A manic double-weekend in the women's EYHL ended as it started with Loreto leading the way by three points but that situation only occurred with one of the last touches on Sunday evening.
The Beaufort side fell 2-1 to Pegasus on Saturday in a feisty affair, giving up a 1-0 half-time lead as Ruth Maguire and Alex Speers turned things around in a card-fest.
With Old Alex beating Catholic Institute on Saturday afternoon, also 2-1, it meant the table halfway through the weekend had three sides level on 28 points as this epic battle continues to rage on.
Sunday saw UCD close the gap to the top trio as they backed up a 4-1 Saturday win over Belfast Harlequins with a 1-0 win over Pegs at Queen’s courtesy of Katherine Egan’s single goal.
That left the chance for either Old Alex or Loreto to move clear if they could win their Sunday tussle but it looked to be heading for a draw when Hannah Matthews and Millie O’Donnell traded goals with only minutes to go. But Ali Meeke weighed in with a crucial final minute effort for a 2-1 win that lifts Loreto clear, albeit with a game extra played that the next three sides in the table.
Pembroke are also making a charge for the playoffs as they recorded a six-point weekend. On Saturday, they defeated Cork Harlequins with Emily Beatty netting twice in a 3-1 success.
A day later, they held off Belfast Harlequins 4-3 at Deramore Park to sit in fifth place, four points off the playoffs but with an extra game still to play.
Belfast Quins remain bottom with five points to make up now on Railway Union in ninth. Railway ended a six-game losing streak on Saturday when Sarah Hawkshaw struck the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Muckross.
Muckross bounced back to beat Cork Quins on Sunday 1-0 thanks to a Susie Cannon goal in the 21st minute. Catholic Institute, meanwhile, got the best of Railway 3-0 with Laura Foley, Roisin Upton and Rosie Pratt all scoring.
The upshot is Institute move to a season’s high position of sixth; Muckross are back into seventh just ahead of Cork Harlequins on goal difference. Railway have four points to make up on them if they are to avoid the relegation playoff.