Pegasus clash won’t decide title outcome, says Ards’s Tamara McLeod

Ards Tamara McLeod
Ards Tamara McLeod

Premier League leaders Ards will be adopting a cautious approach to Saturday’s clash with Queen’s at Upper Malone despite their recent heroics.

On Boxing Day they lifted the Denman Ulster Shield after a 50 year gap and four days earlier they retained their all Ireland indoor hockey title.

Ards currently hold a four point lead over Pegasus in the Premier League table although the defending champions have a game in hand.

Pegasus won’t have long to wait for a chance to avenge last week’s Shield final defeat as the teams meet in the league on Saturday week.

But Tamara McLeod, player-of-the-match in the Shield final, doesn’t necessarily believe that the game at Ards Leisure Centre is a potential title decider.

“Even if we were to win, although it would be a big help, there is still a long way to go and there are a lot of tough games ahead starting with the one against Queen’s,” she explained.

“They have been in good form recently and have improved a great deal since the start of the season.

“We also have to go to Jordanstown to play the Ulster Elks, who beat us at home, and we have to go to Ballymoney which is never an easy place to play and I think they are in a false position in the table.

“We have proved all too often in the past that we are capable of slipping up in matches we are expected to win so we can take nothing for granted.”

Pegasus will be expected to keep in touch with the leaders with a win over Lisnagarvey but their goalkeeper Caroline Reid doesn’t necessarily agree.

“We won’t be going into the game with a defeatist attitude and if we came away with a draw that would be a great result for us,” she said.

Armagh have that doomed look about them going into their game with the Ulster Elks at Ardmore.

They are seven points adrift at the foot of the table and need to pick up points soon if they are to avoid the drop.

They will take some positives from a narrow 5-4 defeat in the corresponding game at Jordanstown and from the fact their opponents will be without their trio of ex Canadian internationals.

Lurgan and Ballymoney meet in an important basement battle and there is another of those tonight at Deramore.

Only goal difference separates Harlequins and Randalstown as both teams are locked together on 10 points so avoiding defeat would appear to be the priority.