Pembroke and Pegasus set pace in women’s EYHL

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

UCD 2 (N Carey, S Young) Pegasus 3 (A Speers 2, N McIvor)

Pegasus came back from 2-0 down inside the first 17 minutes to maintain their place in a share of the lead at the head of the women’s EY Hockey League. UCD were without Lena Tice after nasal surgery but had Orla Patton back in the line-up and they got off to a great start courtesy of Amy Elliott’s lovely slip-pass to the prolific Niamh Carey who made no mistake in the fourth minute.

Ellen Curran’s crash ball was converted by Sarah Young to double their lead in the 17th minute. Pegasus, though, were looking dangerous – in spite of the absence of Michelle Harvey with an ankle injury – and were on the board in the 22nd minute via Alex Speers. They were level when Shirley McCay’s aerial was not dealt with and Speers was again in position to cash in for 2-2, scoring past Laura Gunning.

And Niamh McIvor completed the comeback early in the second half, the teenager scoring the winner for the second time in her short career with Pegs. From there, UCD camped in the Ulster side’s half for long periods but they could not find the vital strike.

Muckross 4 (A O’Flanagan, S Barnwell, N Keegan, J McGirr) Cork Harlequins 2 (E Barber 2)

Muckross won a ding-dong battle with Cork Harlequins for their first three-pointer of the women’s EY Hockey League with two goals in the last five minutes making the difference.

Pegasus race back to the halfway line after their first goal. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Anna O’Flanagan netted her fourth goal of the season to make it 1-0 in the 16th minute but Harlequins equalised from their first penalty corner with Emma Barber striking from the top for 1-1 at half-time.

Jessica McGirr got her first goal since her summer move from Loreto with a corner deflection to restore the Donnybrook side’s lead but Barber fired home another corner to level at 2-2 going into the final quarter.

But a 65th minute penalty stroke was converted by Sophie Barnwell to give Muckross the lead for the third time. And they made extra sure in the last seconds, countering from a defensive corner with Jane O’Brien playing in Nikki Keegan to make it 4-2. 

Pembroke 2 (O Macken, S Loughran) Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Watt)

Pembroke continued their excellent start to the season with a fourth win from five outings, edging out Belfast Harlequins at Serpentine Avenue as Gillian Pinder made her first appearance of the season.

They went 1-0 up in the second quarter after a quick restart from Aisling Naughton who laid it through for Sinead Loughran who drove into the circle and slotted past Marianne Fox. Jenna Watt levelled within five minutes for 1-1 at half-time.

Pembroke went clear courtesy of Orla Macken’s powerful penalty corner strike which went through the goalkeeper’s legs with 27 minutes to go and while they had a few more chances to make the game safe – with Leah McGuire and Emily Beatty impressive – they had enough to get over the line.

Railway Union 2 (N Shaw, L Lloyd) Catholic Institute 1 (A Hickey)

Riona Norton’s second penalty stroke save of the season ultimately saw Railway Union hold on for their second win of the season, beating Catholic Institute 2-1. Insta were the side on top of an end-to-end first half with Leah Clery drawing a great save from Norton before Aoife Hickey guided in the first penalty corner of the match for a 1-0 lead.

Niamh Shaw equalised when she swept home from a break-out corner for Railway and it remained 1-1 half-time. Railway turned the tide of momentum in the second half with Sarah Hawkshaw getting the best out of goalkeeper Miriam O’Callaghan from the pick of the chances.

It became 2-1 just before the end of the third quarter when Lily Lloyd produced some individual magic after she was set free by Hannah de Burgh Whyte. She waltzed past a couple of players before finishing on her reverse.

The Limerick side fought back to win a corner that was improved to being a stroke but Rosie Pratt’s shot from the spot was denied by the home goalkeeper.

Old Alexandra 1 (D Duke) Loreto 3 (S Torrans 2, J Meeke)

Loreto continued their strong run of form as they ran up a 3-1 win over Old Alex, moving above the Milltown side in third place as a result.

Sarah Torrans opened the scoring inside the first minute and she had her second with barely five minutes on the clock to give Loreto a buffer they would never relinquish. Jessica Meeke extended the advantage to 3-0 in the second quarter with Deirdre Duke only getting one back in the closing stages.

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