UCD extend their winning run to seven thanks to Mullan’s late goal
Cork see off Belfast’s rally to secure 4-3 win as Pegasus sink Pembroke Wanderers 2-0
UCD’s Katie Mullan scored late against Loreto to give her side a seventh win in a row. Photograph: Paul Walsh/Inpho
The chasing pack in the Hockey League failed to put a dent in the gap between themselves and the top four on Saturday, UCD, Cork Harlequins, Pegasus and Railway Union all picking up wins to maintain their challenge for a place in the end-of-season Champions Trophy.
A late goal from Katie Mullan against Loreto gave UCD their seventh win in a row, the Irish international’s drag from a penalty corner deflecting home. The students stay four points clear at the top after Cork won the battle of the Harlequins at Farmers Cross, beating their Belfast visitors 4-3.
It was a nervy enough ending to the game for Cork who were 3-1 up at the conclusion of the third quarter with goals from Naomi Carroll, Rebecca Barry and Olivia Roycroft, their fourth, from Nicola Kerr, finally ending Belfast’s hopes of a comeback.
Pegasus remain a point behind Cork, with a game in hand, after beating Pembroke Wanderers 2-0, Stephanie Thompson getting their opener in the third minute before Ruth Maguire’s second-quarter strike from a penalty corner.
Railway held on to fourth spot, six points adrift of Pegasus, Kate Lloyd getting both their goals in a 2-0 win over Trinity for whom Carolyn Crampton saved a penalty stroke. Ards were the only side to make progress in the table, moving above Belfast Harlequins in to fifth after coming back to beat Monkstown with goals from Amy Benson and Kerry Harvey.