Women’s Hockey: Institute have wind in their sails after draw against Loreto

Storm Jorge forces postponement of two matches and UCD-Muckross tie to be abandoned

Just two of Saturday's Hockey League fixtures survived the stormy weather, with Old Alexandra and Pembroke Wanderers' home ties against Cork Harlequins and Pegasus postponed, while deteriorating conditions forced UCD's game against Muckross at Belfield to be abandoned in the second quarter.

Catholic Institute’s visit to Dublin proved worthwhile, though, the Limerick side taking a point off leaders Loreto to extend their impressive run. Having won just four points from their first eight games, they have now taken eight from their last four – and three of the teams they faced in that unbeaten run are in the top five in the table.

It might not be quite be Storm Jorge proportions, but Institute would appear to have the wind in their sails since the League resumed after the winter break. In what was their fourth visit to Dublin in February, Roisin Upton, named Limerick Person of the Year last week for her Olympic qualifying heroics, gave them the lead after 10 minutes with a drag flick from a short corner, before Hayley Mulcahy's reverse strike in the third quarter gave Loreto a share of the points.

The draw put Loreto three points clear of Pegasus and Alexandra, who now both have a game in hand, having returned to the top of the table last Thursday with their 4-2 win at Railway Union, on the same night Alexandra lost 3-2 to UCD, having been two goals up.


At the other end of the table, Belfast Harlequins kept their relegation-avoiding hopes alive by picking up their first victory of the campaign – Alex Kelly got their winner right at the death against Railway, the team immediately above them. In what was a rollercoaster of a game, Railway fought back from 2-0 and 3-2 down to square the tie at Deramore Park, but Kelly's intervention means Harlequins are now just two points behind the Dublin side, although they have played an extra game.

Hockey League - Division One: Belfast Harlequins 4 (L Geddes, J Watt 2, A Kelly), Railway Union 2 (L Lloyd 2, K Dillon); Loreto 1 (H Mulcahy), Catholic Institute 1 (R Upton). UCD v Muckross, abandoned. Old Alexandra v Cork Harlequins and Pembroke Wanderers v Pegasus, postponed.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times