success by claiming a second ever Irish Senior Cup win last Saturday in Dublin against local side Loreto on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

Shorn of their internationals and their most experienced player, a very young Quins side did what they couldn’t do in 2017, when they lost a final and took the cup back to Cork.

Goals from Michelle Barry and Olivia Roycroft brought the Farmer’s Cross side roaring back into the final in the second half, after they went two goals down in the first half.

The only prior Cork successes in the venerable competition came back in the 1930s.

Harlequins also lost a final back in 2003 to Loreto after extra time.

The game featured another remarkable comeback after they went 2-0 down after 11 minutes.

The team featured eight schoolgirls out of the 18 player squad with three Irish internationals unavailable for a variety of reasons.

The second half saw Quins get back on the front foot and create a series of chances.

One was converted by Michelle Barry who rebounded after their first short corner of the game was saved.

With 10 minutes to go, Olivia Roycroft was sharpest at another short corner when she slotted home a rebound after the Loreto keeper saved.

After repelling a few late Loreto attacks, the game when straight to penalty shuttles.

Roycroft repeated her earlier trick by scoring with Quins’ first effort before their hero emerged.

Goalie Lorna Bateman, daughter of former men’s international goalkeeper Ivan, saved three penalties in a row before Loreto equalised.

Quins’ next effort was a superb volley by Barry before Bateman saved Loreto’s final penalty, sparking wild celebrations and only the second Irish Senior Cup win for a Munster team since 1934.

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