Pegasus retain lead after women's EY Hockey League victory over Muckross
Pegasus will hold a two-point advantage at the head of the women's EY Hockey League until February as their late 3-1 win over Muckross saw them steal a march on rivals Loreto.
Alex Speers was once again the key player, closing out an excellent first half of the season with a brace.
She opened the scoring at Muckross Park but the bottom-placed side proved a stubborn opponent, getting back on terms via Sarah O’Loughlin.
It remained 1-1 until 10 minutes from the end when Speers got her second, bringing her tally to seven so far.
Michelle Harvey then finished off a counter-attack, sealing a seventh win from eight thus far.
For Loreto, they came into the weekend ahead of Pegs on goal difference and were seconds away from keeping it that way until they were stunned late in the game by Pembroke in a 2-2 draw at Grange Road, Hayley O’Donnell scoring a final hooter slap-shot.
Ards picked up their second point of the season with a 1-1 draw against Railway Union, Caroline Adams and Kate McKenna trading scorers. It leaves Ards in ninth and Railway in eighth but seven points better off.
Ards go into the winter break on two, as they tied with Union at Londonderry Park.
Three Railway corners on the first quarter hooter came to nothing while Ards were defending well with Naomi Grundie marshalling the circle well. Early pressure in the second half saw Ali Carson’s shot on goal lead to a penalty corner which Caroline Adams scored for her third of the season.
They then had a golden chance to go further ahead when they won a stroke on the counter but Beck Weir saw her effort blocked by Carolyn Crampton who also kept out Francesca Brown.
The Dubliners, though, got back on terms in the closing quarter from play via Kate McKenna and then had a series of penalty corners but could not breakthrough.
Belfast Harlequins and Old Alex ended 1-1, leaving them sixth and seventh respectively.
A brilliant second-half equaliser from Gemma Frazer secured Belfast Harlequins a at Deramore but the result leaves Davy Frazer’s side still outside the play-off places.
Former Ireland player Aine Connery put the Dublin side in front in the 29th minute with a sweetly struck backhand shot after her side had edged the opening exchanges.
But Frazer rescued Quins a point when she scored a terrific individual goal in the 44th minute, drifting in from the left to fire home a fierce shot from the top of the circle.
However, the hosts were left ruing the fact they were unable to convert any of their seven penalty corners although Ireland World Cup star Lizzie Colvin was denied by a full length save from Pamela Smithwick from one of their few shots on target.
The women’s EYHL returns in the new year on February 2, 2019.
In EYHL Division 2, Catholic Institute were the only one of four teams with perfect records before the weekend to remain that way. They beat Monkstown 1-0 courtesy of a Christine O’Shea touch in the 20th minute.
Town remain top of Pool B but have played an extra game than the Limerick side. Dungannon’s 2-0 win over Lurgan gets them back in the frame for a playoff spot.
In Pool A, Corinthian and Queen’s drew 1-1, a result that ended both of their winning runs. Queen’s remain top on 14 points with Corinthian on 10 with a game in hand.