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Ards make it five titles in a row

By John Flack

Ards were crowned national indoor champions for the fifth year in a row after a clean sweep of victories in yesterday's finals at the Queen's PE Centre.

They made light of the absence of star striker Chloe Brown, who was unavailable, as they earned the right to represent Ireland in Europe for the fourth year in a row.

Kerry Harvey, who joined the club from Pegasus a few weeks ago, was in sparkling form, hitting seven of the goals as the holders won the title with a game to spare.

Harvey hit a brace in a decisive 5-0 win over an inexperienced Railway Union side before Ards finished in real style with a 4-0 victory over Randalstown when the glittering trophy was already safely in the bag.

Meanwhile, Pegasus captain Alex Speers played through the pain barrier as her side made it back-to-back EY IHL victories with a 3-0 victory over Greenfields in Galway on Saturday.

The former Ireland skipper scored the third goal near the end after Katie Morris and Kate McConnell had been on target in the first half.

"I actually broke my thumb playing against Railway a fortnight ago but I had it well protected so I managed to get through our last two games without too much discomfort," she revealed.

"I went to a specialist last week but he said it would be too tricky putting a pin into the wound because of where it was located.

"But with a few weeks off now, it will give me time to recover from the injury and get back to 100% fitness for the second half of the campaign."

Pegasus's fourth victory in the last five games has certainly provided pain relief after a slow start to the campaign.

The defending champions are now on a roll and within sight of a place in the end-of-season play-offs.

"It's a very nice way to go into the January break and we really have nothing to fear from any of the teams when we come up against them second time around," Speers added.

Results: National Indoor Championship: Queen's 0 Randalstown 0; Clontarf 0 Railway Union 3; Ards 5 (T. Macleod, K. Harvey 3, S. McClure) Queen's 2 (J. Allison, J. Orr); Randalstown 3 (A. Ogilby, E. Getty, E. Patterson) Railway Union 3; Ards 6 (K. Harvey 2, T. Macleod, S. McClure, F. Brown. A. Benson) Clontarf 0; Queen's 6 (T. Hastings 2, J. Orr, J. Allison 2, E. Hood) Railway Union 2; Randalstown 2 (E. Patterson, E. Getty) Clontarf 0; Ards 5 (K. Harvey 2, T. Macleod, A. Benson, N. Grundie) Railway Union 0; Queen's 4 (T. Hastings 3, J. Orr) Clontarf 0; Ards 4 (F. Brown, A. Benson, S. McClure, N. Grundie) Randalstown 0;

Final placings: 1. Ards 12pts; 2 Queen's 7; 3 Randastown 5; 4 Railway Union 4; 5 Clontarf 0.

Men's Ulster Championship: NICS 1 (G. Grundie) Queen's 2 (R. McGuire 2); NICS 5 (G. Grundie 4, D. Whittington) Queen's 4 (C. Ormondy 2, C. Mitchell, G. Lecky) (NICS won 3-1 on pens after a tie on points; both teams qualify for finals in Dublin January 17)

Saturday: EY Irish Hockey League: Greenfields 0 Pegasus 3 (K. Morris, K. McConnell, A. Speers); Hermes 2 Railway Union 1; UCC 3 Cork Harlequins 1; UCD 2 Pembroke 0.

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