Elks draw with Railway but lose out to Hermes

Jessica McMaster of Ulster Elks scored twice in the 2-2 draw with Railway Union. Photo: Presseye

Jessica McMaster of Ulster Elks scored twice in the 2-2 draw with Railway Union. Photo: Presseye

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The Ulster Elks drew 2-2 with Railway Union on Saturday before losing 3-1 to Hermes on Sunday in Dublin.

A feisty EY Hockey League game at Park Avenue against Railway saw the Elks go ahead twice through Jessica McMaster.

Elks captain Gemma Frazer was on target in the 3-1 defeat to Hermes. Photo: Presseye

Elks captain Gemma Frazer was on target in the 3-1 defeat to Hermes. Photo: Presseye

The first goal came in the opening 10 minutes when Rebecca Barry played a telling cross into the circle which the Belfast High School pupil slotted through the legs of the advancing goalkeeper.

But the lead was shortlived as Julia O’Halloran scrambled home a rebound for the Dublin outfit after Rebecca Davidson, in the Elks goal, had saved an initial shot.

McMaster’s second came just after the restart, again with the forward picking up a cross in the circle and sliding in on goal to deflect into the net.

But again the Jordanstown students relinquished their advantage within a matter of minutes when Railway despatched a penalty corner after a well-worked routine.

Twenty-four hours later Ricky Lee’s side lost out to leaders Hermes at St Andrews College.

The home side got off to a great start taking the lead when a full-pitch counter-attack presented Anna O’Flanagan with the simplest of tap-ins, after a chance went begging for the Elks at the other end.

Nine minutes later captain Gemma Frazer equalised with a reverse-stick strike after Rebecca Barry set her up to fire past Hermes keeper Emma Gray.

In the second half indiscipline cost the Elks as they spent much of the period down to 10 players, during which time Chloe Watkins scored a drag-flick from a disputed penalty corner and then Nikki Evans hit a reverse stick strike which ricocheted off Rebecca Davidson’s helmet and into the goal.

The win puts Hermes seven points clear at the top of the EY Hockey League and now means that the chasing pack has closed the group with only six points separating teams between second and eighth place.

This weekend the Elks must travel to Dublin once again to play Corinthians in the second round of the Irish Senior Cup, before facing Connacht side Greenfields at Jordanstown on December 5 when EY Hockey League action resumes.