Pegasus go top after coming from behind to beat Loreto

Reigning champions UCD keep hopes of retaining title alive with win at Belfast Harlequins

Nicci Daly, in action for Ireland last summer, gave Loreto an early lead on Saturday when she tucked away a pass from Sarah Torrans. Photograph: Joe Toth/Inpho

Nicci Daly, in action for Ireland last summer, gave Loreto an early lead on Saturday when she tucked away a pass from Sarah Torrans. Photograph: Joe Toth/Inpho

 

It was back in November that Loreto beat Pegasus 2-0 at Queens to move above the Belfast team in to top spot in the Hockey League table. On Saturday, though, Pegasus returned the favour by beating the Leinster side 2-3 at Grange Road to regain leadership of the league, their advantage now two points with just five games to go.

And they had to come from behind too after Irish international Nicci Daly gave Loreto an early lead when she tucked away a pass from Sarah Torrans. But by the end of the first quarter Pegasus were level through Michelle Harvey, the game remaining tied at half-time.

Siofra O’Brien made it all square again when she scored soon after the break, but Lucy McKee snatched the decisive goal for Pegasus to inflict on Loreto just their second defeat of the campaign.

Reigning Hockey League champions UCD kept their hopes of retaining the title alive with a narrow win away to Belfast Harlequins. The students were 2-0 up at half-time through Abbie Russell and Niamh Carey before Emilia Cutrona ensured a tense finish when she pulled a goal back for the home side.

UCD held on, though, and are now five points adrift of Loreto but with a game in hand. Affairs at the top of the table might not be settled just yet.

Cork Harlequins, in fourth, are another five points back, a Rebecca Barry hat-trick keeping them on course for Champions Trophy qualification, her goals helping Harlequins to a 3-1 win over Railway Union, the first time all season they have put together back-to-back home victories.

Pembroke Wanderers remain a point behind Harlequins after Alice Ward and Emily Beatty’s goals saw off the challenge of bottom club Muckross, while Old Alexandra, another four points adrift, nudged past second-from-bottom Ards in a 2-1 win, Erica Hinkson and Lisa Jacob getting their goals.

Hockey League – Saturday: Cork Harlequins 3 (R Barry 3), Railway Union 1 (K Fearon); Loreto 2 (N Daly, S O’Brien), Pegasus 3 (M Harvey, T Doherty, L McKee); Muckross 0, Pembroke Wanderers 2 (A Ward, E Beatty); Old Alexandra 2 (L Jacob, E Hinkson), Ards 1 (H Platt); Belfast Harlequins 1 (E Cutrona), UCD 2 (A Russell, N Carey).

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