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Weekend Hockey - Roundup

With league leaders Ballymoney becoming the latest team to falter on Rainey's indoor pitch at Meadowbank, Queen's now have the look of women's Ulster Premier title favourites following a 3-0 win over Mossley on Saturday but champions Lurgan are in hot pursuit.

Rainey are certainly determined not to give up their top-flight status without a fight as they held Money to a 2-2 draw thanks to a spectacular last gasp equaliser from Betty Scott.

A week earlier Queen's had been held to a scoreless draw by Richie McGaw's team but they responded in style against the other of the two sides that secured promotion last season. Emily McStea started the ball rolling when she fired home the opener in the 17th minute and Tori Hastings added a second from the penalty spot before the break.



Hastings sealed the win early in the second half when she again netted from the spot and the students' win saw them move into second place in the table. However, they have three games in hand over Ballymoney and are just four points behind.

Dungannon trail only on goal difference in third place while Lurgan are just three points behind Queen's after a 2-1 win at the Tyrone venue. Jo-Anne Wilson scored Lurgans's opener in the 26th minute and Sarah McClure added a second two minutes after the break before Samantha Kelly pulled on back.

In the other Premier game, Randalstown fought back from 2-0 down midway through the second half to draw 2-2 at Havelock Park. Goals from Olivia Berry and Rachel Kerr put Bann in the driving seat before Katherine McDowell and CJ McDonald replied in the last 16 minutes.

In Senior One, Lisnagarvey continue to set the pace after goals from Jenna McQueen and Rachel Houston sealed a 3-0 win over Priorians. Elsewhere, Ballyclare were 2-1 winners over Konck, Omagh beat CI 2-0 and Raphoe and Victorians shared the points after a 4-4 draw in Donegal where the home team scored twice in last 10 minutes after withdrawing their keeper and earlier trailing 2-0.

Meanwhile, Pegasus stay in third place in the EY Irish Hockey League table despite a 2-1 loss to Cork Harlequins at the Dub. However, a 2-0 win over Ards has brought Railway Union to within three points of the final guaranteed play-off spot.

The three Ulster clubs drew a blank and Belfast Harlequins are now seven points outside the top three following a disappointing 5-0 home loss to leaders UCD.

Pegasus coach Ali McNeill was disappointed at the outcome against Cork but remains confident that her team can stay on course for a place in Europe next season. The top three IHL finishers, along with the Irish Senior Cup winners, go into a knock-out series with a trip to the continent the reward for the team that comes out on top.

McNeill said:
"It doesn't really matter where you finish as long as it's in the top three although obviously a win would have given us a bit of breathing space. But there's still a lot to play for and we've UCD next at home, so we haven't completely given up winning the regulation season league outright although today's result makes it harder."



"There was very little in it and, had we made better use of our penalty-corners it could have been different. They took the two chances that came their way while we were unable to take ours and that was the difference."

Pegasus went in front when Taite Doherty converted a cross from Alex Speers in the 15th minute. However, Emily O'Leary scrambled in the equaliser from Cork's only penalty corner of the game to make it all-square at the break. Irish international Naomi Carroll slid in to touch home a pin-point cross from Rebecca Barry for the winner in the 55th minute.

A short distance away at Deramore Park, Belfast Harlequins' play-off chances are all but over as UCD stayed four points clear at the top. Goals from Emma Smyth and Cecilia Joyce dented Ards' hopes as Railway stayed in contention after their win in Dublin.

Ards coach Gareth Grundie said:

"We started quite well with an early opportunity and corner. Railway were better in the second quarter and a poor mistake from us allowed them their first goal. We had opportunities to get back into it before conceding a second from a corner."

"We just didn't take care of the ball well enough and paid the price but still had our chances. Making the play-offs will now be difficult but still possible although we will need other results to go our way."

In the first set of games in the men's Premier after the split, Instonians romped to a 5-0 win over South Antrim with goals from Chris Barnes and Gavin Lecky, who got two apiece and Dane Ward. Elsewhere, Mossley were 3-0 winners over Belfast Harlequins and Kilkeel's Luke Russell hit a treble in a 4-2 victory at Portadown.

In the Irish Hockey Trophy quarter finals, Bangor beat UCC on penalties after Ryan Burgess hit a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw, Raphoe defeated Newry 3-1 but NICS fell to a 7-3 loss in Bandon.

In the EYHL, three goals in the first 14 minutes saw Lisnagarvey win their big derby with Banbridge 3-1 and keep up their chances of putting pressure on Glenanne in the men’s title chase.

Glenanne were comfortable 5-1 winners at Cookstown, moving them 10 points clear at the top of the table with five games to go. Garvey, though, are very much in the mix with three games in hand, starting with a midweek date against Annadale as they bid to narrow the gap.

And they were flying against Bann when Sean Murray scored very early on. Andy Williamson’s penalty corner goal and a Neal Glassey strike built an imposing advantage and while Banbridge got back into the game via Luke Witherow’s goal, they had been left with too much to do.

Glenanne, meanwhile, were in control of their game in Co Tyrone when Eddie O’Malley put them one up in the opening minutes before two Shannon Boucher extended the advantage to 3-0 early in the second quarter. Jack Haycock’s reply proved brief respite for Cookstown as Gary Shaw and Jason Rogan stretched the lead out to 5-1.

John Jermyn’s hat trick saw Cork C of I continue to inch away from the relegation play-off courtesy of a 3-3 draw against Annadale at Strathearn, a result that keeps Cork in eighth and Dale in seventh. After trailing to Jermyn's opener, goals from John Taylor and Rhiley Carr put Dale 2-1 up at half time. Jermyn scored again to make it 2-2, Oliver Flack again put the hosts in front before the Rio Olympian had the final say.

Three Rock Rovers and Railway Union’s match was moved to March 1 on account of Three Rock playing in Georgia this weekend. There, they won the EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge II with six wins from six, earning Ireland promotion to the third tier for 2019. Ulster Hockey congratulates Rovers on their achievement!


RESULTS
Men 


EYHL:
Annadale 3 (J Taylor, R Carr, O Flack) Cork C of I 3 (J Jermyn 3)
Cookstown 1 (J Haycock) Glenanne 5 (S Boucher 2, E O’Malley, G Shaw, J Rogan)
Lisnagarvey 3 (S Murray, A Williamson, N Glassey) Banbridge 1 (L Witherow)
Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2) Monkstown 2 (M Romoli, N Dee)

Ulster Premier League:

Portadown 2 (G Titler, R Scott) Kilkeel 4 (L Russell 3, G Russell)
South Antrim 0 Instonians 5 (C Barnes 2, G Leckey 2, D Ward)
Mossley 3 (J Robinson, A Bell, J Cathcart) Belfast Harlequins 0

North Down 4 (G McKeown 2, J Gilmore 2) Queen's 1

Irish Hockey Trophy Quarter-finals:
Newry 1 (D England) Raphoe 3 (T Orr, J Wilson, W Kilpatrick)
Bandon 7 (C Sweetnam 4, D Jennings, A Smith, D Smith) Civil Service 3 (S Armstrong 3)
Bangor 2 (J Easlie, R Burgess) UCC 2 (S Grace, D Wilson) Bangor won shoot-out 6-5
Portrane 2 North Dublin 2 (Portrane won shoot-out 5-4)


Women
EYHL:

Belfast Harlequins 0 UCD 5 (D Duke 2, K Mullan, L Tice, K Egan)
Loreto 2 (A Meeke, J McGirr) Hermes-Monkstown 0
Pegasus 1 (T Doherty) Cork Harlequins 2 (E O’Leary, N Carroll)
Pembroke Wanderers 2 (J Ringwood, A Naughton) Trinity 2 (S Campbell, E Noone)
Railway Union 2 (E Smyth, C Joyce) Ards 0

Ulster Premier:

Banbridge 2 (O Berry, R Kerr) Randalstown 2 (K McDowell, CJ McDonald)
Dungannon 1 (S Kelly) Lurgan 2 (J Wilson, S McClure)
Queen's 3 (E McStea, T Hastings 2) Mossley 0
Rainey 2 (K Ferguson, B Scott) Ballymoney 2 (J Hamilton, N Parke) 

Senior One:
Ballyclare 2 (Z King, K Dixon) Knock 1 (A Trimble)
Omagh 2 (A Buchanan, E Shortt) CI 0
Priorians 0 Lisnagarvey 3 (J McQueen 2, R Houston)
Raphoe 4 (S Barnett 2, S Patterson, E Harpur) Victorians 4 (E Conlin, E Cutrona 2, J Orr)

Irish Hockey Trophy Quarter-finals:
Bandon 5 Ballymena 2 (E Anderson,R Reynolds)
Bray 1 Three Rock Rovers 0
Catholic Institute 4 Belvedere 1



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