Wins for Pegasus and Ards but Harlequins denied at the end
Pegasus and Ards were the Ulster winners in yesterday's EY Irish Hockey League games and Belfast Harlequins were just two minutes away from completing a memorable hat-trick for the province only to be denied by a late Cork equaliser in a thrilling 3-3 draw at Deramore.
After a 2-0 defeat by defending champions UCD on Saturday, Pegasus bounced back with an impressive 3-2 victory over Pembroke Wanderers while Ards made it a six-point weekend by beating Monkstown 1-0 in Dublin following a 2-0 home success over Trinity 24-hours earlier.
Harlequins, who had lost 3-2 to Railway Union on Saturday, will be disappointed to have thrown away an early 2-0 lead against the Munster side yesterday. But it looked like they were going to make amends when they led 3-2 with just four minutes left after Zoe Wilson converted from the penalty spot.
However, they had difficulty clearing their lines as Cork pressed forward in the closing minutes and Irish international Roisin Upton banged home a penalty-corner to earn a share of the spoils. Deramore coach Davy Frazer said: "I don't think it was a case of us panicking near the end. I believe it was tiredness after a really tough game in Dublin on Saturday. But if you'd told me we would get a point against the undefeated league leaders going into the game, I would certainly have taken it."
Jenny McAuley and Lizzie Colvin scored in the opening 10 minutes to give the hosts a great start but Upton pulled one back to reduce the deficit at the break.
Caoimhe Perdue levelled matters early in the second half and then Wilson looked to have won it only for Upton to get her second goal of the match from another set-piece.
Pegasus twice came from behind before beating Pembroke, Lucy McKee and Hannah Grieve scoring in each half before Alex Speers grabbed the winner with seven minutes left.
Faye Kidd, Ards' new signing from Randalstown, scored the only goal of the game in the third quarter as her team defeated Monkstown.
Meanwhile, Queen's will meet Lurgan in a repeat of last year's Denman Ulster Shield decider after overcoming first-time semi-finalists Banbridge and Mossley at Stormont yesterday.
Emily McStea hit two of the goals as the students defeated Bann 5-0 while Charlene Stewart also got a double as holders Lurgan beat the Newtownabbey side 4-1.
Results: Sunday: EYIHL: Belfast Harlequins 3 (J McAuley, L Colvin, Z Wilson) Cork Harlequins 3; Monkstown 0 Ards 1 (F Kidd); Pembroke 2 Pegasus 3 (L McKee, H Grieve, A Speers); Railway Union 2 Trinity 2; UCD 3 Loreto 1; Denman Ulster Shield semi-finals: Queen's 5 (T Hastings, E McStea 2, C Whiteside, J McMaster) Banbridge 0; Lurgan 4 (S McClure, L Wright, C Stewart 2) Mossley 1 (K Smylie); Saturday: EYIHL: Monkstown 0 Cork Harlequins 4; Loreto 2 Pembroke 1; Ards 2 (C Brown, F Brown) Trinity 0; UCD 2 Pegasus 0; Railway Union 3 Belfast Harlequins 2 (J Watt, Z Wilson); Ulster Premier League: Ballymoney 1 (O Mullan) Randalstown 0; Dungannon 2 (L White 2) Ulster Elks 0; Portadown 1 (L Cassels) North Down 2 (K Sinclair, R Lucas) Senior One: Ballyclare 1 (K Dixon) Lisnagarvey 5 (R Houston 2, L McCracken, A Morwood, L McDonnell) Ballymena 0 Priorians 0; Knock 1 (C Little) Omagh 3 (J Hood 2, L Pinkerton); Senior Cup: Raphoe 6 (L. Smith 3, W Patterson, E Harper, G Reid) Armagh 1.