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Broken knuckle rules out Belfast Harlequins defender Claire Buchanan until new year

By John Flack

Belfast Harlequins defender Claire Buchanan is likely to be out of action for six weeks after breaking her knuckle during Saturday's 2-1 EY Irish Hockey League defeat by UCD at Deramore Park.

The former Ulster player felt the full force of an accidental follow-through from a Dublin player's stick in the first half and was taken to hospital after receiving treatment on the pitch.

Buchanan is to attend a fracture clinic today when the full extent of the damage will be assessed but she could be sidelined until the new year.

Her loss will be a big blow for Harlequins as she is a tower of strength at the back as her team battles against relegation in their first season in Irish hockey's top-flight competition.

Quins' latest defeat leaves them just three points off the bottom of the table, level with Ulster Elks but with a superior goal difference.

However, they produced a spirited display against UCD, Amy Geddes scoring a first half equaliser from a penalty corner in between a double strike from Sorcha Clarke.

Overall, it was a disappointing day for the four Ulster sides, with only Pegasus, who drew 2-2 with Railway Union, picking up a point.

However, it could easily have been three instead of one as Railway's equaliser from Kate Dillon came with only seconds remaining after goals from Taite Doherty and Pamela Glass had put last season's runners up 2-1 ahead at half-time.

Ards remain in the final play-off spot, despite losing 3-1 to Cork Harlequins at Londonderry Park where the Munster side led 2-0 at half-time.

Jane Kilpatrick reduced the deficit early in the final quarter but any hope of a comeback was dashed when teenager Caoimhe Purdue scored the insurance goal straight from the restart.

Ulster Elks, meanwhile, are still in trouble at the other end of the table after Loreto's Irish international Hayley Mulcahy scored the only goal of the game in the 20th minute.

Ballymoney went back to the top of the Ulster Premier League after two goals each from Jan Hamilton and Ruth Sutherland gave them a 5-0 win over North Down.

Randalstown, short a number of regulars including Ireland player Zoe Wilson, were held to a scoreless draw by Banbridge.

IHL: Railway 2 Pegasus 2 (T Doherty, P Glass); Ards 1 (J Kilpatrick) Cork Harlequins 3; Ulster Elks 0 Loreto 1; Belfast Harlequins 1 (A Geddes) UCD 2; Pembroke 1 Monkstown 4

Ulster Premier League: Ballymoney 5 (J Hamilton 2, R Sutherland 2, B Cleland) North Down 0; Randalstown 0 Banbridge 0

Senior One; Ballyclare 2 (J Purdy, J Kirk) Larne 0

Irish Hockey Trophy: Portadown 2 (L Cassells 2) YMCA 2 (YMCA won 4-2 on pens); Rainey 0 Clonakilty 0 (Rainey won 3-2 on pens).

Belfast Telegraph


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