Ards claim eighth Ulster Indoor title

Lurgan's Sarah McClure
Lurgan's Sarah McClure

Ards were crowned Ulster indoor champions for the eighth year in a row yesterday at the Queen’s PE Centre but only after surviving an almighty scare.

It was a close run thing as they got the verdict over Mossley only on goal difference after coming from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with the Newtownabbey side, with both teams winning their remaining matches.

Ards will now go onto to represent Ulster at the Irish Championship against the other provincial winners at the Antrim Forum on Sunday week.

Outdoors, Lurgan stay four points clear at the top of the Ulster Premier League after narrowly beating struggling Ballymena on Saturday in a dour struggle.

In a match that won’t live long in the memory, Sarah McClure’s second minute penalty corner strike proved decisive.

Ballymena gave as good as they got for long periods as they restored some pride at least following the previous week’s 5-0 loss to Queen’s.

Lurgan coach Robbie McMinn said: “We kept the ball well but we’re not clicking in the attacking third although it’s a good start to the year with two wins and a clean sheet today.”

Ballymoney stayed in touch as they comfortably defeated Rainey 5-1 at the Joey Dunlop Centre to leave the Magherafelt side anchored to the foot of the table.

Money led 3-1 at the break after goals from Jan Hamilton, Nikki Parke and Lucy Millar and added two more after the break through Cathryn Knipe and Katherine Minihan.

Dungannon recovered from their midweek loss to Lurgan to keep their Irish Hockey League II hopes alive with a 2-1 win over Lisnagarvey at the Tyrone venue.

Laura White gave the hosts the lead in the 12th minute and Georgina Mulligan made it 2-0 before Rachel Houston’s consolation.

In Senior One, Omagh stay in pole position following a 4-1 win over Club KV in the late slot at the Dub. Aimee Buchanan, who got two, Emma Shortt and Lisa Long got the Omagh goals with Charlotte Little replying.

Meanwhile, Ireland’s Under 21s drew 1-1 with Great Britain’s Under 23s in Alicante yesterday, with Laura Foley netting a second half equaliser. After a 2-1 opening defeat Dave Passmore’s side had gone down 3-0 to the more experienced GB side on Friday.

In the men’s Anderson Cup Lisnagarvey’s Andy Williamson scored five time as Lisnagarvey defeated South Antrim 8-3. Instonians beat Mossley 2-1, Kilkeel were 3-2 winners over EAnnadale and Cookstown crushed Portadown 8-1.

Ulster Indoor Championship: Ards 3 Lisnagarvey 0; North Down 1 Queen’s 0; Ards 2 Mossley 2; Lisnagarvey 4 Queen’s 3; North Down 0 Mossley 4; Ards 3 Queen’s 0; Lisnagarvey 5 North Down 2; Mossley 4 Lisnagarvey 3; Ards 5 North Down 0; Queen’s 1 Mossley 3.