Belfast Telegraph

Hockey: Hard work key to our good spell, says Beaney

By John Flack

Pegasus are putting their current success down to a rigorous training programme which is on a par with those of professional sportsmen and women.

The Ulster champions are in the quarter-finals of the ESB Irish Senior Cup and on Saturday will book their place in the semi-finals of the Irish Hockey League as table-toppers barring a major upset. They are up against Harlequins, who fell to a 6-1 defeat against Hermes in the competition last weekend. By their own high standards, the Belfast club have underachieved in the last two seasons having failed to qualify for European competition.

But there is expectation that they will end their barren spell.

Winning the IHL is one route but lifting the Irish Senior Cup is another as they bid to overcome Lurgan in the last eight for starters. First up though is the Harlequins game on Saturday in which Suzanne Beaney will be up against her former team mates.

The 29-year-old ex-Ireland striker, though, is taking nothing for granted against the side she grew up with in a hockey sense — and points to that training regime as the main turning point in Pegasus' improved form an the big stage.

“We do a lot of physical work and, for example, I, along with a few girls I live near, regularly go on gruelling runs around the Stormont Estate,” she said.

Pegasus, who have already booked their place in the last four of the IHL, are the only side likely to progress to the knock-out stages.

Fixtures: Tonight: Premier League: Lurgan v Ards (7.30), Ulster Elks v Knock (6.45).

Saturday: IHL: Railway Union v Ards (12.45pm) Armagh v UCD (12.45pm), Cork Harlequins v Ballymoney (12.45pm), Pegasus v Belfast Harlequins (12.45pm).

Premier League: Lurgan v Randalstown (2.30pm): Senior One: Ballymena v Greenisland (2.30pm), Cookstown v Victorians (2.30pm), Dromore v North Down (2.30pm).

Sunday: Irish Hockey Trophy: Portadown v Ashton (2.30pm), Three Rock Rovers v Lisnagarvey (2.30pm)

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