Ards and Elks impress against top southern opponents as Pegasus continue to struggle
While defending champions Pegasus continue to struggle, Ards and the Ulster Elks impressed in Saturday's fourth round of the EY Irish Hockey League, securing draws against top southern opposition.
Pegasus lost 4-2 in Cork against Harlequins and now have just one point from a possible 12 but the Elks are second in the table after a 1-1 draw in Dublin against UCD and Ards had a similar result at home to Railway Union.
Amy Benson put Ards ahead in the 11th minute after being set up by Tamara Macleod and, in a game of few chances, Cecilia Joyce levelled matters with just three minutes remaining.
Ards captain Caroline Adams said: "We were pleased with our performance, considering we hadn't played for three weeks.
"But we were disappointed with the result after leading with three minutes to go and were punished for a defensive mistake and not capitalising on earlier opportunities.
"Railway will have left as the happier team but we are looking forward to our next run of fixtures and we hope to be up competing at the business end of the table come the Christmas break."
The Elks were missing newly-capped Irish international Gemma Frazer, who was at a wedding, and so regarded a 1-1 draw against UCD as a point gained.
Vice-captain Kirstie Lammey said: "We knew it was going to be the toughest game so far, especially playing them down there, so remaining undefeated after the game is a positive for us."
Canadian international Anna Kuznuik put the Elks ahead in the first-half but the Dublin students levelled after the break.
At domestic level, Belfast Harlequins stay top of the Premier League table after Amy Geddes hit the winner in a 2-1 victory at Dungannon.
EY Hockey League: Cork Harlequins 4 Pegasus 2 (S Ferris, A Speers); Ards 1 (A Benson) Railway Union 1; Hermes 8 Greenfields 1; UCC 2 Pembroke 3; UCD 1 Ulster Elks 1 (A Kozniuk).
Ulster Premier League: Dungannon 1 (K. Elliott) Belfast Harlequins 2 (J. Watt, A. Geddes); Lurgan 2 (S. McClure, K. Burns) Lisnagarvey 1 (S. McCullough); North Down 2 (K. Hill 2) Armagh 3 (K. McKee, K. Donnan, J. Frazer); Portadown 2 (L. Cassels, A. McCullough) Queen's 1 (R. McKee); Randalstown 1 (J. McGrillen) Ballymoney 1 (D. McNeill).
Senior One: Larne 2 Grosvenor 0; Rainey 2 Knock 2; Victorians 0 Cookstown 3.