Loreto closing in on EY League after back-to-back wins

by Stephen Findlater

Loreto made big inroads into Pegasus’s lead at the top of the women’s EY Hockey League with back-to-back wins over the weekend.

On Saturday, they won a feisty 3-2 win over Railway Union at Beaufort with goals late in the second, third and fourth quarters, Hannah Matthews winning the day with less than two minutes to go.

Zara Delany gave Railway a first quarter lead when a penalty corner was not fully cleared.

Grace Donald, however, equalised on the stroke of half-time and the hosts went in front from play in the 52nd minute thanks to skipper Sarah Evans from play.

Sarah Hawkshaw levelled the game at 2-2 with nine minutes to go, leaving it all to play for but it was Loreto who grabbed the winner from a penalty corner, Matthews with a direct hit from the top of the D.

A day later, the Rathfarnham club raided Limerick to beat Catholic Institute 4-2, cutting the gap to leaders Pegasus to two points.

It was built around a strong first quarter in which both Sarah Torrans and Siofra O’Brien found the net with Jessica Meeke adding the third goal from a corner for 3-0.

Rosie Pratt pulled one back from a corner and it was game on in the second half when Naomi Carroll chipped in. But Hannah Matthews got the last goal of the game for the second day in a row from a corner for a vital three points on the road.

Elsewhere, two Deirdre Duke goals in three minutes along with a Carolyn Crampton penalty stroke save combined to earn Old Alex a 2-2 draw, keeping them in third place in the table with UCD in fifth.

The students dominated large tranches of the contest but they could not make full use of their opening and ended up paying the price. They did go 1-0 up in the eighth minute when Michelle Carey did much of the approach work and Lena Tice finished off a great goal.

It stayed that way until three minutes into the second half when they produced another classy team goal, Ellen Curran passing to Michelle Carey and on to Sarah Young in the D. She picked out the perfect ball for Niamh Carey to slot home.

But, from Alex’s first corner, Duke found the net in the 47th minute and three minutes later, she had her second to level the match at 2-2. It opened the gate for an end-to-end final quarter with both sides having their chances but none more than Tice from the penalty spot after a foul on Niamh Carey. Crampton denied her, however, and so Alex retained their hold on a point.

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