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Double champions Garvey aiming for unbeaten finish

 

By John Flack

Lisnagarvey aren't content to rest on their laurels having bounced straight back into the Ulster Premer League as champions following their relegation last season.

They clinched the one automatic promotion spot from Senior One after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Raphoe at Comber Road on Saturday afternoon which guaranteed them the title with two games to spare.

But they want to finish the campaign in style and have set their sights on winning those remaining two games and finishing the season unbeaten.

Back at the end of December, they lifted the Senior Cup for the first time in their history and team captain Scarlett Holdsworth was delighted at the fact the Hillsborough outfit have now completed what is a memorable trophy double.

She said: "Winning the Senior Cup in December against Ballymena was great, although we saw it as a bonus and only a job half done.

"So to complete our season's goal by winning the Senior One title and gaining promotion to the top flight, and at home against tough opposition, was incredible.

"As a squad, we are all hugely thankful to our coach Adam Louden and manager Jennifer Howard, not to mention all those behind the scenes who have helped us along the way all season.

"We are playing a successful and enjoyable style of hockey, with a process that is being transferred right throughout the club.

"We have excellent youth and a proven welcoming environment for members joining us from elsewhere.

"These two factors combined with the drive and process we have makes for an exciting future for Lisnagarvey.

"However, the job is not quite finished. We have two matches to go and are firmly fixed on maintaining our progress when we play them."

While Garvey are assured of promotion, the team which replaces them in Senior One is still to be decided.

At the weekend, Betty Scott's goal gave Rainey a 1-0 win over Banbridge which leaves the Magherafelt side four points clear of the bottom two n the Premier League.

Lurgan's 2-0 win over North Down leaves the Comber side a point adrift of Portadown who chalked up a crucial 2-1 win over Randalstown on Friday night.

At the top end, Queen's beat Ulster Elks 4-1 and that leaves them four points ahead of Lurgan who have a crucial game in hand.

Meanwhile, Dungannon leapfrogged Ballymoney to go third after a 2-0 win over the Co Antrim side.

Ulster Premier League: Banbridge 0 Rainey 1 (B Scott); Dungannon 2 (L Cassels, G Mulligan); Lurgan 2 (L Wright, J Wilson) North Down 0; Portadown 2 (C Dunn, S Livingstone); Randalstown 1 (N Mott); Queen's 4 (E McStea, A Hutchinson 2, K Aston) Ulster Elks 1 (L Paul)

Senior One: Knock 0 Ballyclare 1 (J Hanley); Lisnagarvey 2 (J Flynn 2) Raphoe 1 (V Wray); Omagh 1 (H Swann) Ballymena 3 (C Gillespie, C McCracken, K Young).

Belfast Telegraph

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