Pegasus faced with difficult IHL tie against Railway Union

Pegasus' Vanessa Surgenor
Pegasus' Vanessa Surgenor

Pegasus will meet Railway Union in the semi finals of the Irish Hockey League after finishing runners up in Pool B following a 2-1 defeat by Loreto in Dublin on Saturday.

It will be a huge task for the Ulster champions against the Dublin outfit particularly as the standard of Leinster club hockey is superior to that in the north.

By their own admission, Pegasus didn’t perform to their full potential on Saturday and they know a similar display won’t be enough to overcome Railway Union in Banbridge at the weekend.

“It wasn’t the sort of display we are capable of maybe due to the fact that the players already knew they were in the semi finals.” said coach Michelle Rainey.

“But we are happy enough to be playing Railway in the semis and reaching that stage was our target before the start of the season.”

Loreto, who had earlier beaten Ards and Ballymoney in the same section, will now meet UCD in Saturday’s first semi final.

The home team dominated possession and territory in the first quarter but there were very few clear cut chances.

Loreto did win a penalty corner on 11 mins after a flowing movement from the back but the strike from Sarah Clarke was well saved by Pegasus goalkeeper Sharon Moffett.

Towards the end of the quarter her opposite number Louisa Healy was forced into a good save from Rhianna Campbell.

The second quarter was dominated by Loreto as they won five corners without reply but the Pegasus defence was equal to the task.

Loreto did come close on 30 mins when a smashed ball into the circle was deflected went narrowly wide.

An all-action third quarter brought a flurry of set pieces, each side winning three apiece.

The pace of the game lifted considerably as both teams attacked freely with all three goals coming in the space of four minutes.

In the 47th minute, Nikki Keegan won a set piece which her sister Rachel finally put into the net.

From the pass back Pegasus won a penalty corner which Vanessa Surgenor smashed into the goal despite a valiant effort to stop it by post defender Sinead McGirr.

Again from hit off Niamh Small made a forceful run into the circle and her sweet pass was deflected into the net by schoolgirl Lauren O’Leary for the winner.

Pegasus had several corners in the final period but couldn’t find the equaliser that would have been enough for them to top the Pool.