HOCKEY: Queen’s emerge as surprise package at Irish Indoor Championship

Robyn McKee of Queen's and Portadown's Alex Usher-Rea in action on Saturday
Robyn McKee of Queen's and Portadown's Alex Usher-Rea in action on Saturday

Queen’s have emerged as the surprise packet at the Irish Indoor Championship which continued at the PE Centre in Belfast.

The hosts are locked together with champions Ards on six points apiece after opening with two wins on Saturday.

Sunday’s game between the two main contenders could well be the title decider as Queen’s aim to prevent the holders from making it four titles in a row.

Ards have a slight edge but only on goal difference after opening with a 7-1 win over Armagh and then beating the Ulster Elks 7-5.

Queen’s began with a narrow 3-2 win over Portadown and followed that up with a similar success over the Elks.

But both title contenders did have to survive a few scary moments in their respective matches to keep their 100 per cent records intact.

Ards surged into a 3-0 lead over the Elks who responded well to draw level at 3-3 and the Jordanstown side again fought back after trailing 4-3 and 5-4.

But late goals from Chloe Brown and Amy Benson, who shared the bulk of their teams goals saw the all Ireland champions through.

Queen’s were also 3-0 up against the Ports after goals from Hannah McMillan (2) and Katherine Bryans.

But Portadown recovered to set up a grandstand finish as Leanne Cassells and Jill Guiney replied in the last seven minutes.

Against the Elks, another double from McMillan and one from Katie Morris made it 3-0 but Ricky Lee’s side replied through Andrea Desneaux and Laura McAlpine to leave their student rivals hanging on at the end.

Earlier in the day Brown, who finished with eight goals to her name, hit a hat-trick in Ards 7-1 win over Armagh with Benson also netting a treble.