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McCay hits last-gasp winner as Pegasus stay top


Shirley McCay

Shirley McCay

Shirley McCay

Shirley McCay hailed her team's never-say-die attitude as Pegasus staged a stunning comeback to defeat Pembroke 4-3 and move three points clear at the top of the EY Irish Hockey League after an absorbing contest at the Dub on Saturday.

Pegasus trailed 3-0 to the Dublin side after only 18 minutes but stormed back, scoring four times in the second-half with McCay grabbing the winner with the last play of the game.

Ireland's most-capped player said: "To say we started slowly would be an understatement but the girls showed tremendous character to fight back.

"It was the same last week when we were 2-0 down to UCD but came back to win 3-2 and the girls simply never know when they are beaten."

Alice Ward ghosted behind the home defence to net the opener after only three minutes and, three minutes later, Amy Kate Trevor doubled Pembroke's lead.

Ireland star Gillian Pinder then released Sinead Loughran, whose cross was converted by Aisling Naughton at the back post on 18 minutes.

After a scoreless second quarter, Lucy McKee started the fightback in the 43rd minute with a terrific solo effort.

Three minutes later, Alex Speers set up Belfast Royal Academy schoolgirl Niamh McIvor who scored at the far post.

With 15 minutes left, Speers hammered home the equaliser from the edge of the circle after a great 'advantage' from umpire Linda Coughlan and Pegasus began to sense that the game was there to be won.

As the game entered the final 30 seconds, Pegasus were awarded a penalty corner after a Pembroke defender didn't retreat at a free and McCay swept the ball home for a late winner.

Meanwhile, Lurgan's chances of joining Pegasus in the top-flight next season suffered a blow when they lost 2-1 at home to Corinthian in IHL 2, after Charlene Stewart had put the Ulster champions ahead early.

RESULTS: Indoor international series: yesterday: South Africa x Ireland x; Saturday: South Africa 5 Ireland 0.

EY Irish Hockey League: Cork Harlequins 2 Old Alex 3; Muckross 1 UCD 3; Pegasus 4 (L McKee, A Speers, N McIvor, S McCay) Pembroke 3.

IHL 2: Pool A: Lurgan 1 (C Stewart) Corinthian 2; Trinity 6 Cork C of I 2. Pool B: UCC 1 Monkstown 2;

Ulster Premier: Rainey 1 Ulster Elks 3 (S-J Jamison, E Quinn, R Kerr); Raphoe 2 (L Patterson, V Wray) Lisnagarvey 3 (K McIlwaine, M Quinn, B Ravey); Randalstown 0 Ballymoney 0.

Denman Ulster Shield: Pool D: Mossley 0 Dungannon 2 (J Elliott 2).

Senior One: Armagh 4 (G Frazer, P Best, S McMahon, S Anderson) CI 1 (A Fawcett); Coleraine 3 (Z Purdy, S Nutt, K Caithness) Omagh 3 (E Shortt 2, H Nethery); Dromore 1 (S Wilson) Priorians 1 (A O'Neill); North Down 5 (A Kimber 3, S Lewis 2) Ballymena 0; Portadown 3 (E Black, A Gordon, D Blevins) Club KV 3 (J Doak, A Hill, C Houston).

Belfast Telegraph