Pegasus secure Irish Hockey League title after penalty shoot-out

Ulster side defeat Loreto who fail to make the most of their chances during normal time

Natalie Pinkerton of Pegasus: a resilient defence helped the Ulster team see off Loreto to take their second   Irish Hockey League title. Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

Natalie Pinkerton of Pegasus: a resilient defence helped the Ulster team see off Loreto to take their second Irish Hockey League title. Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

 

Pegasus won their second Irish Hockey League title as their cool heads in the shoot-out and defensive resilience saw them beat Loreto at Grange Road yesterday.

Had it been decided on points, Loreto would have won but their inability to make chances stick cost them in a tie they dominated for long periods.

Natalie Pinkerton and Hannah Grieve were superb in defence for Pegasus while goalkeeper of the tournament Ayeisha McFerran was almost unbeatable between the posts.

It meant the good approach work of Nicci Daly and Hayley Mulcahy went without reward for the most part. An early penalty corner was upgraded to a stroke for a deliberate back-stick but Hannah Matthews, so often Loreto’s key player, saw her shot tipped onto the post by McFerran.

Matthews did play a key role in the Dubliners’ goal three minutes into the second half, applying the power for Ali Meeke to deflect into the roof of the net.

But Pegasus hung tough and took one of their rare chances when they stole the ball high up the pitch, getting it to Vanessa Surgeoner on the right baseline. She picked out Suzanne Ferris to pop home from close range for the equaliser. It came in the 62nd minute, the same time Surgeoner had struck the winner in Saturday’s 2-1 semi-final victory against UCD.

Chances

Pegasus held on, leading to a shoot-out in which the Ulster side had the advantage from the start as Niamh Small rolled wide and Matthews dinged the crossbar.

Pegasus scored all four of their shoot-outs to win back the title they last won in 2011.

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