Another dramatic week in the women’s EY Hockey League saw Loreto take up the reins at the top of the table from Old Alex after a weather-beaten schedule.
Three midweek matches in Dublin all saw fine comebacks with Pembroke overcoming the concession of an early Anna O’Flanagan goal to beat Muckross 3-1 on Wednesday evening with Leah McGuire, Laura Noble and Claire Foley all scoring.
A day later, Old Alex looked well set to extend their lead when Hannah McDermott’s double put them 2-0 up on UCD only for Edel Nyland and twins Niamh and Michelle Carey to score three goals in the space four minutes to nick a 3-2 win for the students.
It gave Loreto the chance to return to the lead that night but they found themselves 2-1 down against Railway Union going into the final quarter. Three late goals, however, from Hayley Mulcahy, Hannah Matthews and Sarah Torrans swung the game Loreto’s way, 4-2.
Saturday, meanwhile, saw Storm Jorge lead to the postponement of both Old Alex and Cork Harlequins’ meeting and that of Pembroke and Pegasus.
UCD against Muckross was subsequently abandoned in the second quarter when high winds forced the goals off their moorings.
It gave Loreto the chance to extend their lead at the head of the table but they found themselves being held to a 1-1 draw by a Roisin Upton-inspired Catholic Institute. She opened the scoring before Mulcahy equalised in the third quarter.
Belfast Harlequins won their first game of the season at Deramore Park to reignite their chances of avoiding relegation, closing the gap on the side they beat, Railway Union, to two points.
It came courtesy of Alex Kelly’s final second winner after a thrilling contest in which Quins led 2-0 and 3-2 only for Railway to level the game twice.
Muckross 1 (A O’Flanagan) Pembroke 3 (L McGuire, L Noble, C Foley)
Old Alex 2 (H McDermott 2) UCD 3 (E Nyland, N Carey, M Carey)
Railway Union 2 (K Lloyd, J Long) Loreto 4 (S Twomey, H Mulcahy, H Matthews, S Torrans)
Belfast Harlequins 4 (L Geddes, C Weir, J Watt, A Kelly) Railway Union 3 (L Lloyd 2, K Dillon)
Loreto 1 (H Mulcahy) Catholic Institute 1 (R Upton)