Pegasus undone by Pembroke
Pegasus coach Arlene Boyles didn't attempt to make any excuses after watching her team fall to a 2-1 defeat by Pembroke Wanderers in a pulsating EY Irish Hockey League clash at Upper Malone on Saturday.
The Dublin side stole victory with two late penalty corner strikes although Pegasus felt that the second set-piece should never have been awarded in the first place.
Now the defending champions have a battle on their hands if they are to retain their title as they are already five points off the pace.
They have a tough test to come at the weekend when they travel to Dublin to tackle a star-studded Hermes side who crushed Ulster champions Ards 5-1.
"We had our chances to win the game, but we didn't take them and that's the disappointing thing," said Boyles.
"I thought we made Pembroke look incredibly average at times but you don't get a point for good play.
"Sometimes you need a bit of the rub of the green and I don't think we got that today with some of the decisions.
"I would question some of the umpiring decisions today, but I won't be blaming the umpires as we had our own decisions to make on the pitch and, at times, we made poor ones so we just have to get smarter."
Pegasus broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute when Hannah Grieve showed great composure to smash in a beautifully worked penalty corner.
Three minutes into the final period Sarah Clarke fired in the equaliser and, with just three minutes remaining, Eanna Horan grabbed the winner for Pembroke to leave Pegasus licking their wounds and facing a difficult task to win the league.
The Ulster Elks made it two wins from two as goals from Megan Frazer, Rebecca Barry and Laura McAlpine gave then a 3-1 success against Harlequins in Cork.
Chloe Brown marked her return from injury with Ards' consolation goal against Hermes, for whom Irish international Anna O'Flanagan scored twice to increase her tally to five from two starts.
"They punished our mistakes, their finishing was clinical and that illustrates the step-up in class in this league," said Ards captain Caroline Adams.
RESULTS: EY Irish Hockey League: Cork Harlequins 1 (O. Cotter) Ulster Elks 3 (M. Frazer, R. Barry, L. McAlpine); Hermes 5 (A. O'Flanagan 2, S. Kelly, N. Evans, E. Curran) Ards 1 (C' Brown); Pegasus 1 (H. Grieve) Pembroke 2 (S. Clarke, E. Horan); UCD 4 (E. Carey 2, M. O'Donnell, K. Mullan) Greenfields 0; UCC 0 Railway Union 4 (J. O'Halloran 2, Z. Delany, E. Smyth).
Ulster Premier League: Lisnagarvey 6 (S. McCullough 3, J. Kirkwood, L. Johnston, J. Flynn) Armagh 2 (R. McMahon, R. Dodds); Lurgan 2 (C. Hull, E. McStea) North Down 1 (R. Lucas); Portadown 1 (A. McCullough) Ballymoney 1 (L. McCurdy); Randalstown 2 (A. Ogilby, E. Patterson) Dungannon 1 (A. McKay); Senior One: Ballymena 1 Raphoe 1; Banbridge 2 Cookstown 1; Knock 2 Grosvenor 0; Larne 0 Ballyclare 2; Victorians 0 Rainey 3.