Pegasus young guns impress in win over Railway
Pegasus striker Alex Speers heaped praise on the club's new recruits who helped their team to a hard-fought opening 1-0 EY Irish Hockey League win over Railway Union in Dublin on Saturday.
Having lost several experienced players to retirement and maternity leave this season, last season's double all-Ireland champions have given youth its fling.
Irish under-age internationals like Niamh McIvor, Olivia Berry, Molly Dougan, Ellie Montgomery and Ella Armstrong and Charlotte Beggs have all been added to the squad.
McIvor set up the winning goal for Lucy McKee on Saturday as Pegasus began their title defence on a winning note.
Speers said: "The younger players, who were making their IHL debuts all stepped up and proved their quality at this level. We played well and could have probably won more comfortably if we had taken a couple of chances in the first-half, including a penalty stroke.
"Railway came back at us strongly after we'd scored but we managed to keep them out and it was a good win."
After Ruth Maguire had seen her penalty saved and Speers had struck the post, McKee got the winner in the 43rd minute when she fired home after great work by McIvor along the baseline.
Belfast Harlequins, missing Irish Tokyo-bound heroines Lizzie Colvin and Bethany Barr, went down 2-0 to Old Alex in Dublin.
Rebecca Evans gave the Leinster side a second-half lead from a poorly defended penalty corner and Erika Hinson added number two near the end.
Harlequins were left to rue failing to convert eight set-pieces in the course of the game which they dominated for long spells.
Ards made it two wins from two in their promotion bid with a crushing 9-0 romp over Greenfields in Galway in which Zara Malseed hit four of the goals.
EYHL: Catholic Institute 3 (N Carroll 2, R Begley) Muckross 3 (K Baker, A O'Flanagan, N Keegan); Cork Harlequins 1 (N Barry) UCD 1 (N Carey); Old Alexandra 2 (R Evans, E Hinkson) Belfast Harlequins 0; Pembroke 3 (O Macken, E Horan, A Naughton) Loreto 2 (N Small, C Hamill); Railway Union 0 Pegasus 1 (L McKee). Division 2 Pool A: Cork C of I 3 NUIG 1; Trinity 0 Corinthian 2. Pool B: Greenfields 0 Ards 9 (Z Malseed 4, F Brown, E Reid, C Adams, H Platt, A Carson); Queen's 0 Monkstown 0. Ulster Premier: Banbridge 4 (K McDonald 3, M Matthews) Rainey 1; Lisnagarvey 2 (K McIlwaine 2) Randalstown 1 (M Cochrane); Raphoe 0 Dungannon 1 (G Mulligan). Denman Ulster Shield: Lurgan 2 (P Parkes, L Wright) Ulster Elks 0. Senior One: CI 1 (A Irwin) Ballymena 2 (K Young, E Gillespie); Dromore 0 Armagh 1 (N Babika); Omagh 3 (E Shortt 2, D Darragh) Portadown 2 (A Black 2); Priorians 2 (R McSparron, E Allen) Club KV 0. Senior Cup Pool B: Coleraine 4 (C McNickle, K Caithness, S Bradley, A McGill) North Down 0. Irish Junior Cup: Belvedere 0 Railway Union 7; Corinthian 1 Cork C of I 0; Loreto 2 Ballymoney 1; Muckross 1 Belfast Harlequins 0; Avoca 2 Cork Harlequins 3; Lisnagarvey 1 UCD 2.