The Ulster Elks won their third game in a row in the EY Hockey League when they hosted University College Dublin (UCD) on Saturday at Jordanstown, chalking up a 3-1 victory.
UCD started on the front foot but on 11 minutes a defence-splitting pass left Ulster’s Hannah Irwin one-on-one with the keeper. When she tried to spin clear of the UCD stopper she was caught and a stroke was awarded. Megan Frazer stepped up to net the flick.
The goal settled the home side who had been second best in the opening stages and it was the Elks who appeared in control throughout the second period but neither team creating any chance of note.
However, as half-time approached, UCD had a penalty corner which Katie Mullan dragged-flicked high at the left post only for Shirley McCay to clear spectacularly off the line.
UCD upped the pace at the start of the third quarter and on 38 minutes the ball reached Deidre Duke in the circle and she flicked on for Elaine Carey to deflect in. Despite appeals from the Elks contingent, the goal was awarded.
The Jordanstown girls responded immediately when Dawn Axon beat three players and finished with a reverse-stick shot low into the corner on 40 minutes.
Elks then continued to press and three minutes later a ball in from left was deflected across goal by Emily O’Leary where Robyn Chambers volleyed from a yard out to extend the advantage.
UCD started the final quarter strongly, looking for a way back into the game but resolute defending kept them at bay.
With five minutes left, UCD took off their keeper to play with 11 outfield players as they threw the proverbial kitchen sink at their Newtownabbey rivals and despite a goalmouth scramble at the death there was no other additions to the goal tally.
This weekend the Elks host UCD in the semi final of the Irish Senior Cup (4pm).