Pegasus and Catholic Institute took advantage of Pembroke seeing their seven-game winning streak come to an end, with the chasing pair closing the gap at the top of the women’s EY Hockey League.
Pembroke had looked set to make it eight victories in a row when they raced into a 2-0 lead by half-time against UCD, but second-half goals from Katherine Egan and Emma Paul meant they had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Pegasus were pushed all the way by Railway Union at Malone but eventually prevailed 2-1.
Niamh Shaw’s penalty corner just before half-time had Railway flying high going into the big break but Katie McKee gave Pegs the perfect start to the second half with a leveller in the 37th minute.
And Taite Doherty won the day just before the end of the third quarter, closing the gap from Pegasus to Pembroke to five points with a game in hand.
Catholic Institute were comfortable 4-0 winners over Muckross with Roisin Upton firing home two penalty corner drag-flicks to round out the victory.
Insta are now within three points of the leaders and suggesting there is plenty more road in this title race than envisaged a couple of weeks ago.
At the bottom end of the table, its was the Belfast version of the Harlequins who prevailed against their Cork counterparts in a crucial match-up.
Cork Harlequins had the early chances through Beth Anne O’Farrell but the only goal of the day arrived in the 19th minute for Belfast Harlequins courtesy of Emma Uprichard’s piece of brilliance, a sliding reverse-stick shot having beaten a couple of tacklers.
Cork had their moments in the third quarter but the Belfast side held strong and now have five points between themselves and the relegation places.
Old Alex returned to the top four as they recorded their first win since early November. Nikki Evans was the star of the show in a 3-1 success against Loreto. She scored twice with Mikayla Power getting the other, Hannah Matthews getting the hosts' response.
EYHL Division 1: Cork Harlequins 0 Belfast Harlequins 1 (E Uprichard); Loreto 1 (H Matthews) Old Alex 3 (N Evans, M Power); Muckross 0 Catholic Institute 4 (R Upton 2, N Carroll, H Kelly); Pegasus 2 (K McKee, T Doherty) Railway Union 1 (N Shaw); Pembroke 2 (E Curran, S Campbell) UCD 2 (K Egan, E Paul)
EYHL Division 2
Pool 1: Ards 6 (Z Malseed 2, A Benson 2, A Carson, K Kimber) Galway 1 (A Manley); Trinity 2 (F Neill, K Sullivan) Corinthian 4 (L McGrane 2, C Seggie)
Pool 2: Lurgan 0 Monkstown 5 (S Kelly, C O’Reilly, C Watkins, N Twomey, R Carthy); Queens University 4 (J McMaster 3, E Getty) Cork C of I 1 (C O’Sullivan)