Loreto end Pegasus’ 100% record as Pembroke, Pegs and Alex share top spot

Women’s EY Hockey League – day four round-up

Loreto 3 (S Torrans, S Evans, H Mulcahy) Pegasus 2 (O Berry, A Speers)

A super second half performance saw Loreto end the last remaining perfect record in the women’s EY Hockey League, beating Pegasus 3-2 in a repeat of last season’s EY Champions Trophy decider.

The Ulster side had much the better of the first half and they went in front in the 10th minute following sustained pressure with Alex Speers scoring from play. Loreto had to defend four penalty corners but they managed to stay just one down until half-time and they duly took their chances after the interval.

Sarah Torrans equalised within a minute of the turnaround and they went in front six minutes later courtesy of a cracking reverse-stick shot from Sarah Evans. Hayley Mulcahy completed the success with six minutes to go from a penalty corner switch move to the left, rendering Olivia Berry’s goal a consolation.

Cork Harlequins 0 Pembroke 2 (O Macken, A Naughton)

Pembroke returned to the top of the table on goal difference as first half strikes from Orla Macken and Aisling Naughton propelled them a 2-0 win over Cork Harlequins at Farmers’ Cross.

Captain Macken gave them the perfect start with her third goal in three games, a powerful shot from the top of the D in the eighth minute for 1-0 following a gorgeous pass from Amy-Kate Trevor from the left wing.

Straight from the push-back in the second quarter, Naughton doubled the lead with a calmly slotted finish from close range with a quick control and finish after Eanna Horan had robbed the ball on halfway to set up the chance. The Irish international went close to a third soon after only to see her rocket of a shot clip the top of the crossbar.

They had the best of the chances as time went on before Quins came back into the contest in the closing quarter with a quartet of corner chances but they did not affect the outcome.

Muckross 2 (A O’Flanagan, S Barnwell) Railway Union 2 (O Fox, H de Burgh Whyte)

All the goals came in the opening quarter as Muckross and Railway Union shared a 2-2 draw on Marlborough Road. Anna O’Flanagan netted her third goal of the season in the third minute to give the hosts a great start and that advantage was double when Sophie Barnwell won a penalty corner which she then deflected into the net.

Railway regathered their composure quickly and got on the board when Orla Fox deflected a Niamh Shaw shot up and over Ellie McLoughlin. Hannah de Burgh Whyte then scored a penalty stroke within a minute to make it all square at 2-2 in the 15th minute.

And that proved the end of the scoring as neither side was able to breakthrough in the remaining three quarters. The result leaves Railway in sixth place on four points with Muckross in eighth with three draws from four games so far.

Catholic Institute 0 Old Alex 2 (N Evans, E Russell)

Old Alex’s third win of the season moved them into a share of top spot as Nikki Evans and Emma Russell earned them the points in Limerick. They had the best of the first half and deservedly went in front from a corner rebound, Nikki Evans on her knees slotting the ball home from close range in the second quarter.

And they got their insurance goal in the second half when Millie O’Donnell stepped forward to intercept on halfway, taking the ball on before finding Deirdre Duke. Her baseline run ended with a pull-back to Russell who flicked the ball over the diving goalkeeper.

Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Dennison) UCD 3 (S Patton, E Curran, N Carey)

Belfast Harlequins are anchored to the bottom of the table after a 3-1 loss to UCD at Deramore. UCD were quick out of the blocks forcing the pace and home keeper Marianne Fox into several fine stops in the first quarter. 

It was a backs-to-the-wall exercise for Quins for the most part although they did take the lead with a fine solo effort from Julie Dennison in the 17th minute following their first attack as she forced the ball home from a tight angle close to the baseline. 

With goalkeeper Fox in superb form, the hosts held out until the 41st minute when the inevitable equaliser arrived through Sarah Patton who scored from close range. 

Loreto’s Mia Jennings gets by Pegasus’s Alex Speers. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Quins continued to defend heroically but were unable to make many inroads to opposition territory and Ellen Curran got a final touch to make it 2-1 with 11 minutes left from a set-piece deflection. 

Niamh Carey, who had earlier had a goal ruled out, sealed a well deserved win for the Dublin students when she fired home from a few yards out in the 62nd minute.

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