Pegasus must do it the hard way
The last domestic issues in local women’s hockey were decided during the week with Pegasus and Victorians to the fore.
The latter went through their Premier League campaign with a 100 per cent record after beating Lurgan 6-1 while Victorians retained their place in the top flight.
They did so at the expense of Cookstown, and emphatically with a 6-1 victory in the promotion-relegation play-off.
The Tyrone girls therefore have to be content with another season in Senior One.
This weekend Pegasus have their final chance to make it to Europe next year but they have to do it the hard way.
They must win both the semi-final and the final of the Irish Hockey League.
Today they start their campaign with a tough one against Hermes, the reigning champions.
If they win that, then Pegasus will play either Loreto or Cork Harlequins in tomorrow’s decider.
Last week’s Irish Senior Cup final defeat by UCD could yet come back to haunt Pegasus on their own admission.
“We would have much preferred to have guaranteed our place in Europe at the first time of asking," said Pegasus captain Arlene Boyles. “But we have to put the Cup final to bed now and just get on with things."
Although Hermes are possibly not the force they once were, they have a good record against Pegasus, who will be out for revenge today.
In the corresponding game last season the Dublin side beat their Belfast rivals 3-2 after a ‘golden goal’ winner.
Hermes were unbeaten throughout the round-robin stages of the inaugural IHL but the same can’t be said of Pegasus who lost to Loreto in Dublin after beating them 3-2 in the opening game in Belfast.
Also at Grange Road, Belfast Harlequins takes on Old Alex today and Greenfields tomorrow in a bid to win one of the wild cards for next season’s IHL.
ESB Irish Hockey League semi-finals (Grange Road, Dublin): Loreto v Cork Harlequins (10.30am), Hermes v Pegasus (12.30pm). Wild-card play-off: Belfast Harlequins v Old Alex (2pm)
ESB Irish Hockey League Final: (1.30pm). Wild-card play-off: Belfast Harlequins v Greenfields (3.30pm)