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Chloe Brown celebrates career highlight after shooting East Grinstead to title glory


Chloe Brown

Chloe Brown

Chloe Brown

Ulster’s Chloe Brown described it as the ‘highlight of my career’ after playing a pivotal role in East Grinstead’s English national indoor triumph in London.

The former Ards player scored what proved to be the title-clinching goal as the Sussex side defeated Repton 4-3 in a thrilling final.

Brown hit a glorious effort to make it 4-1 with five minutes left but Repton fought back, scoring twice in the dying moments to set up a nerve-jangling finish.

But, despite conceding a penalty corner on the final buzzer, Brown’s team held their nerve to lift their second national indoor title in the space of three years.

Brown said: “We all know what indoor is about and that it can change in a heartbeat,” said the 27-year-old who announced her retirement from outdoor international hockey in 2019. “This is the highlight of my career."

Sunday’s success makes up, in part, for Brown missing Ireland’s European Indoor Championship trip to Spain last month due to work commitments.

Indoor hockey on these shores, unfortunately, plays second fiddle to the outdoor game.

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The players who travelled to Spain for the Euros had to raise funds to pay for the trip, having financed their own way to Slovakia for the tournament two years previously.

Hockey Ireland Chief Jerome Pels didn’t appear to offer much hope of a change in circumstances  in the near future at least.

He said: “International indoor hockey is a relatively new part of the sport and has been ‘self-funded’ with administrative support from Hockey Ireland over the last three years.

“From a high-performance point of view, the focus of Hockey Ireland has been the on outdoor game and the ‘Olympic Pathway’ which is already a big financial challenge.

“However, we see a strong interest in the indoor game and Hockey Ireland is looking at ways of developing and supporting it in the future.”

More than 3,000 fans packed into London’s Copper Box Arena to watch Sunday’s ‘Super Sixes’ finals  a far cry from the Ulster Championship which was watched by only a handful of spectators at Queen’s PEC on the same day.

For the record, Brown’s former club Ards lifted the women’s title for the 10th year in a row, while Banbridge won the men’s event.

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