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Ards survive scare to move top of the Ulster Premier League

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Tough clash: Laura Murray, Lisnagarvey and Orlagh O’Shea of Harlequins collide during their game at the weekend

Tough clash: Laura Murray, Lisnagarvey and Orlagh O’Shea of Harlequins collide during their game at the weekend

Tough clash: Laura Murray, Lisnagarvey and Orlagh O’Shea of Harlequins collide during their game at the weekend

Ards are sitting pretty at the top of the Ulster Premier League table after overtaking the Ulster Elks following a 3-1 win over Lurgan on Saturday.

However Pegasus are hot on their heels, level on points dropped, following a 1-0 win at Ballymoney and with the benefit of a game in hand.

Ards survived a second half onslaught from a hard working Lurgan side and were relieved to have gone into the break two goals to the good in view of what was to come.

"They came back at us very strongly in the second half but we defended very well when we had to," said Ards captain Naomi Elliott.

"However, later in the game we had a couple of chances and their keeper made some very good saves.

"We were very pleased with our first half performance when we played some really great hockey.

"We started pretty well and went a goal up after a couple of minutes and their equaliser came about after a series of mistakes by us.

"But we deserved to be 3-1 up at half time and, in the end, it was a good three points for us against a side which is always tough to beat."

Janice Vaughan broke the deadlock but Kerrie Burns levelled matters in the 14th minute when she punished a defensive lapse.

Zara Malseed and Tamara Macleod added further goals before the break but it was a different story in the second half and Lurgan's Pippa Best was unlucky to see her shot rebound off the upright near the end.

Pegasus made it two wins out of two for the week with 1-0 success over Ballymoney at the Joey Dunlop Centre.

The champions were in control for most of the game but were unable to translate their superiority into something tangible until late in the game.

With 10 minutes remaining Suzanne Ferris grabbed the winner from a penalty corner switch at the far post.

At Comber Road, Harlequins and Lisnagarvey fought out a scoreless draw but the home team were left ruing their failure to convert seven penalty corners.

"I thought we defended well after making a couple of changes but it was disappointing we didn't get the win after having so much pressure," said Garvey coach Mark Murray.

Portadown remain anchored to the foot of the table after falling to a 6-1 defeat against Queen's in the late slot at Edenvilla.

Jody Kee hit a hat trick for the students whose other goals came from Katie Morris, with two, and Hannah McMillan with Leanne Cassels grabbing what was only a consolation for the Ports.

In the Irish Hockey Trophy first and second round games there were wins for Armagh, Larne and Omagh but defeats for North Down, Banbridge, Grosvenor, Dromore and Raphoe.

Belfast Telegraph


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