Women's Hockey: Pegasus put title bubbly on ice
Pegasus 2 Ards 2
Pegasus extended their amazing success record at domestic level last night when a 2-2 draw with Ards at the Dub clinched them the Ulster Premier League title for the 13th year in a row, barring a miracle.
Lurgan would need to beat the defending champions by a 21-goal margin in the sides' two meetings next week to deny the Belfast club the trophy.
A stoppage time equaliser from Caroline Adams, who scored from the penalty spot, put the celebrations temporarily on hold.
The sides exchanged goals in the first half, Katie Fraser scoring for Ards with Kirsty McCollum on target for Pegasus before Arlene Boyles made it 2-1 from a 69th minute penalty corner.
Pegasus captain Boyles ranked this campaign among her team's best ever and she has been around for all of them.
“We lost so many players at the start of the season and our coach (Billy McConnell) before Christmas so some people were questioning our ability to win the title again but now we almost have,” she said.
“When you think we've been missing players like Jill Orbinson, Katherine Maybin, Alex Speers, and Karen Humphreys, all internationals past or present, then it puts things in perspective.”
But in one sense the season really starts for Pegasus now with the Irish Hockey League finals weekend to look forward to.
First up is a semi-final clash with Cork Harlequins followed by a meeting with either Hermes or Railway Union in the decider in the middle of May.
Boyles will be giving her players a short break after the rigours of completing five games in the space of just nine days of late.
“The girls are a bit tired understandably but, ironically, the programme has worked out quite well for us,” she added.
“We have a break for 10 days now and then play Lurgan back-to-back including a game with them a week or so before we face Cork Harlequins. It's vitally important that Pegasus get into Europe next season so that’s our focus.”