Last-chance saloon beckons for Pegasus

Victory over Loreto essential to retain hopes of qualifying for the Champions Trophy

Alex Speers of Pegasus in action last weekend against Cork Harlequins at The Dub, Belfast. Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

There’s been some leap-frogging here and there but the Irish Hockey League table looks much the same now as it did back in September after the competition got under way, Hermes-Monkstown, UCD and Cork Harlequins dominating, with the rest fighting for scraps.

Pegasus, who won the competition as recently as 2015 when it was in its previous format, have been one of the clubs playing catch-up all season, and anything less than a win away to fourth-placed Loreto on Saturday would all but end their hopes of qualifying for the Champions Trophy.

The Belfast side have picked up just four wins from their 12 games so far, all of them on Ulster turf, and with two of their remaining fixtures against UCD and Hermes they face a considerable battle to close that five point gap between themselves and Loreto.

Railway Union are a place above Pegasus in fifth but Hermes, who they play at Rathdown on Saturday, stand between them and progress. UCD, meanwhile, take on a Pembroke Wanderers side they beat 7-0 in the Irish Senior Cup semi-finals a fortnight ago, the only team below them in the table, Ulster Elks, away to Ards this weekend.


Hockey LeagueSaturday: Ards v Ulster Elks, Ards Park, 2.30; Loreto v Pegasus, Beaufort, 2.30; UCD v Pembroke Wanderers, Belfield, 2.50; Hermes-Monkstown v Railway Union, Rathdown, 4.15.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times