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Pegasus have one foot in IHL finals weekend

By John Flack

Pegasus have made virtually certain of a place in the Irish Hockey League play-offs after a comfortable 3-0 win over Ards at Londonderry Park yesterday.

They now need just a point from their last three matches but with a vastly superior goal difference over their nearest rivals, it would take an unlikely collapse for them to miss out.

Pegasus led 1-0 at half-time after Hannah Grieve converted an early penalty corner.

Rachael McMillan and Taite Doherty added further goals after the break to all but end Ards' chances of joining Ali McNeill's side in the top four.

Belfast Harlequins still have an outside chance of progressing following a 2-1 win over Pembroke Wanderers in Dublin but would need maximum points from their last three games and other results to go in their favour to have a chance.

Quins came from a goal down after Hayley O'Donnell had given the home team an early lead.

Jenna Watt equalised before half-time and Abigail Edwards scored the winner in the third quarter to keep her team's slim hopes alive.

Meanwhile, both Dungannon and Queen's missed out on the chance to join the three Ulster sides in next year's IHL after falling at the first hurdle in the provincial play-offs.

Yesterday the two local sides fought out a scoreless draw after Dungannon had earlier gone down 1-0 to Catholic Institute.

Queen's then lost 1-0 to Old Alex, who won the series and now progress to the final eliminator in which they will be joined by the provincial league winners, including Lurgan, in a fortnight's time.

Both Ulster sides were already out of contention going into yesterday's games, having picked up only one point between them on Saturday as Queen's drew 4-4 with Corinthian.

The winners of the final series of matches in Cork will qualify for the IHL with the runners-up facing the second bottom finisher in this year's top-flight in a promotion-relegation play-off.

Meanwhile in the Ulster Premier League, goals from Sophie McDowell, Kathryn Smylie and Zara McIlwaine gave Mossley a 3-0 over Portadown.

In Senior One, champions Lisnagarvey completed their 18-match programme unbeaten after two goals from Jenna Flynn and one from Rachel Houston sealed A 3-1 win over Priorians.

EY Irish Hockey League: Yesterday: Ards 0 Pegasus 3 (H Grieve, R McMillan, T Doherty) Loreto 4 Trinity 0; Monkstown 0 UCD 5; Pembroke Wanderers 1 Belfast Harlequins 2 (J Watt, A Edwards); Monkstown 0 UCD 5; Railway Union 2 Cork Harlequins 2

IHL provincial play-offs: Yesterday: Dungannon 0 Corinthian 1; Catholic Institute 0 Old Alex 1; Queen's 0 Dungannon 0; Corinthian 0 Catholic Institute 3; Old Alex 1 Queen's 0.

Saturday: Corinthian 0 Old Alex 1; Dungannon 0 Catholic Inst. 2; Queen's 4 (E McStea, J McMaster, T Hastings 2) Corinthian 4; Old Alex 3 Dungannon 0; Catholic Inst. 2 Queen's 0

Ulster Premier League: Mossley 3 (S McDowell, K Smylie, Z McIlwaine) Portadown 0

Senior One: Lisnagarvey 3 (J Flynn 2, Rachel Houston) Priorians 1 (J Kennedy); Omagh 1 (J Hood) Armagh 1 (E Mackey); Ballymena 0 Raphoe 1 (V Wray)

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