Hermes completed the first phase of the women’s EY Hockey League season with another significant victory over their nearest rival, Railway Union, to carry a mammoth nine-point lead in to the Christmas break.
It means they are odds on to claim top spot at the end of the regular season which brings with it a European place as well as a spot in the end of season playoffs.
Railway, though, have given them their toughest ride in both of their meetings so far this season. They led at St Andrew’s in the third quarter via Kate McKenna off the back of Zara Delany and Julia O’Halloran’s approach work.
But quick-fire goals from Naomi Carroll and Sally Campbell swapped the lead and the Hermes defence was resolute to hold on to the 2-1 win – nine wins from nine outings. Railway sit second nine points back but with a game extra played.
Pegasus and UCD continued their resurgent form to move into the top four with wins over Greenfields and Pembroke, respectively.
Pegs had just one point from their first four outings but have since won five out of six matches.
Katie Morris and Hannah McMillan’s goals laid the base for this result before Alex Speers closed out the win. For Greenfields, this was their strongest showing of a tough campaign but they did welcome Brenda Flannery back into the fold.
Deirdre Duke’s double powered UCD to their win over Pembroke and lifts them to fourth with a game in hand over the two sides directly above them. They had just one win from their first four games but recovered to rise up the rankings.
UCC, meanwhile, won the Cork derby with Harlequins for just the second time in the last decade to give their hopes of avoiding a relegation playoff a big boost with a famous 3-1 win. UCC stay in ninth but are within reach of Ards now. Harlequins drop two places to fifth with five wins and five losses on their record.
Ards and Ulster Elks’ tie was postponed.