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YouTube sensation Rebecca Barry is now a big hit with the Ulster Elks

By John Flack

Rebecca Barry is already an internet sensation and now she's proving a big hit with the Ulster Elks who are unbeaten in five EY Irish Hockey League games going into Saturday's match with Ards at Jordanstown.

The 22-year-old scored one of the best goals ever seen when she was an undergraduate at the University of Richmond in the USA in 2012 and it quickly went viral and has now almost 100,000 hits on youtube.

Displaying sublime camogie skills, she lifted the ball over a Temple University defender's stick and the goalkeeper's head before volleying it home with a first-time shot from an acute angle.

It was beamed coast-to-coast on the ESPN sports channel and made it on to 'play-of-the-week' alongside a goal from football legend Lionel Messi and then it was short-listed for an annual award.

Rebecca explained: "I'm definitely surprised it reached such a large proportion of people and has been viewed so many times."

"I was just so relieved it went in because I had missed a penalty stroke and been sent off in the lead up to it, so I had a lot of work to do for my team to make up for those blunders."

Rebecca, who is a post-graduate Sports Management student at Ulster University, says her camogie skills are easily transferable to hockey.

She added: "I have three brothers and, as a result, I was normally either the goalie or target when they played one v ones in the garden when we were younger.

"The sports of choice were usually gaelic football or hurling but I finally chose to focus on hockey solely, as I felt that's what it would take to play on the international stage and I did that at U16 and U18 level.

"I do find the 3D skills I picked up when playing hurling very useful as hockey evolves."

Rebecca has scored six times in eight games so far for the Elks but says there is room for improvement and she won't be dwelling on past glory as far as her famous goal is concerned.

The former Ireland U18 captain continued: "It's very much in the past and it was great fun while it lasted. But now I'm focused on being back home in Irish hockey and am determined to help the Elks as much as I can.

"Ards will be tough on Saturday - we played them in a pre-season tournament and it was an intense match-up, which is exactly what we expect this coming weekend.

"We're in a good spot overall as a team at the moment. Hopefully we can keep progressing in the coming weekends."

Ironically, Ards have one of Rebecca's former Richmond team-mates in their line-up in Irish international Kerri McDonald and she will be hoping her side can build on last Saturday's impressive 1-1 draw with Railway Union.

Pegasus should get their first win of the campaign when they tackle basement side Greenfields at Upper Malone after losing 4-2 to Cork Harlequins last week.

"It was a lacklustre performance from us," admitted Pegasus coach Arlene Boyles.

"As it stands, we are second from bottom in November but we are not pressing any panic buttons yet."

Belfast Telegraph

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