Women's Division One: Saturday: Hermes 1 (Deirdre Duke) Old Alex 0
Deirdre Duke's goal five minutes before half-time was enough to extend Hermes lead at the top of division one to three points, taking advantage of their two title rivals Railway and Loreto's draw. She rounded off from close range after Chloe Watkins was cut loose down the right baseline by Aine Connery. The St Andrew's hosts held more of the play but found Leah Lenehan and Roz Ellis a tough defensive pair to break down while Pamela Smithwick pulled off a couple of saves. And Alex had a chance to nick a point two minutes from time when they earned their first corner but Hermes held firm to secure the points.
Loreto 1 (Hannah Matthews) Railway Union 1 (Jean McDonnell)
Loreto and Railway Union both lost ground in the race for the league title as a corner goal a piece gave Hermes the upper hand. Hannah Matthews opened the deadlock inside five minutes and while Railway earned five first half corners, threatening sights on goal were rare as Mary Harkin comfortably dealt with the set-pieces while Aisling Campion and Matthews defended well. Railway struggled to get their fluid, passing game into top gear but did equalise with 12 minutes to go when McDonnell finished off a switch move.
UCD 2 (Valerie Sexton, Rachel Burke) Glenanne 2 (Audrey McCormack, Niamh Ward)
UCD recovered from a two-goal deficit to take a point at Belfield after Glenanne had looked in good shape to take a big win. Niamh Ward's first half goal from open play was augmented by a fine team goal finished off by Audrey McCormack, Christine Barretto assisting, in the second half. But the students fought back with two corners strike with Rachel Burke and former Glenanne woman Valerie Sexton finding the target.
Trinity 0 Pembroke 1 (Jill Collins)
Pembroke picked up their first league win of 2010 as Jill Collins scored from a second phase of a penalty corner right on the half-time whistle. Again, Trinity played decently up to the 25 but a lack of incision combined with steady Pembroke defence meant few chances came their way. Kylie Deverall did have a one-on-one chance cut short but Pembroke looked the more likely to find the net and picked up the victory to move up to eighth place.
Sunday: Glenanne 1 (Audrey McCormack) Pembroke 1 (Sarah Clarke)
Audrey McCormack snatched a point for Glenanne this afternoon to keep the Tallaght side's hopes of rising above ninth place intact as she snapped up a corner rebound. In a tired fixture, with both sides a little flat after high energy Saturday fixtures, Pembroke had the slight edge in the first half before taking the lead in the second half through Sarah Clarke's dipping hit from a penalty corner rattled the backboard. But the Glens upped their customary work-rate to get back into the game and McCormack got the equaliser. The weekend's results make the mini-league between sixth and ninth anyone's guess while the top five look secure in their status as IHL contenders.
* YMCA will return to the final of Irish Hockey Challenge to play Fermoy for the second successive year after won a high quality semi-final over Monkstown in Rathdown, yesterday. Helen Keane struck twice for the Y to keep their title retention hopes very much alive.
ESB Women's Irish Hockey Trophy: Wexford 0 Greenfields 1 (Trish Garrett) aet; Portadown 2 Catholic Institute 3 ESB Women's Irish Hockey Challenge: Monkstown 0 YMCA 3 (Helen Keane 2, Emily Bradshaw); Raphoe 1 (S Barnett) Fermoy 2 (N Keniry, A Galvin)
* For more of Deryck Vincent's photos from the Hermes vs Old Alex game, click here