Keeper Ashley McIlroy stars in Queen’s win over Ballymoney

Ards' Kerri McDonald with Pegasus' Suzanne Ferris
Ards' Kerri McDonald with Pegasus' Suzanne Ferris

Ashley McIlroy was instrumental in ensuring Queen’s remain in third place as they defeated Ballymoney 1-0 on Saturday at Upper Malone.

The students are sitting pretty on 29 points - a tally which must have well exceeded their expectations at the start of the season.

Goalkeeper McIlroy brought off several crucial saves in the second half after Rachael McMillan had scored in the 49th minute to put Queen’s in front.

Money pushed Brigid Cleland up the pitch in an attempt to salvage a point her team probably deserved on the balance of play.

But Jo Orr marked her tightly to foil the danger and when Money did get into shooting positions, McIlroy performed heroics to underline her reputation as one of best keepers in the league.

The Ulster Elks seemed to miss their international trio of Stephanie Jameson, Megan Frazer and Shirley McCay as Lurgan made it two wins in a row with a 1-0 success.

Chloe McCann got the all important goal in the 11th minute as the Elks slim title hopes suffered a potentially fatal blow. Larne are through to the last four of the Irish Hockey Trophy but they left it late, Leigh Snoddy’s penalty corner conversion in the last minute of extra time clinching the Co Antrim side a 1-0 victory over Three Rock Rovers in Dublin.

Armagh fell to their first defeat of the season as their hopes of a trophy treble were dashed by a 5-0 defeat.

In Senior One, North Down were the main beneficiaries as Dungannon lost 3-2 to Victorians with Emma Walker getting a late winner.