Villain Shirley McCay makes amends for Ulster Elks
Shirley McCay was villain turned heroine as the Ulster Elks got their EY Irish Hockey League campaign off to a winning start with a 3-1 defeat of Pembroke Wanderers at Jordanstown on Saturday.
The Irish international sat in the sin-bin for a total of nine minutes after receiving two green cards and one yellow for a trio of indiscretions.
But she redeemed herself with two superbly struck penalty corners as the Elks came from a goal down to overcome the Dubliners.
"I have never received three cards in one match before so it was a bit of indiscipline from myself," said Ireland's most capped sportswoman, who has made a record 209 international appearances.
"Playing with 10 players makes it difficult for the rest of team but I thought the girls showed a lot of character throughout the match.
"With the turnover of players we have at the university, we are still finding our feet and our rhythm but we managed to grind out the win."
Pembroke captain Sarah Clarke put the visitors ahead with the last action of the first quarter when she drilled home a penalty corner.
But McCay got the equaliser in the 33rd minute and then made it 2-1 three minutes later.
Ireland Under-18 international Jessica McMaster wrapped up the points when she scored from close-range with 12 minutes left after a dazzling run by Megan Frazer.
Ards staged a superb comeback as they fought back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Pegasus at Portaferry Road.
Sara Alexander scored twice in the final period to salvage a point after Caroline Adams had pulled one back towards the end of the third quarter.
Defending IHL champions Pegasus had looked well on course to claim the win after surging ahead with goals from Vanessa Surgeoner, Stephanie Thompson and Suzanne Ferris.
"We went into the game wanting to win it but, the way things went, we ended up being happy with a point," said Ards captain Adams. "The annoying thing was that all three of their goals could have been prevented but in this league you'll get punished when you make mistakes whereas you might have got away with them in Ulster."
Results: EY IRISH HOCKEY LEAGUE: Ards 3 (C Adams, S Alexander 2) Pegasus 3 (V Surgeoner, S Thompson, S Ferris); Ulster Elks 3 (S McCay 2, J McMaster) Pembroke Wanderers 1 (S Clarke); Railway Union 2 Cork Harlequins 0; Greenfields 0 UCC 4; UCD 2 Hermes 3.
Ulster Premier League: Armagh 1 (K McKee) Portadown 2 (L Cassells, G Silcock); Ballymoney 2 (S Brown, N Parke) Lisnagarvey 2 (S McCullough, J McQueen); Dungannon 1 (L McQueen) Lurgan 3 (S McClure, C Hull, K Edgar); North Down 0 Belfast Harlequins 5 (LGeddes 2, J Watt 2, C Weir); Queen's 1 (P Brown) Randalstown 1 (A Ogilby).
SENIOR ONE: Ballyclare 0 Ballymena 1; Grosvenor 1 Victorians 0; Larne 0 Knock 1; Rainey 2 Cookstown 2; Raphoe 1 Banbridge 1.