Women’s Hockey: Pegasus make it three wins from three
Victories over Catholic Institute and Cork Harlequins maintain champions’ perfect start
Pegasus are the only side with a 100 per cent record in the Hockey League after the weekend’s fixtures. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho
Three games in to the new Hockey League season and defending champions Pegasus are the only side left with a perfect record, victories over Catholic Institute and Cork Harlequins in the weekend’s double-header, to add to their opening day defeat of Railway Union, making it nine points out of nine.
Both Munster sides, though, made Pegasus work hard for their wins, Institute putting up a gutsy fight on Saturday, in what was their first ever away game in the competition.
Rosie Pratt levelled from a stroke after Alex Speers had given the hosts the lead, and the Limerick side came back again after two Pamela Glass goals either side of half-time looked to have Pegasus easing to victory, Laura Foley pulling one back with eight minutes to go. It was only when Speers got her second of the game in the final minute that the contest was settled.
And come Sunday, Pegasus needed another late score in their game against Harlequins, Niamh McIvor, one of a number of underage internationals added to the champions’ squad this season, scoring her first senior goal in the 61st minute to clinch the points.
But neither Munster side came away from Belfast empty-handed, Cork Harlequins having drawn with Belfast Harlequins 2-2 on Saturday before Institute beat the same opposition on Sunday thanks to Róisín Begley whose last-minute goal made it 3-2.
The weekend’s six remaining games were all-Leinster affairs, but none of the clubs managed to take maximum points, Loreto faring the best of the bunch thanks to two goals from Ali Meeke.
The first of them decided her side’s game against UCD on Saturday before she snatched a late equaliser against Muckross on Sunday after they had led through India Cotter.
Old Alexandra opened their weekend with a 2-1 win over Muckross but then fell 3-1 to Railway Union in a game that saw two Irish internationals on the scoresheet, Sarah Hawkshaw for Railway and Deirdre Duke for Alexandra. Duke and Nikki Evans, another of the squad that booked that place in Tokyo, have both joined Alexandra after returning home from playing in Germany.
Pembroke Wanders, meanwhile, had a mixed weekend of it, coming from behind to beat Railway 4-1 on Saturday, Orla Macken scoring twice, before losing to UCD, Niamh Carey getting the only goal of the game in the third quarter.
Hockey League – Saturday: Belfast Harlequins 2 (J Dennison, S Barr), Cork Harlequins 2 (R Barry, A O’Grady); Pegasus 4 (A Speers 2, P Glass 2), Catholic Institute 2 (R Pratt, L Foley); Railway Union 1 (L Lloyd), Pembroke Wanderers 4 (O Macken 2, A Naughton, J Ringwood); Loreto 1 (A Meeke), UCD 0; Muckross 1 (A O’Flanagan), Old Alexandra 2 (O Bools, A Roopnarinesingh).
Sunday: Belfast Harlequins 2 (L Geddes, K Welshman), Catholic Institute 3 (L Foley, N Carroll, R Begley); Loreto 1 (A Meeke), Muckross 1 (I Cotter); Old Alexandra 1 (D Duke), Railway Union 3 (H de Burgh Whyte, S Hawkshaw, N Sweeney); Pegasus 1 (N McIvor), Cork Harlequins 0; UCD 1 (N Carey), Pembroke Wanderers 0.