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Kerri McDonald double helps Pegasus to Ulster Shield success

Pegasus 3-1 Belfast Harlequins

Winners of the Denman Ulster Shield Womens Hockey Final
Pegasus team celebrate after winning against Harlequins at Stormont. Photo by Peter Morrison
Winners of the Denman Ulster Shield Womens Hockey Final Pegasus team celebrate after winning against Harlequins at Stormont. Photo by Peter Morrison
Pegasus players celebrate with fans after the final whistle against Belfast Harlequins in the Denman Ulster Shield Womens Hockey Final at Stormont. Photo by Peter Morrison
Pegasus Kerri McDonald scores a goal against Belfast Harlequins in the Denman Ulster Shield Womens Hockey Final at Stormont. Photo by Peter Morrison
Pegasus Kerri McDonald, number 23, celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal against Belfast Harlequins in the Denman Ulster Shield Womens Hockey Final at Stormont. Photo by Peter Morrison
Belfast Harlequins Abigail Edwards, left, in action against Pegasus Pamela Glass in the Denman Ulster Shield Womens Hockey Final at Stormont. Photo by Peter Morrison
Belfast Harlequins Abigail Edwards, left, in action against Pegasus Pamela Glass in the Denman Ulster Shield Womens Hockey Final at Stormont. Photo by Peter Morrison

By John Flack

Pegasus prolonged their love affair with the Denman Ulster Shield on Boxing Day when they lifted the famous trophy for a record breaking 29th time with a 3-1 over Belfast Harlequins in the final at Stormont.

In what was a repeat of last year’s decider in which Pegasus triumphed only after a penalty shootout, the holders won more comfortably in the rematch although their insurance goal came with just two minutes left.

Kerri McDonald scored two of the Pegasus goals on either side of Lucy McKee’s effort after Serena Barr had levelled for Quins  before the break.

Pegasus captain Ruth Maguire said: “We are delighted to have won the trophy again but Harlequins really put it up to us although if we’d taken more of our chances, we could have put the game to bed sooner.”

For Pamela Glass, the club’s latest triumph in the competition provided particular satisfaction after her staggering 13 previous successes spanning almost a quarter-of-a-century while, for the nine youngest members of the squad it was their first Shield win.

Pegasus have rung the changes this season, due to retirements and maternity leave, and introduced a host of newcomers, most of whom are still at school.

The 39-year-old former international said: “Winning the Shield again this year means as much as it did when I won it for the first time 24 years ago.”

“Our aim is always to win but, more importantly, this year I wanted to win it for the girls that haven’t been able to say that they are Ulster champions until now as I know that means the world to them.

“We train to win and we have big game players but now we have a new young  dimension to our team which is exciting.

One of the young guns, BRA student Niamh McIvor added: “It’s been a real step up playing for Pegasus, it’s been fantastic for my game and I am delighted to now won a trophy with my new club and hopefully it won’t be the last.”

Pegasus got off to the perfect start when McDonald smashed home the opening penalty corner of the game in the sixth minute.

But Harlequins fought back strongly, and, after winning a set-piece, Katherine Welshman was denied by Pegasus keeper Megan Todd.

McDonald went close to getting her second but her effort skimmed the post and then McKee shot over.

Harlequins got the equaliser slightly against the run of play in the 24th minute when Serena Barr scored from the penalty spot after Lizzie Colvin had been fouled in the circle.

Glass’s free in the 42nd minute found Molly Dougan, whose pass was collected by McKee, who beat a defender and fired a great shot into the corner for the lead.

Quins had plenty of possession thereafter but Pegasus had the better of the chances and McDonald fired home another set-piece to seal the win with 90 seconds left.

Harlequins: Susie Taylor; Katherine Welshman, Jenna Watt, Natalie Barr, Lucy Geddes, Julie Dennison, Serena Barr, Alex Kelly, Linzi Hamilton (capt.), Lizzie Colvin, Rhiannon Coulter;​ subs: Marianne Fox, Bethany Barr, Emilia Cutrona, Abigail Edwards, Kathryn Smylie, Katie Larmour, Nicola Stoddart.

Pegasus: Megan Todd; Charlotte Beggs, Olivia Berry, Molly Dougan, Pamela Glass, Ruth Maguire (capt.), Kerri McDonald, Niamh McIvor, Lucy McKee, Ellie Montgomery, Alex Speers; subs: Jenna Reid, Katie Foster, Ellie Smyth, Ciatlyn Harvey, Taite Doherty, Ella Armstrong

Umpires: Christine Reid, Linda Johnston.​

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