Pegasus and Loreto maintain perfect start in EY Hockey League

Alex Speers hit a brace to maintain Pegasus' perfect start to the season.
Alex Speers hit a brace to maintain Pegasus' perfect start to the season.

Pegasus and Loreto maintained their perfect starts to the women’s EY Hockey League season with strong wins in Dublin to lead the way in the division at this early stage.

For Pegs, they raided Serpentine Avenue for the points in a 4-2 win over Pembroke.

Pembroke took the lead just before the end of the first quarter with Katie-Jane Marshall finding the net from a corner in the 17th minute. Pegasus, though, soon turned things around with the next four goals, starting with Speers double in the 24th and 27th minute to give them a narrow half-time lead.

Rachael Murdock put some daylight between the teams and the game was effectively put out of reach when Kate Gourley got her first of the season with 18 minutes to go. Sorcha Clarke netted her first since returning to Pembroke in the final quarter but the distance was too much to make up at this stage.

It added to their opening day win over UCD and has them in great shape thus far.

They are joined on six points by reigning Champions Trophy holders Loreto who were too strong for newly promoted Muckross, running up a 5-0 win.

It took a while to break down their defence before Sarah Torrans – in a star performance – broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute. Clever corner moves allowed them to advance the scoring further with Mia Jennings and Niamh Small on the mark before Siofra O’Brien and Torrans completed the result.

Aine Connery had a debut to remember for Old Alex as she scored the only goal of their meeting with Cork Harlequins. It came just four minutes in and saw them record a 1-0 win, their first since joining the EYHL ranks.

Railway Union and Belfast Harlequins remain unbeaten following their 2-2 draw at Park Avenue. Two minutes into the first quarter, an interception by Kate Lloyd ended with her smashing home for a rare goal on her openside. The rest of the quarter was played at a high tempo with Railway having the best chance after great work by Lily Lloyd and Katie Fearon.

Just after the start of the second quarter, Anna May Whelan gave a great through ball to Sarah Hawkshaw who struck in a sweet backhand for 2-0.

Harlequins had two corners early in the 2nd quarter but these were well dealt with by Railway defenders but Zoe Wilson did get one back from their third with a straight strike.

Harlequins started the third quarter strongly and were rewarded with a very well taken goal by Lucy Geddes in the opening minutes. They continued to pile on the pressure and had two corners but Railway held them out, leaving both sides on four points to date.

UCD, meanwhile, got off the mark thanks to a Hannah McLoughlin goal with nine minutes to go as they beat Ards 1-0 away from home. It was her first appearance since moving from Loreto.

In the first half, Naomi McKnight did well to save a couple of corners while Ards had a good amount of the ball with Alanah Doyle, Caroline Adams and Naomi Grundie to the fore. But UCD eventually forced home a corner with nine minutes to go to give them their first win of the campaign.

EY Hockey League results: Ard 0 UCD 1 (H McLoughlin); Cork Harlequins 0 Old Alex 1 (A Connery); Loreto 5 (S Torrans 2, M Jennings, S O’Brien, N Small) Muckross 0; Pembroke 2 (K-J Marshall, S Clarke) Pegasus 4 (A Speers 2, R Murdock, K Gourley); Railway Union 2 (K Lloyd, S Hawkshaw) Belfast Harlequins 2 (Z Wilson, L Geddes)

Next Saturday’s fixtures: Belfast Harlequins v Cork Harlequins, 1pm, Deramore Park; Pembroke v Railway Union, 2.30pm, Serpentine Avenue; UCD v Loreto, 2.50pm, Belfield; Muckross v Old Alex, 3.15pm, Muckross Park; Ards v Pegasus, 4pm, Londonderry Park