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Elks' treble bid shunted by Railway

By John Flack

Nine of Ireland's 10 top-flight teams will be in the hat for the Irish Senior Cup second round draw but holders the Ulster Elks are a notable exception after suffering a humiliating 7-0 drubbing by Railway Union at Jordanstown.

The Elks were bidding to lift the famous trophy for a third year in a row but now they are left concentrating on attempting to survive in the EY Irish Hockey League.

In one sense Saturday's result was no real surprise, considering the Newtownabbey team is barely recognisable from the one which captured the all-Ireland silverware last season and went on to strike gold in Europe.

In fact there are only three survivors from the double-winning side in former Canadian international Anna Kozniuk, goalkeeper Rebecca Davidson and Ireland's most-capped female player, Shirley McCay.

The Elks player-coach said: "It was a tough day at the office. When you concede four goals in the first 10 minutes you just make life difficult for yourselves.

"It was a harsh lesson for us but a lesson nonetheless."

Ards, who were beaten by the Elks on penalties in last season's final, stormed into the second round with an impressive 6-1 win over Leinster League leaders Muckross, who had maximum points from three games before Saturday's trip north.

Lucy McKee and Ireland star Chloe Brown both hit superb hat-tricks as Ards scored four second-half goals without reply.

Team captain Caroline Adams said: "It was a potential banana-skin game."

Irish Senior Cup: First Round: Cork Harlequins 3 UCC 0; UCD 9 Old Alex 0; Ards 6 (C Brown 3, L McKee 3) Muckross 1; Limerick scr Belfast Harlequins w/o; Ulster Elks 0 Railway Union 7; Dungannon 1 (L White) Loreto 4; Lisnagarvey 0 Trinity College 1; Hermes-Monkstown 5 Corinthian 0; Ulster Senior One: Armagh 4 (C Russell 2, K Johnston, J McClaine) Larne 2 (J Finch, D Henry); Ballymena 3 (C Gillespie 2, R Reynolds) Victorians 0; CI Ladies 2 (J Sayer, L Tenehan) Ballyclare 0; Cookstown 0 Rainey 3 (R Burns, K Ferguson, C Burns); Mossley 4 (L McCowan, L Creighton, N McMillan, R McCullough) Knock 2 (S Stevenson, J Doak).

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