Ards and the Ulster Elks will once again represent the province at next month’s all Ireland indoor finals after a thrilling climax to the local qualifier at the Queen’s PEC last night.
The Jordanstown side came from 2-0 down to beat student rivals Queen’s 6-5 while it took a late winner from Naomi Elliott to clinch Ards the win (2-1) they needed to deny Lurgan a place in the finals in Dublin next month.
The Elks trailed 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 against Queen’s who had a star performer in Hannah McMillan who hit four of the goals but a late winner from Laura Wilson clinched the Jordanstown girls the win.
The night’s action began with a 6-1 win for Ards over Portadown with Elliott, Katy Bennett, Becky Weir, Sarah Alexander and Chloe Brown (2) scoring for the all Ireland champions and Leanne Cassells replying for the losers late on.
The Elks win over Queen’s clinched them a place in the Dublin series next month and who would join them was all down to the final game of the tournament between Lurgan and Ards.
Ards needing only a draw after that opening victory and Lurgan requiring nothing short of victory to progress.
But to be fair Lurgan played very well..After an uneventful opening quarter it was Ards who took the lead when Chloe Brown set up Katy Bennet who scored at the far post.
Lurgan quickly got themselves back in the game as Hannah Grieve converted a penalty corner. With the clock running down and time running out for Lurgan it was Ards who grabbed the winner as Elliott swept the ball home after a swift passing move.