IHL Champions Trophy: Lisngarvey and Pegasus suffer semi-final heartbreak

Lisnagarvey's Matthew Nelson
Matthew Nelson's goal got Lisnagarvey on terms before Three Rock Rovers' last-gasp winner

Ulster sides Lisnagarvey and Pegasus suffered heartbreaking losses in the Irish Hockey League Champions Trophy semi-finals on Saturday.

Garvey were beaten 2-1 by hosts Three Rock Rovers with Luke Madeley hitting the winner from a penalty corner in the final play of the contest.

The win clinches Three Rock's place in Europe next season as they set up Sunday's final with champions Glenanne.

Pegasus suffered a shootout defeat after drawing 2-2 with Cork Harlequins.

The Munster side will play Loreto in the women's decider after they beat defending champions UCD 1-0.

Men's semi-final a tense affair

The men's semi-final was a tight and tense encounter between two evenly matched teams.

It took until the third quarter for the Dublin side to open the scoring as a ball into the circle was met by a sliding deflection from Harry Morris.

The lead lasted until eleven minutes to go when Irish international Matthew Nelson equalised, turning the ball into the net from close range.

A shootout looked the most likely outcome as the clock ticked down but an attempted clearance from inside the Garvey circle hit a team-mate's foot which gave Madeley his penalty corner chance as Garvey's players were left disconsolate.

Glenanne, winners of the Irish Hockey League, continued their pursuit of a domestic double with a 3-0 win over Pembroke Wanderers in the other semi-final. Shane O'Donoghue scored twice with Shannon Boucher adding the third goal as Pembroke were left to rue no return from seven penalty corners.

Pegasus' Stephanie Thompson
Stephanie Thompson was on target for Pegusus but they suffered a shootout defeat by Cork Harlequins

Pegasus lose after taking early lead

In the women's semi-final, Pegasus got off to the perfect start against Cork Harlequins scoring early on from a penalty corner, Shirley McCay's shot was saved by Emma Buckley but Stephanie Thompson was on hand to slip home the rebound.

However they then conceded possession and territory to Cork who equalised before the end of the first quarter when Michelle Barry's goalbound effort went in off a Pegasus stick.

There was an element of controversy around Cork's second goal when Pegasus believed the ball deflected of a stick and onto a Cork body. The umpire waved play on and Roisin Upton and Naomi Carroll combined to set up Barry for her second strike of the first half.

After the interval Pegasus began taking the game to Cork and after a couple of near misses they got the equaliser their play deserved. Once again it came from a penalty corner and this time McCay's shot proved too powerful.

There would be no more scoring in the final quarter and so it was on to a shootout.

Ruth Maguire was unlucky as her shot was goal bound but the whistle went to signal the eight seconds was up before it crossed the line but Cliodhna Sargent and Michelle Barry scored for Cork and despite Taite Doherty pulling Pegasus back into the shootout it was Rebecca Barry who beat Sammy-Jo Greer with the decisive effort.

In the final on Sunday Cork will face Loreto who shocked league champions UCD 1-0, with Irish international Alison Meeke scoring the only goal.

As well as the two Champions Trophy Finals the final places in the Irish Hockey League will be decided on Sunday with Cookstown meeting Bangor at Shaw's Bridge (14:30 BST) in the men's promotion/relegation play-off while Trinity College face Old Alex in the women's game.

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