Hockey season taking flight for defending champions Pegasus

Belfast side have domestic duties to take care off before heading into Europe

Pegasus celebrate their Champions Trophy final win over Loreto in 2019. Photograph: Freddie Parkinson/Inpho

Pegasus celebrate their Champions Trophy final win over Loreto in 2019. Photograph: Freddie Parkinson/Inpho

 

Having barely struck a ball since they won the Hockey League in 2019, the cancellation of the next two campaigns meaning they are still the defending champions, Pegasus now find themselves in a busy spell on both the domestic and European fronts.

They opened their Hockey League campaign a fortnight ago with a 1-1 draw at home to Pembroke Wanderers before coming from behind to beat Belfast Harlequins 2-1 on Wednesday evening. On Saturday they head to Dublin to take on Railway Union, and then they’re off to Germany for the European Hockey League, where they play England’s Surbiton on Saturday week and either hosts UH Hamburg or Dinamo Minsk of Belarus the following day.

Action-wise, then, it’s gone from a famine to a feast for the Belfast side who are coached this season by former Irish international Craig McGrugan following the departure of Greg Thompson to Armagh.

Railway should provide a stern test following their promising start to the campaign, last weekend’s 6-0 win away to Cork Harlequins followed up on Wednesday by a 2-2 draw with Loreto. Railway trailed 2-0 going in to the final quarter, Aoife Taaffe scoring twice for the home side, but goals from Orla Fox and Kate Lloyd rescued a point.

Pegasus and Railway are now on four points, along with Old Alexandra, UCD and Pembroke Wanderers, the latter two teams meeting at Belfield on Saturday. Alexandra host Loreto at Milltown, while Belfast Harlequins, the only team in the League yet to pick up a point, are at home to Cork Harlequins. Catholic Institute, who have drawn their opening two games, play Dublin opposition for the third week running, Muckross the visitors to Rosbrien.

Hockey League - Division One: Belfast Harlequins v Cork Harlequins, Deramore Park, 2.30; Catholic Institute v Muckross, Rosbrien, 1.0; Old Alexandra v Loreto, Alexandra College, 1.30; Railway Union v Pegasus, Park Avenue, 3.0; UCD v Pembroke Wanderers, Belfield, 2.50.

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