Naomi Carroll moves Catholic Institute into the top five

Institute, Pembroke Wanderers and Railway Union all win by a single goal

The competitive nature of this year’s EY Hockey League was highlighted again on Saturday when three of the contests between teams from the top and bottom five in the table were decided by a single goal – Pembroke Wanderers, Catholic Institute and Railway Union the victors.

A week after helping Ireland secure qualification for the World Cup, Naomi Carroll got the goal against Loreto, in the third quarter of the game, that lifted Institute into the top five, their visitors at Rosbrien unable to find a way through what is the tightest defence in the League so far.

Pembroke, meanwhile, rose from third to second thanks to Claire Foley’s winner away to Belfast Harlequins when she was first to the rebound after Aisling Naughton’s effort had been saved. Pembroke had the bulk of the possession against the third-from-bottom side, but Foley’s score proved to be the only one of the game.

Back in Dublin, a double from Zara Delany proved enough for Railway to take the points from UCD, for whom Sophie Thomas pulled a goal back, lifting them a place to sixth while the students fall from second to fifth.

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Pegasus hold on to top spot after a 3-1 win over Muckross in Belfast, but after taking a two-goal lead in the opening eight minutes, through Lucy McKee and Niamh McIvor, their visitors made them work hard for their victory.

Laura Hanlon halved the deficit on the half-hour mark before Alex Speers restored the home side's two-goal advantage on 44 minutes, one they retained to hold on to their one-point lead over Pembroke and Old Alexandra at the top of the table.

Nikki Evans contributed a hat-trick to Alexandra's 5-2 win over bottom club Cork Harlequins – Lena Tice and Millie O'Donnell their other scorers.

Hockey League – Division One: Belfast Harlequins 0, Pembroke Wanderers 1 (C Foley); Catholic Institute 1 (N Carroll), Loreto 0; Old Alexandra 5 (N Evans 3, L Tice, M O'Donnell), Cork Harlequins 2 (R Walsh, L O'Shea); Pegasus 3 (L McKee, N McIvor, A Speers), Muckross 1 (L Hanlon); UCD 1 (S Thomas), Railway Union 2 (Z Delany 2).