Belfast Harlequins secure vital point

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The women’s EY Hockey League regular season title looks like it is set to go down to the final day as UCD stormed back to beat Cork Harlequins while Hermes-Monkstown won out 6-1 at Ulster Elks.

At the bottom, Pembroke recorded a vital win – their first of 2017 – over Ards with Eanna Horan getting the only goal in a 1-0 result.

It came 11 minutes from the end and sees them rise four points away from the automatic relegation spot and back within range of Belfast Harlequins in eighth.

The Belfast side, meanwhile, earned what could be a vital point as they tied 2-2 with Pegasus in an Ulster derby.

First half goals from Amy Geddes and Gemma Frazer had Quins leading 2-1 at the break before Ruth Maguire, with her second of the game, scored a penalty stroke to spilt the points.

Belfast Quins end the weekend three points clear of Pembroke while Pegasus now have seven points to make up in their chase of a Champions Trophy place.

For UCD, their unbeaten run was under severe threat as Naomi Carroll’s double had Cork 3-2 up going into the final quarter at Belfield.

But a Sorcha Clarke goal and a winner five minutes from the end from Abbie Russell snatched a 4-3 success.

For Quins’ part, they have some consolation as results elsewhere confirmed their place in the EY Champions Trophy and they do have a re-match against the Belfielders in the Irish Senior Cup final.

Hermes-Monkstown’s win over basement side Elks was a far simpler affair.

Laura Pinder, Caitriona McGilp and Sinead Loughran all got their first goals of the EYHL campaign adding to efforts from Nikki Evans, Anna O’Flanagan and Rosie Carrigan.

Loreto took a huge step toward landing that final playoff place thanks to a Hannah Matthews’ 3-2 win over Railway Union.

The international defender scored a trio of penalty corner goals to see her side beat their nearest rivals.