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Katie Mullan's girls well placed to pose problem for Pegasus

Key role: Ulster’s Katie Mullan is out to topple Pegasus
Key role: Ulster’s Katie Mullan is out to topple Pegasus

By John Flack

Pegasus have a mammoth task on their hands if they are to book their place in the Irish Hockey League final as they prepare to take on an in-form UCD side in Dublin on Saturday.

The Dublin students finished sixth at the European Club Championship in the Netherlands on Monday after going down 4-1 to Surbiton.

UCD have a host of Irish internationals in their squad including team captain Katie Mullan and Leah Ewart, who both hail from Ulster.

Earlier results in Bithoven - a slender 2-1 defeat against crack German side Rotweiss Koln and a 3-2 win over Canterbury - guaranteed UCD, captained by former Ballymoney striker Mullan, the highest place in Europe achieved by an Irish team in 20 years.

The Pegasus side that will face UCD on Saturday at Belfield is in a rebuilding phase, having lost the services of former Ireland players like Claire McMahon, Arlene Boyles and Pamela Glass in recent years.

The IHL represents a last chance saloon for the Belfast side if they aren't to finish a season without a major trophy which would be a rare event in itself.

This season it was Ards who called most of the shots, as they claimed a Premier League and Denman Ulster Shield double.

Boyles, of course, now sits in the dug-out as club coach, and she is the first to admit that Pegasus will have their work cut out if they are to progress to the IHL final in which they would meet either Hermes or Loreto.

However while Pegasus may have missed out on the domestic trophies, their form in the IHL has been impressive.

They topped their group on goal difference ahead of Leinster champions Hermes and held the Dublin side to a 2-2 draw.

"We are very excited to be in this position with what, essentially, is what I would call a learning side," says Boyles. "We expect them to be very sharp when we face them."

TODAY: Ireland U18 v Wales U18, Glasgow (2pm)

TOMORROW: Scotland U18 v Ireland U18, Glasgow, 12pm; Scotland U18 v Ireland U18, Glasgow 6pm

FRIDAY: Ireland U18 v Scotland U18, Glasgow, 10am

SATURDAY: Irish Hockey League semi-finals (Three Rock): Pegasus v UCD (10.30am); Hermes v Loreto (12.30pm)

SUNDAY: Irish Hockey League final (Three Rock): Pegasus or UCD v Hermes or Loreto (1.30pm)

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