After being held to a draw on their last outing in the EY Hockey League the Ulster Elks hosted Ards at Jordanstown on Saturday, running out 2-0 winners.
In wet conditions, they dominated the opening exchanges, winning a string of penalty corners. A goalscoring opportunity fell for Sports Science student Gemma Frazer but the Elks’ captain couldn’t make her reverse stick shot count.
The deadlock was broken however in the second period when Jessica McMaster was found unmarked in the circle. The Belfast High pupil collected a Shirley McCay cross before pivoting away from the oncoming defender to reverse hit spectacularly into the roof of the net.
In the second session the County Down side came in search of an equaliser. They created chances of their, own winning a couple of penalty corners as well from open play.
Rebecca Davidson in the Elks goal made a number of smart saves and Ards’ best chance was denied whenever Postgraduate Sports Management student Jordan Page made a goal line clearance to ensure that the Elks kept their lead.
In the 42nd minute is was the students doubled their advantage when a short corner variation allowed Megan Frazer time to pick her spot and the Ireland captain calmly placed the ball into the far corner of the Ards net.
The final period of the game was pretty one-sided with the Jordanstown side keeping play in Ards territory, limiting the visitors to the odd counter attack.
In Dublin, league leaders Hermes fought out a 3-2 win against Railway Union, which drops Railway into third place in the league and means that the Ulster Elks sit in second spot just two points behind Hermes.
This weekend the Elks travel to Dublin for back-to-back games. They play Railway Union on Saturday and then Hermes on the Sunday.
Coach Ricky Lee commented: “It was a big three points for us and it keeps us in a great position going into a difficult double-header in Dublin next weekend. I thought we controlled large parts of the fixture and looked deserving of the win, to the credit of the players who really raised their game.”