HOCKEY: Ulster Elks’ European hopes dashed by Hermes

Emily O'Leary scores for Ulster Elks against Hermes. INLT 18-924-CON Photo: Philip McCloy
Emily O'Leary scores for Ulster Elks against Hermes. INLT 18-924-CON Photo: Philip McCloy

Ulster Elks’ hopes of qualifying for European competition for a second consecutive year came to a crashing halt at the weekend when they were dumped out of the EYHL Champions Trophy semi-final with a 6-3 defeat to Hermes.

The Champions Trophy sees the top three finishers in the regular league campaign, along with the Irish Senior Cup winners, play-off for the undisputed title of best team in Ireland, and a coveted spot in European competition next season.

League champions Hermes were favourites going into the game but they were on the back foot in the eighth minute when Megan Frazer found the net.

Hermes responded with Chloe Watkins converted the penalty putting the teams all square in a gripping first quarter.

Hopes of further progression were blown out of the water with a three-goal salvo in a blistering six-minute spell from Hermes. They then added a fifth on 37 minutes and goal number six arrived after 51 minutes.

Emily O’Leary pulled one back for the students before Canadian Anna Kozniuk notched up a third from the penalty spot.

The Dubliners went on to win the final on the Sunday beating fellow Ulster outfit Pegasus 3-1 showing their dominance of the local game this season.

The Elks, however, will dust themselves down and prepare for the EuroHockey Club Champions Challenge in Prague later this month where Ricky Lee’s Irish Senior Cup champs will be aiming for more silverware.