A super second half performance saw Loreto end the last remaining perfect record in the Irish women’s EY Hockey League, beating EHL-bound Pegasus 3-2 in a repeat of last season’s Irish grand final.
The Ulster side had much the better of the first half and they went in front in the 10th minute following sustained pressure with Alex Speers scoring from play.
Loreto had to defend four penalty corners but they managed to stay just one down until half-time and they duly took their chances after the interval.
Sarah Torrans equalised within a minute of the turnaround and they went in front six minutes later courtesy of a cracking reverse-stick shot from Sarah Evans.
Hayley Mulcahy completed the success with six minutes to go from a penalty corner switch move to the left, rendering Olivia Berry’s goal a consolation.
The victory lifted Loreto into the top half of the table for the first time, level in fourth place with UCD but just two points off the leading trio of Pegasus, Pembroke and Old Alex.
The Dublin club’s coach Paul Fitzpatrick described it as a “really big performance”, saying: “we have had a lot of players coming in and out. Today we were down three players again so we are adjusting to it. That has been something we had worked hard on and it is helping us develop the whole group.
“Pegasus are a great team, a very solid unit and we did well to only be one behind at half-time.
“It has been a tough start to the season with a lot of tough games.”
He was particularly pleased with how his side found the net in this tie having found goals tricky to come by in some of the earlier rounds.
“Goalscoring is an art. It’s something you are always working on in training – I thought we got two nice goals from play and the corner was pretty nice as well. We only had two or three corners in the game; one from three is not bad as all.”