Cork Harlequins strengthened their hold on a women’s EY Hockey League Champions Trophy place with back-to-back wins on the road in Ulster this weekend.
They held on for a second win in six days over Pegasus at Queen’s on Saturday when goals from Olivia Roycroft and Karen Bateman saw them win 2-1.
Quins had won a week earlier in a shoot-out in the Irish Senior Cup and this tie was equally closely fought. Pegasus had slightly more of the play but were caught on the counter to fall two behind before Michelle Harvey got a consolation goal with three minutes left
On Sunday, Cork beat their Belfast Harlequin namesakes 3-1 at Deramore Park to move within two points of leaders UCD, albeit with an extra game played.
The students retained their place at the top of the table with a resounding 8-1 win over basement side Ulster Elks with sisters Abbie and Emma Russell both scoring twice.
Hermes-Monkstown stayed within a point of UCD thanks to their 4-2 win at Loreto.
They led from pillar to post with Chloe Watkins getting them up and running from a corner in the first quarter.
Ellen Curran doubled the lead before Anna O’Flanagan kept Hermes-Monkstown well clear. Ali Meeke and Hannah Matthews closed the gap markedly late on but another O’Flanagan goal saw Hermes-Monkstown over the line.
Belfast Harlequins – in their first game of the weekend on Saturday – were grateful to a Laura Johnston double to earn them a crucial 2-1 win over Pembroke.
The result lifts them five points away from the relegation playoff place with Pembroke stuck in ninth. Johnston scored first before Eanna Horan tied the game up in the first quarter.
Johnston, though, struck again before half-time and the Belfast side held on to that lead for the remainder of the tie for a big three points.