Pegasus continue winning streak with comeback win over Railway

Women’s EY Hockey League – day four round-up
Belfast Harlequins 2 (G Frazer, R Johnston) Muckross 0

Belfast Harlequins got back to winning ways in the women’s EYHL as they got the best of Muckross at Deramore Park. Both sides were without key players with Zoe Wilson and Emma Mathews on the sidelines.

Muckross created a couple of good early chances with Marianne Fox making key saves before Lizzie Colvin and Jenna Watt stepped up the tempo.

Gemma Frazer scored their first goal from a penalty corner rebound with a cheeky reverse-stick finish just before the end of the first quarter. They continued to hold sway in general play with Katherine Welshman a central figure at the back.

Muckross were unable to make a couple of great chances stick before the break and they were hit by a sucker-punch three minutes into the second half when Welshman’s slap was sent high into the net by a touch from Rachel Johnston. The game became feisty as time wore on while Muckross’s pace, particularly from Yasmin Pratt, stretched the game.

The Belfast side kept their concentration and they saw out the win, drawing some good stops from Ellie McLoughlin that could have made the game safer.

Muckross coach Sarah Scott said it was another step on their learning curve this term: “We competed really well today. I was really happy with some of the chances we created and the improvement in the last two games.”

Cork Harlequins 1 (C Sargent) Pembroke 2 (L Noble, M Horan)
Pembroke made it two wins in a week to continue their upsurge in results as Maebh Horan struck the beautiful, vital goal in the fourth quarter at Farmers’ Cross.

After a fast-paced first quarter, Pembroke took the lead in the second when Laura Noble got a sliding deflection to a sweet cross from Rachel Scott – back after a spell in Australia.

Cliodhna Sargent slammed home an equaliser in the third quarter from a penalty corner to make it 1-1. But Pembroke came back strong in the last quarter and got their winner when Horan received a perfect pass from Gllian Pinder and she roofed her effort.

Loreto 5 (S Clarke, H Mulcahy, S Evans, S O’Brien, S Torrans) Ards 0
Loreto scored three times in the first 16 minutes to set themselves up for a comfortable third win of the campaign, seeing off Ards at Grange Road. Sarah Clarke fired in a typically powerful first from a corner with previous little time gone.

Hayley Mulcahy added another from a slip pass before Sarah Evans got the third from play before the end of the first quarter. The Dubliners remained on the front foot for the rest of the first half but were held at bay until the closing quarter.

Siofra O’Brien did make it 4-0 when she got a deflection to Clarke’s pc hit. Sarah Torrans completed the scoring with a minute to go.

Old Alex 0 UCD 1 (E Curran)
Ellen Curran was credited with the goal that eventually handed UCD their third win from four EY Hockey League games, edging out an impressive Old Alex who are showing few signs of nerves in the top tier.

It was a family affair with six sets of sisters involved – the Connerys, Kellys and McDermotts for Alex; the Pattons and Careys for UCD while there was one Russell in both camps.

Abbie Russell’s powerful run set a high tempo from the outstet before Aine Connery won a corner for Alex, showing the attacking intent at both ends. Katherine Egan had the best of the early shots when she took in a bobbling ball but her effort went just wide as it remained scoreless into half-time.

The first corner for UCD came in the second half and it was eventually turned in with Abbie Russell in the mix. Curran’s shot, though, was deemed to have taken a defensive stick instead and so she was credited with the goal.

Hannah McLoughlin was mopping up everything for UCD in defence in a fine performance and they did well to up the ante in the final quarter, keeping the victory safe as well as their pursuit of Pegasus.

Railway Union 1 (S Hawkshaw) Pegasus 3 (S McCay, K Gourley, K McKee)
Pegasus came from a goal behind to beat Railway Union and make it four wins from four in the women’s EY Hockey League.

Railway start brightly, creating a number of chances and were rewarded when a Kate McKenna pass found Sarah Hawkshaw in the circle to open the scoring. Much of the rest of the quarter was played between the two 25s with just one short corner, to Railway.

Pegasus began to settle into more structured attacks after the two-minute breather with Shirley McCay and Alex Speers solid, controlling the game flow of the game. A short corner slap hit by McCay into the bottom left saw a deserved equaliser.

Pegs carried that control into the second half with Railway being caught narrow but Holly Jenkinson put in some crucial tackles. A great counter almost saw Zara Delany and McKenna connect while Lily Lloyd and Anna-May Whelan’s link-play meant Railway always had a threat.

But the Ulster side took the initiative in the final quarter when Kate Gourley was found free and she skipped around the goalkeeper to slot home. Immediately after taking the lead, Pegasus jumped into a 3-1 lead with a wide switch from a corner and scramble in the circle which eventually saw Katie McKee force home at the right post.

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