Saturday’s Premier League 1-1 draw between Ulster Elks and rivals Queen’s meant that all three encounters between the two sides have ended in a share of the spoils.
However, that doesn’t mean each of the games lacked excitement, as the fixture at Jordanstown proved over the weekend.
In the opening seconds the Elks were on the attack and Gemma Frazer linked up with captain Kirstie Lammey but the skipper was able to get her shot away and almost instantly the visitors were in the home circle.
It was Queen’s, in fact, who drew first blood from a penalty corner resulting from that early counter-attack. A switch from the top to the left hand side of the circle, was well struck but it was perhaps the slight deflection going through the crowd that beat Rebecca Davidson in the Elks’ goal.
The Newtownabbey side rallied and enjoyed a period of sustained pressure on the Queen’s goal, but the only chance of note came when Laura McAlpine’s shot was blocked before it could find it’s intended target.
The Belfast students had the opportunity to extend their lead, again from a well worked penalty corner routine, but it came to nothing.
The second half started off much better for the Elks and there willingness to attack paid off after six minutes when Gemma Frazer’s cross picked out Laura McAlpine only for her first-time effort to be smothered by the Queen’s keeper. However, the rebound fell neatly to Louise Wright, who from one metre out, tucked the ball into the net to equalise.
While both sides were determined to sneak a win, equally, the atmosphere suggested it was one neither team wanted to lose.
Gillian Kane was just inches away from connecting on a well-timed cross for the Jordanstown students, while their Belfast counterparts hit the side-netting from a tight angle.
On Saturday the Ulster Elks face Lurgan in the quarter-final of the Irish Senior Cup at Jordanstown (2:30 pm) as they bid to reach the last four of one of the oldest cup competitions in world hockey.