Pegasus score defining win over Loreto to leap-frog into first

Women’s EY Hockey League
Loreto 2 (N Daly, S O’Brien) Pegasus 3 (C Harvey, R Maguire, L McKee)

Pegasus leap-frogged Loreto to move back into pole position in the women’s EY Hockey League with a thrill a minute victory at Grange Road.

They did so without the injured Shirley McCay due to a nasty head injury during the week as well as having gone behind early on when Nicci Daly latched onto Sarah Torrans’ slip pass to net for an eighth minute lead.

The lead did not last long, though, as Caitlyn Harvey found space at the top of the D in the 15th minute to level things up. Loreto had largely been on top in the first quarter but Pegs got their rhythm going in the second and they scored from a corner slipped to injector Ruth Maguire for a 2-1 half-time lead.

Siofra O’Brien made it 2-2 inside a minute of the restart but Pegasus with Lucy McKee’s shot from very close to the edge of the circle finding its way in a minute later for the ultimately decisive goal.

Loreto tried everything in the second half to get back on terms but Pegasus withstood their efforts to record a famous win.

Belfast Harlequins 1 (E Cutrona) UCD 2 (A Russell, N Carey)
UCD made it four wins in-a-row in the EYHL to remain in third place in the standings, five points off second with a game in hand. They controlled the game at Deramore Park in the first half before Belfast Harlequins fought back in the second and made a real battle of the tie but ended up just short.

UCD went in front via some lovely two-touch hockey in from of the goalkeeper from Orla Patton to Michelle Carey to Abbie Russell who got down low to finish. Niamh Carey then made it two when she got on the end of Sarah Patton’s pass.

Quins went close to getting one back when Zoe Wilson won a corner that hit the post but they remained 2-0 down at half-time. They did get one back from a set piece after the big break when Emilia Cutrona followed up after Clodagh Cassin made the initial save.

The hosts piled on the pressure as time went on with UCD living on their nerves as Olivia Savage’s driving runs caused problems, leading to some vital interceptions from the likes of Orla Patton and Michelle Carey to ease the danger.

Cork Harlequins 3 (R Barry 3) Railway Union 1 (K Fearon)
Rebecca Barry’s hat trick made it five goals in six days for Cork Harlequins as they recorded back to back home wins for the first time this season, strengthening their place in the top four.

Barry opened the scoring from a great pass from Emily O’Leary and she finished clinically in the fifth minute, getting off to a fast start for the second week running. Railway, though, came back strong and won a corner which Lorna Bateman initially saved but Katie Fearon reacted fastest to rebound for 1-1.

Quins had the advantage back before half-time after a couple of corner chances went awry when Barry, from nothing, tackled the last defender and picked up the breaking ball to shoot home for 2-1.

It remained that way through the third quarter before the Farmers’ Cross side made the game safe in the 57th minute. Michelle Barry did the hard yards, laying the ball on a plate for Rebecca Barry to get her third.

Railway went to a kicking back from 12 minutes to go but it yielded no joy at either end, leaving Quins with three wins from their last four ties.

Muckross 0 Pembroke 2 (A Ward, E Beatty)
Pembroke won a high-paced Dublin 4 derby to stay hot on the heels of Cork Harlequins in the battle to snag a Champions Trophy spot. Muckross started well with Emma Dawson, Caroline Mathews and Sarah McAuley impressing in defence as they sought their first win of the season.

But they fell behind on the half-hour when Alice Ward got on the end of a Claire Foley cross to make it 1-0 to Pembroke. Both sides had their chances in the third quarter with Pembroke enduring a couple of cards but no further advance in the scoring, keeping it a very lively affair.

The clincher came in the 55th minute when Emily Beatty got a penalty corner deflection for 2-0 and that was how it remained to the final whistle.

Old Alexandra 2 (E Hinkson, L Jacob) Ards 1 (H Platt)
Old Alex moved up to seventh in the table as first half goals from Erika Hinkson and Lisa Jacob – back after a long time out injured – gave them their fifth win of the campaign.

For Ards, it now means they have 13 points to make up eighth placed Railway with six rounds to go and so it looks increasingly likely their best hope is a relegation playoff tie. To do that, they need to finish ahead of Muckross, making their date on March 30 a season-defining one.

Harriet Platt got them back into the game in the second half but Alex stayed clear and now look well set to avoid any relegation drama in their EYHL debut season.

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