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Table-toppers Pegasus in sight of play-offs



Zoe Wilson

Zoe Wilson

Zoe Wilson

Pegasus need just six points from five games to guarantee a place in the end of season play-offs after a 3-2 win over Loreto in Dublin saw them go top of the EY Irish Hockey League on Saturday.

However, if they can stay at the summit, they would return to Europe next season automatically.

It's been four years since Pegasus had a trip to the continent and winning the league would be easier than having to come through the play-offs.

Loreto went ahead in the 11th minute when Ireland World Cup star Nicci Daly fired home from the edge of the circle.

But Pegasus hit back to equalise through Caitlyn Harvey before Ruth Maguire put them 2-1 up at half-time.

Siofra O'Brien scrambled in the equaliser shortly after the restart but Pegasus had the final say when Lucy McKee scored the winner with a deflection 16 minutes from time.

Elsewhere, it was a disappointing day for the other Ulster teams as Belfast Harlequins and Ards both lost 2-1 to UCD and Old Alex respectively.

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At Deramore, Quins - who were without Ireland World Cup silver medallist Lizzie Colvin who was attending a wedding -conceded twice in the first half as Abbie Russell and Niamh Carey scored from close range after neat build-up play.

Quins got their reward in the 48th minute when Emilia Cutrona snapped up a rebound after Ireland star Zoe Wilson had her set-piece shot saved.

In Dublin, Ards trailed 2-0 at the break after Alex had scored through Lisa Jacob and Erica Hinkson before Harriet Platt pulled one back in the 54th minute, as her team remain in the relegation play-off position.

In IHL 2, Queen's went down 2-1 to Trinity in Dublin but are still on course for the promotion play-offs.

Rebecca Quinn gave them an early lead but Trinity hit back with goals from Ailish Long and Rachel Burns in the last 12 minutes.

Ballymoney stay at the top of the Ulster Premier League but only by a point after falling to a surprise 2-0 away defeat at Rainey.

Kirsty McLarnon and Honor Graham got the goals as Rainey moved eight points clear of the drop zone ahead of Randalstown and basement side Ballymena.

Champions Lurgan stay second, a point off the pace with two games in hand, after Lauren Wright's 26th minute goal sealed a 1-0 win over Randalstown.

Ulster Elks have moved up to third after goals from Megan Frazer and Chloe Mitchell sealed a 2-0 home win over Banbridge while Lisnagarvey are fourth following a 5-2 win at Mossley.

IHL: Belfast Harlequins 1 (E Cutrona) UCD 2 (A Russell, N Carey); Cork Harlequins 3 (R Barry 3) Railway 1 (K Fearon); Loreto 2 (N Daly, S O'Brien) Pegasus 3 (C Harvey, R Maguire, L McKee); Muckross 0 Pembroke 2 (A Ward, E Beatty); Old Alexandra 2 (E Hinkson, L Jacob) Ards 1 (H Platt)

IHL 2, Pool 1: Greenfields 0 UCC 1; Trinity 2 (A Long, R Burns) Queen's 1 (R Quinn). Pool 2: Cath. Institute 3 (R Upton, E Ryan, L Clery) NUIG 0; Monkstown 3 (S Hoban-Logan 2, C Watkins) Dungannon 1 (K Elliott)

Ulster Premier League: Mossley 2 (K Dixon, A McCullough) Lisnagarvey 5 (K McIlwaine 2, D Axon, R Chambers, C Gillard); Rainey 2 (K McLarnon, H Graham) Ballymoney 0; Randalstown 0 Lurgan 1 (L Wright); Ulster Elks 2 (M Frazer, C Mitchell) Banbridge 0

Senior One: Armagh 0 Raphoe 4 (L Smyth, L Patterson, W Patterson 2); North Down (S Lewish) Club KV 2 (J Orr, C Houston); Omagh 2 (A Buchanan, L Long) Coleraine 0; Portadown 2 (L Craig, C Dunn) CI 1 (M Smartt)

Irish Junior Cup: semi-finals: Loreto II 3 Railway II 3. Railway win shoot-out 4-2; Pegasus II 1 (S Ferris) UCD II 2 (H McKenna, S Young)

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