EY Hockey League: Loreto go top with stylish 7-1 win over Ards

Catholic Institute and UCD draw in big clash at Belfield

Loreto turned on the style against Ards on Saturday to help themselves to a 7-1 win at Beaufort, a result that saw them go top of the EY Hockey League table on goal difference ahead of Catholic Institute.

The Limerick club had held top spot since October, but a week after drawing at home to Monkstown they dropped more points at Belfield when UCD came from behind for a 1-1 draw.

A high-scoring win, then, would see Loreto go top, and they obliged with a blistering second-half performance during which they scored five times.

They were 2-1 up at half-time, Yasmin Pratt and Christina Hamill scoring either side of Zara Malseed’s ninth goal of the campaign, but there was no stopping them after the break.

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There were all goals of the highest quality too, the pick of them their sixth when Pratt picked out Siofra O’Brien on the right wing with a glorious reverse pass from her own half, O’Brien rounding the goalkeeper before slotting home.

Sarah Torrans added two to the tally, with Aoife Taaffe and Rachel Kelly also chipping in, Loreto now having won five of their last six games, that pre-Christmas defeat by Pembroke Wanderers the only blip in that run.

Pembroke are on a roll too after a shaky start to the defence of their title when they lost three of their opening five games. They’re now unbeaten in five, goals from Orla Macken and Erica Markey giving them a 2-0 win away to Belfast Harlequins, a result that lifts them to fourth in the table, two points behind UCD and four adrift of Loreto and Institute.

Pamela Glass, meanwhile, got Pegasus back to winning ways with the decisive goal in their 3-2 win away to Railway Union, with Old Alexandra 2-1 winners over Monkstown.

Hockey League - Saturday: Loreto 7, Ards 1; UCD 1, Catholic Institute 1; Old Alexandra 2, Monkstown 1; Belfast Harlequins 0, Pembroke Wanderers 2; Railway Union 2, Pegasus 3.

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