The opening to their Leinster title defence was flawless, UCD winning their first five games, scoring 28 goals and conceding just three. It’s all gone a little pear-shaped since then, though, the students having won just once in their last six outings, as well as having one of those first five victories reversed for fielding an unregistered player.
Their latest setback came on Saturday when they could only draw 0-0 with North Kildare, the bottom club's first point of the campaign at their 11th attempt, a result that leaves UCD eight points behind leaders Hermes, with a game in hand.
The absence of Emily Beatty, Deirdre Duke, Nikki Evans, Katie Mullan, Anna O'Flanagan, Gillian Pinder and Chloe Watkins, all away on international duty in Spain, proved costly for the champions and their day wasn't helped by Hermes squeezing a 1-0 win over Corinthian.
Aisling Naughton, the division's top scorer, got the game's only goal in the first half.
Railway Union remain three points behind Hermes after their 3-0 win over Old Alexandra,
grabbed a brace before
sealed the victory.
Pembroke Wanderers move up to third thanks to Hayley O'Donnell's winner against Loreto who drop out of the top four – which guarantees Irish Hockey League qualification – having won just one of their last five games. Glenanne and Trinity remain in seventh and eighth, respectively, after their 2-2 draw.