Railway Union ended Catholic Institute’s long winning streak to provide a second big twist to the women’s EY Hockey League title race while giving their own EY Champions Trophy aspirations a massive boost.
Insta had the chance to move top for the first time if they could extend their run to seven wins and they started off well with Jenny Clein scoring from their first corner of the contest, coming just two minutes after she came off the bench.
But Railway were in bullish mood off the back of their strong draw against Pembroke on Saturday and they went level when Orla Fox dragged in a penalty corner.
Lily Lloyd made it 2-1 with a spectacular finish, shooting into the top corner on her reverse and they carried that momentum into the second half. Lloyd became the creator for the third goal when her lovely flat cross got the finish it deserved from Zara Delany at the back post.
Insta fought back and got one back in the 65th minute courtesy of Aebhfhinn Bourke but Railway held on for the points which lifts them up to fifth place.
For Institute, they now have an interesting proposition as they end the weekend in second place. Should they win their three remaining fixtures, they will be champions – it is a tough line-up, though, with away dates against Loreto and Belfast Harlequins along with a vital battle with Pembroke on March 19.
For Pembroke, should they also win their three remaining ties, too, they will be champs – in addition to Insta, they face Belfast Harlequins and Muckross.
Lot's of movement in the mid-table shake-up after today's women's #EYHL fixtures with @pegasushockey and @RailwayUnionHC rising today:@pegasushockey 2 (A Speers, L McKee) @OldAlexHC 1 (E Russell)@RailwayUnionHC 3 (O Fox, L Lloyd, Z Delany) @InstaLadies 2 (J Clein, A Bourke) pic.twitter.com/beiGF8E0tl
— Hockey Ireland (@irishhockey) March 6, 2022
In the other game on Sunday, Pegasus ended their run of three defeats – all without scoring – to pick an important win over Old Alex, 2-1 at the Dub.
The first half was tight with Hannah Craig’s two penalty corner hits the main chances, the latter almost redirected in by Ruth Maguire.
But they did get their goal, ending a run of 274 minutes without one, when Shirley McCay slapped a third corner into the path of Alex Speers and she broke the deadlock in Q3.
It stayed that way after some big scramble defence before Pegasus put themselves further in the clear when Lucy McKee battled through to pop in the second with 12 minutes to go.
Emma Russell got one back amid a melee in front of the Alex goal with two minutes to goal but the Ulster side won out. It sees them move back up the table into fourth place.
The next tie on the agenda is UCD’s meeting with Loreto on Thursday night at Beaufort – their third face-off within a month. Loreto won the league tie 4-1 while the students took the Jacqui Potter Cup semi-final result 3-1 last week.
Women’s EYHL Division 1
Sunday: Railway Union 3 (O Fox, L Lloyd, Z Delany) Catholic Institute 2 (J Clein, A Bourke); Pegasus 2 (A Speers, L McKee) Old Alex 1 (E Russell)