Pegasus and Loreto lead the way as Alex get off the mark

Women’s EY Hockey League – day two round-up
Pembroke 2 (K-J Marshall, S Clarke) Pegasus 4 (A Speers 2, R Murdock, K Gourley)

Pegasus continued their impressive start to the season with a 4-2 away win in Dublin with former Irish captain Alex Speers scoring twice.

Pembroke took the lead just before the end of the first quarter with Katie-Jane Marshall finding the net from a corner in the 17th minute. Pegasus, though, soon turned things around with the next four goals, starting with Speers double in the 24th and 27th minute to give them a narrow half-time lead.

Rachael Murdock put some daylight between the teams and the game was effectively put out of reach when Kate Gourley got her first of the season with 18 minutes to go. Sorcha Clarke netted her first since returning to Pembroke in the final quarter but the distance was too much to make up at this stage.

Ard 0 UCD 1 (H McLoughlin)
Hannah McLoughlin scored a debut goal for UCD to nick a 1-0 result at Ards who put it up to the reigning champions for long periods but have yet to break their scoring duck to date.

In the first half, Naomi McKnight did well to save a couple of corners while Ards had a good amount of the ball with Alanah Doyle, Caroline Adams and Naomi Grundie to the fore. Amy Benson had the pick of the chances when she broke through one on one with Clodagh Cassin who was quickly off her line to make a diving stick save to clear.

UCD had a stern talk at half time and our performance went up a bunch of notches, limiting Ards to sparse circle entries – one in total in the second half – while Naomi McKnight did superbly.

But UCD eventually forced home a corner which deflected off an Ards foot with nine minutes to go to give them their first win of the campaign.

Railway Union 2 (K Lloyd, S Hawkshaw) Belfast Harlequins 2 (Z Wilson, L Geddes)
Belfast Harlequins fought back from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw at sunny Sandymount to continue their lively start to the season Two minutes into the first quarter, an interception by Kate Lloyd ended with her smashing home for a rare goal on her openside. The rest of the quarter was played at a high tempo with Railway having the best chance after great work by Lily Lloyd and Katie Fearon.

Just after the start of the second quarter, Anna May Whelan gave a great through ball to Sarah Hawkshaw who struck in a sweet backhand for 2-0. Harlequins had two corners early in the 2nd quarter but these were well dealt with by Railway defenders but Zoe Wilson did get one back from their third with a straight strike.

Harlequins started the third quarter strongly and were rewarded with a very well taken goal by Lucy Geddes in the opening minutes. They continued to pile on the pressure and had two corners but Railway held them out, leaving both sides on four points to date.

Pegasus’s Katie McKee takes on Pembroke’s Sinead Loughran. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Loreto 5 (S Torrans 2, M Jennings, S O’Brien, N Small) Muckross 0
Loreto made it two wins from two with two clean sheets to boot as they gave Muckross something of a rude awakening of the quality at the top end of the EYHL at Grange Road. For half an hour, they kept the Beaufort hordes at bay until Sarah Torrans weighed in with a deflection from a Sarah Clarke corner strike.

Mia Jennings popped up with the second moments later from a corner move for 2-0 at the big break and it remained that way until the final quarter. Yet another beautiful deflection was in the pipeline for the third, Grace McLoughlin this time sweeping for Niamh Small’s tip-in.

Torrans’ searing run and cross was turned in by Siofra O’Brien on the hour and the former concluded the scoring with 10 minutes to go with a cracking strike as soon as she crossed the circle’s white line.

Cork Harlequins 0 Old Alex 1 (A Connery)
Aine Connery’s goal four minutes into her Old Alex career provided the big impact for the Milltown side as the former international netted on debut for their first win since promotion to the EYHL.

The Kilkenny woman missed the opening game of the season since her move from her hometown club but she made an immediate impact. From there, Quins had plenty of possession and attacking intent but could not find the end product, including a corner on the half-time hooter.

After an even third quarter, Quins upped the ante in the closing stages but Pam Smithwick stood firm in the closing minutes for a famous win.

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