Hockey: Ards focused on next EY Irish League clash with Greenfields in Galway

Ards captain Caroline Adams
Ards captain Caroline Adams

Ards will be taking nothing for granted on Saturday as they bid to get their EY Irish Hockey League ambitions back on track with a seemingly straightforward trip to Galway to face Greenfields.

The Ulster champions have yet to win a game in the competition having drawn 3-3 with Pegasus and lost 5-1 to Hermes in their opening two matches.

In theory they should win, but that was also the scenario last season when they played the Connacht minnows at Ards Leisure Centre.

But Greenfields came away with a 1-1 draw and went on to beat Lurgan later on as they defied the odds on both occasions.

They lost 4-0 to UCC and then went down by the same scoreline to Railway Union in the current campaign.

“We are looking forward to the game but we know it will be tough and last season’s result proved how difficult they can be to play against,” said Ards captain Caroline Adams.

“We have been disappointed with our performances in the last two games so we are wanting to put in a good display before we go into the two-match break.”

Pegasus find themselves in an identical situation to Ards, having just one point on the board after their first two matches.

But unlike Ards, they face a much tougher test as they must travel to Dublin to face a star-studded Hermes side, who have won both their opening matches.

Pegasus drew 2-2 with the same opponents on matchday one last season en route to winning the title and they can scarcely afford to lose after last week’s surprise defeat to Pembroke.

“It’s certainly going to be difficult as they are a crack side and have a lot of people back to the club from UCD - it’s a tough fixture but we will be up for it - we have to be,” said Pegasus coach Arlene Boyles.

“It’s still very early days and we are not going to get too despondent after game two with a long, hard season ahead.”

The Ulster Elks will be expected to make it three wins in a row when they host UCC at Jordanstown.

The Cork students, despite their opening win over Greenfields, are likely to be fighting it out in the lower reaches of the table when things pan out.

The Elks have been in imperious form so far, beating Pembroke 3-1 on day one and following that win up with a similar margin of victory away to Cork Harlequins