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Thompson return to boost Pegasus for Cup final

 

Just rewards: Lurgan celebrate Olivia Gibson’s goal on Saturday
Just rewards: Lurgan celebrate Olivia Gibson’s goal on Saturday

By John Flack

Pegasus are expecting to have Stephanie Thompson back for their second appearance in an Irish Senior Cup final in three years when they face UCD in March.

The early rounds were fast-tracked into a few weeks to give clubs competitive action while the EY Irish Hockey League was put on hold to allow the internationals time to concentrate on their preparations for the upcoming Olympic qualifiers against Canada, scheduled for Donnybrook on November 3-4.

While Thompson should be back from maternity leave for the Irish Cup final, Pegasus defender Shirley McCay, who is set to win her 300th cap against Germany on Thursday in Moenchengladbach, may not be free to play.

If Ireland were to beat Canada in the double-header and qualify for the Olympics, the internationals players could well be taken out of club hockey completely to prepare for the trip to Tokyo.

In Saturday's semi-final, Corinthian put it up to Pegasus in the first-half, going into the break trailing by a single goal scored by Lucy McKee.

But last season's double all-Ireland champions turned on the style after the restart adding two more goals through Kerri McDonald and Michelle Harvey.

In the Ulster Premier League only goal difference separates the top three after Lurgan, Ards and Queen's all won.

Randalstown made Lurgan work hard for their 2-0 home win. A goal in each half from Olivia Gibson and Charlene Stewart secured the win for Lurgan.

Ards have moved to the top of the standings on goal difference after an impressive 7-0 win at Raphoe where Ali Carson, Francesca Brown (2), Ali Scott, Zara Malseed and Ellen Robinson were on target.

Tori Hastings and Emily McStea scored for Queen's in their 2-1 victory at Ballymoney.

Results: Irish Senior Cup semi-finals: Corinthian 0 Pegasus 3 (L McKee, K McDonald, M Harvey); Loreto 0 UCD 1: Ulster Premier League: Ballymoney 1 Queen's 2 (T Hastings, E McStea); Dungannon 1 (E Greenaway) Banbridge 2 (K McDonald, S McCullough); Lurgan 2 (O Gibson, C Stewart) Randalstown 0; Mossley 0 Ulster Elks 1 (Chloe Mitchell); Rainey 0 Lisnagarvey 2 (B Ravey, E Brown); Raphoe 0 Ards 7 (A Carson, F Brown 2, A Scott, J Moore, Z Malseed, E Robinson); Senior One: Armagh 3 (N Babika 2, S Anderson) Ballymena 2 (K Young, C Gillespie); Club KV 3 (R Hewitt, J Doak, A Hill) CI 1 (A Irwin); Dromore 1 (H Buchanan) Portadown 1 (E Black) Omagh 1 (H Swann) North Down 1 (R Murphy); Priorians 0 Coleraine 1 (Z Craig).

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