Big four in women’s hockey book semi-final spots

All that has to be decided next weekend is who plays who

With one more round of pool matches still to go, the contest for semi-final places in the Irish Hockey League is already over, defending champions Railway Union, UCD, Pegasus and Loreto all sealing their places in the last four on Saturday.

All that has to be decided next weekend is who plays who in the semi-finals, with the top two in each pool meeting each other in their final fixtures of this phase of the competition.

Railway and UCD maintained their perfect records on Saturday, making it four wins out of four, but the champions have the edge in the pool on goal difference. Emma Smyth marked her International Player's Player of the Year award with a hat-trick against Greenfields in a 6-0 win.

UCD beat Lurgan 3-1, goals coming from Caroline Hill, Katie Mullan and Jeamie Deacon whilePippa Best replied for Lurgan at Belfield.


Hermes beat Catholic Institute 5-0, but the team was already out of contention for a semi-final spot. In pool B, Pegasus came back from a goal down against Ards, IHL semi-finalists last season, Ruth Maguire and Suzanne Beaney giving them their fourth successive win. They are joined by Loreto in the semis thanks to their 2-0 win away to Ballymoney, Rachel Keegan with both their goals. Old Alexandra’s 2-1 defeat by Cork Harlequins ended their last four hopes.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times