HOCKEY: Mossley closing in on Shield semis spot

Mossley captain Louise Creighton
Mossley captain Louise Creighton

Newly-promoted Mossley Ladies are closing in on a place in the semi-finals of the Denman Ulster Shield after continuing their impressive start to the season with a 2-2 draw against Ulster Elks.

It could easily have been three points instead of one, as the Elks snatched a last-gasp equaliser after Mossley had been in sight of victory.

The Elks got off to a flying start when Judith Allen gave them the lead in the second minute but a defensive error allowed Sophiie McDowell through for the equaliser eight minutes later.

Rebecca McCullough scored to make it 2-1 and the Elks were unlucky not to equalise shortly afterwards when Emma Quinn had the ball in the net.

But the umpire had blown the whistle a fraction earlier and awarded a penalty-stroke after the ball had struck a defender’s foot.

However, Annabelle Hamilton’s effort from the spot was saved and it looked like Mossley would hang on for the win.

But Hamilton made amends for her miss with virtually the last action of the game when she scored from a set-piece to snatch the Elks a point.

In the other Pool A game, Banbridge were 4-1 winners over Portadown while Ballymoney fell to their second defeat in a row in the other section, losing 3-2 to Lurgan.

The holders came from 2-0 down to win with goals from Lauren Wright, Chloe McCann and a late strike from Jo-Anne Wilson.

Also in Pool B, Anna Doherty’s second-half winner gave holders Randalstown a 1-0 victory over North Down.

Tori Hastings’ penalty-stroke conversion clinched last season’s runners up Queen’s a 1-0 success at Dungannon.

In the men’s Kirk Cup, Chris Barnes scored a hat-trick for the second time in as many weeks as Civil Service defeated North Down 3-1.

However, Jordan Robinson went one better scoring four of the goals as Mossley romped to a 6-1 win over Newry.

Kilkeel were 3-0 winners over South Antrim, the goals coming from Jonathan Aiken, Luke Russell and David Finlay in what was a good performance from the Kilkeel team.