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Pegasus miss out on top spot

Pegasus coach Michelle Rainey will be demanding an improved performance against Railway Union in the Irish Hockey League semi finals at the weekend after a lacklustre display resulted in a 2-1 defeat by Loreto in Dublin.

The Ulster Premier League champions had already booked their place in the last four but needed a draw to top the Pool.

However, it was Loreto who did that and they will now meet UCD in the first semi final.

"For some reason we didn't play as well as we can," said Rainey.

"You don't set out to play poorly but maybe the fact the players knew they were through was at the back of their minds, but we will be working very hard at training during the week to get ready for the Railway game."

After a scoreless first quarter, Loreto forced five penalty corners in the second period but Pegasus defended them well.

Most of the goalmouth action and all the goals came in a frantic third quarter as Loreto broke the deadlock in the 47th minute when Rachel Keegan scored after a set piece.

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Shortly after the restart, Vanessa Surgenor hammered the ball low into the net from a corner for the equaliser.

But, straight from the pass back, Niamh Small dashed into the circle to set up Lauren O'Leary for the winner.

The other games involving Ulster sides were 'dead rubbers' and only Ards, who defeated Old Alex 3-2, were able to register a win.

Goals from Chloe Brown, Janice Vaughan and Becky Weir in the final quarter put the home team 3-1 up after Alex had taken an early lead through Erika Hinson and Siobhan Scott Neilson's reply came too late to affect the outcome.

Lurgan went down 3-0 to Catholic Institute in Limerick while Ballymoney finished their campaign without a point after a 3-1 away defeat by Cork Harlequins, Jess Moore scoring the consolation goal.

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