Queen’s and Lisnagarvey warmed up with friendly wins at the weekend before they go head-to-head in their opening Denman Ulster Shield game on Wednesday.
The students defeated ESM from the Scottish Premier League 1-0 in a tournament in Edinburgh while Garvey were 2-0 winners over Portadown.
Yesterday Queen’s went down 1-0 against English second division side Whitley Bay after Anna Hutchinson’s goal had clinched them the win over ESM.
Coach Simon Bell felt the tournament was ideal preparation for the challenges that lie ahead.
“The Whitley Bay game was very tight in the first half but we were better in the second when we were unable to capitalise on our chances,” he said.
“It was a really good weekend which gave us the chance to play our first competitive hockey of the new season. We were able to have a look at new players and we’re now looking forward to the new season.”
Second half goals from Jasmine Kirkwood and Stephanie McCullough gave Garvey their win over Portadown.
Ports coach Jane McKimm was far from unhappy at her new-look side’s performance.
“We were well on top in the first half but, unfortunately, our play in the final third let us down as we weren’t clinical enough.” she said.
“But we have lost eight players with university commitments and pregnancies this season so there were plenty of positives to take .
Meanwhile goals from Kirstie Lammey, Chloe Mitchell, who got two, Dawn Axon and Jordan Paige gave the Ulster Elks a 5-3 win over Belfast Harlequins.
as the Jordanstown side prepare for the start of their IHL campaign.