Irish Hockey League women’s semi-final line-up complete

Hermes take Leinster title with victory over Loreto as UCD pay price for ineligible player

After Saturday's games the line-up for the Irish Hockey League semi-finals is complete with Pegasus facing defending champions UCD at Grange Road next month and Loreto playing Hermes. And Hermes will go in to that game as Leinster champions, for the first time since 2011, following their 2-0 win over Loreto on Sunday.

Pegasus and Hermes had already booked their spots in the last four of the IHL, maintaining their unbeaten pool records with wins over UCC and Lurgan respectively, on Saturday, but pool B went to the final day, Loreto and UCD taking the top two places, with Ards missing out.

Loreto sealed top spot with a 3-1 win over Ards, third-quarter goals from Jessica McGirr and Niamh Small, after the sides were level at 1-1 at half-time, clinching the victory, while UCD beat Irish Senior Cup finalists Ulster Elks 4-2 at Jordanstown.

And two goals from the prolific Aisling Naughton completed an outstanding league campaign by Hermes, 13 wins and three draws from their 18 games enough to take the title. Deposed champions UCD, 2-1 winners over Railway Union, finish two points behind, the docking of three points for fielding an ineligible player against Glenanne earlier in the season proving costly.


Pembroke Wanderers, meanwhile, booked their place in next season’s IHL, alongside Hermes, UCD and Railway, by beating Old Alexandra, while Muckross, after a 14-year absence from the top flight of Leinster hockey, won automatic promotion to division one. Sophie Barnwell’s winner against Rathgar secured the runners-up spot in the second division behind Pembroke II.