Loreto and Pegasus stretch their lead at top of Hockey League
UCD lose ground after Railway Union rally to level game, while Pembroke sink Ards
Pegasus’ Shirley McCay in action for Ireland. McCay proved key in her club’s win over Old Alexandra, scoring the only goal of the game. Photograph: Joe Toth/Inpho
Loreto and Pegasus stretched their lead at the top of the Hockey League to four points over third-placed UCD on Saturday when they both picked up their sixth win of the campaign, with the students losing some ground after being held to a 1-1 draw by Railway Union. Pembroke Wanderers, meanwhile, moved up to fourth in the table with a 4-3 win away to Ards.
While Pegasus were made to toil for their victory over Old Alexandra in Belfast, Shirley McCay’s 37th-minute strike from a penalty corner the game’s only goal, Loreto cruised to a 5-1 win over Belfast Harlequins at Grange Road.
Liz Colvin briefly got Harlequins back in the game when she equalised against her former club after Sarah Clarke had given the home side an early lead, but it was all Loreto from then on. Sarah Torrans and Ali Meeke put them 3-1 up by the break, with Sarah Evans and Torrans again completing the scoring in the second half.
Railway produced a fine performance to take a point from their game against UCD at Belfield, Hannah de Burgh Whyte’s penalty stroke levelling the game after Michelle Carey had opened the scoring for the students who were boosted by the return of Lena Tice after her spell in New Zealand.
Ards managed to score more goals in their meeting with Pembroke than they had done in their previous six Hockey League outings combined, but it still wasn’t enough to take anything from the game. Laura Noble had the Dublin side 2-0 up by half-time, but a double from Emily Matchett, either side of Sinead Loughran’s third for Pembroke, made a game of it. Katie Jane Marshall, though, restored Pembroke’s two-goal advantage in the final quarter before Francesca Brown pulled one back for Ards.
Ards, then, remain at the bottom of the table level on a point with Muckross who ran Cork Harlequins close at Farmers Cross, but lost out in the end to a first quarter Caoimhe Perdue goal. The win was Harlequins’ first on home turf this season and lifts them up to sixth in the table.