IRISH Senior Cup holders Pegasus were too strong for old rivals Ballymoney on Saturday, winning 3-0 in a tough uncompromising game that never quite lived up to expectations.
It turned out to be a hard midfield battle and in the second half neither defence conceded a penalty corner.
Ballymoney brought back former Irish international Lauren Barr from her studies in England to bolster their line-up.
It was Pegasus who began better and after 12 minutes Susie Beaney put the cup holders in front. She ran into the circle and her pass seemed to confuse the defence which allowed the ball to cross the goal-line.
It was a lapse in concentration but Ballymoney rallied and the superb Nikki Parke hit the crossbar with a rasping shot while a wonderful reverse stick shot from Katie Mullan, flashed inches past the post.
But against Pegasus, even half chances have to be taken and this was underlined in the 25th minute when a cross from Claire McMahon was knocked in by Ulster’s top goalscorer this season Vanessa Surgenor, to put them 2-0 up.
The second half was fairly dour at times with neither side prepared to give anything away.
Gayle Adams had a really tidy game in the heart of the Ballymoney defence and Susie Martin always plays well against her old club – and most other clubs for that matter.
For Pegasus Amy Cooke had a terrific game at right back and Pamela Glass was the star of the defence.
But in the end it was the Pegasus midfield that won the important battle of the day and in the last minute the excellent Stephanie Quinn found space in the circle to hammer in their third goal.
Belfast Harlequins went down 3-1 to visitors Loreto at Deramore.
The Dublin goals came from Sarah Clarke, Kate Evans and Lizzie Colvin while Katie Morris scored from Harlequins. Railway Union were too strong for Lurgan, winning 8-2. Former Pegasus star, and current Irish international Alex Speers, scored a couple, as did Jean McDonnell.
The other Railway goals came from Kate McKenna, Emma Smyth, Kate Lloyd and Zara Delaney. For Lurgan, Natalie Barr converted a penalty stroke and their other goal came from Sarah McClure.
Lurgan are going through a tough time in all-Ireland hockey at the moment but the experience will not be wasted on their young players who have the talent and ability to learn from these sort of games.
Old Alex beat Hermes 2-1 and UCD beat Catholic Institute 4-2 while Dublin University beat Corinthians 2-1.
Armagh had a comfortable 7-0 victory over Glenanne.
Kerri McDonald set the tone when she found the net after only two minutes and Amy Stewart put the home side further ahead seven minutes later.
Then Armagh destroyed the southern team in a 15 minute spell at the start of the second half. Rachel Mulligan scored from two penalty corners and other penalty corner goals came from Christine Russell and Gemma Frazer.
Katherine Steenson added the seventh goal near the end.
Former Armagh striker Joanne Orr scored four goals in a 5-0 victory for Queens over Portadown. Louise McGuigan added the fifth goal.
This was a polished performance by Queens who always looked in control and they go into their quarter-final game against Dublin University with real confidence.