Irish Hockey League: Three Ulster teams suffer defeats

The three Ulster teams in the Women's Irish Hockey League all lost on Saturday, with Pegasus still in a strong position to finish in the top four despite losing 1-0 to leaders UCD.

The play-off hopes of Belfast Harlequins and Ards suffered setbacks as they were beaten 2-0 by Railway Union and Trinity College respectively.

Pembroke and Loreto drew 1-1 in Saturday's other game.

UCD are still four points ahead of Cork Harlequins at the top of the table.

It was a tightly contested game at Queen's University between Pegasus and UCD with both sides struggling to create scoring chances in the wet conditions.

Pegasus also found goalkeeper Clodagh Cassin in superb form as she denied opportunities for Alex Spears and Taite Doherty.

It took the first goal of the season for Sara Twomey from a penalty corner with eight minutes remaining to separate the sides.

The lead at the top of the table for UCD is still four points over Cork Harlequins after Cliodhna Sargent netted the only goal of the game in their home victory over bottom-of-the-table Monkstown.

At Deramore international Kate Lloyd opened the scoring for Railway Union as her reverse stick shot beat Belfast Harlequins goalkeeper Marianne Fox to finish off a well executed counter attack.

Fox was otherwise superb throughout and Harlequins approach play deserved better but they could not connect with the final pass in the circle and they were left to rue not creating more in front of goal when Kate Orr scored from a penalty corner in the final quarter.

The gap between Railway Union in fourth place and Harlequins in seventh is now 10 points while, Ards, in sixth, failed to improve their chances of making the end of season play-offs as they went down to a 2-0 defeat to Trinity College in Dublin.

Women's Irish Hockey League results

Pegasus 0-1 UCD

Belfast Harlequins 0-2 Railway Union

Pembroke 1-1 Loreto

Trinity College 2-0 Ards

Cork Harlequins 1-0 Monkstown