| 11.5°C Dublin

Hinkson's haul helps Alex' get off to flyer

Hockey: Alexandra College 2, Muckross Park 0

Erika Hinkson netted a goal in each half to get the reigning senior cup champions off to the perfect start to their Premier League campaign against neighbours Muckross.

Underage internationals Nicola Gray and Deirdre Duke have graduated while youth Olympian Emily Beatty was rested but the Milltown academy was able to cope with the high-profile departures in some style.

Irish U16 strike duo Hannah McDermott and Anna Roopnarinesingh, along with sweeper Millie O'Donnell and midfielder Amber Gleeson have shown they can step up from the junior ranks and keep the side at the forefront of the provincial race.

They got off the mark in the 12th minute when the rangy Grainne Mulkerrin cut in from the right wing and fed McDermott and her neat flick of the stick turned the defence one way before delivering a pass on a plate for Hinkson.

She slammed home from the middle of the circle for the perfect start.

Muckross, though, put up staunch resistance and coach Anna O'Flanagan - an Irish senior international - was pleased with how her emerging side fared in after that concession.

Jane O'Brien's dangerous reverse-stick effort was charged down well while skipper Maebh Reidy led the line to good effect. A panel consisting mainly of fourth and fifth years, Muckross are being shaped for progression and they shipped a decent amount of pressure but they were a threat on the break.

Alison Gibbons went close for Alex soon after the break from a Roopnarinesingh cross before McDermott won a third penalty corner which Hinkson whipped home with an expert drag-flick to carry the day.

With Loreto Foxrock and Mount Sackville drawing, it gives Alex the early jump on their Section A rivals.

In Section B, Mount Anville got their campaign off to a decent start with a 4-2 victory over Rathdown while St Andrew's - runners-up last time - were 3-1 winners over Loreto Beaufort.