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Risky tactic proves profitable for Ulster Elks


Lisnagarvey goalkeeper Caroline Reid goes airborne to make a save against the Ulster Elks

Lisnagarvey goalkeeper Caroline Reid goes airborne to make a save against the Ulster Elks

Lisnagarvey goalkeeper Caroline Reid goes airborne to make a save against the Ulster Elks

The Ulster Elks used an ice hockey ploy in a last-ditch effort to salvage a point from Saturday's game with Lisnagarvey, and the gamble paid off as they scored a dramatic late equaliser to draw the match 1-1.

Coach Ricky Lee decided to take off his goalkeeper, Rebecca Davidson, with three minutes remaining in order to have an extra outfield player on the pitch.

In a tense finish to a gripping contest, it looked like the move would backfire as Garvey forced a late penalty corner, but despite having no keeper, the visitors defence cleared the danger.

The Elks broke away and forced a disputed corner of their own and the final whistle sounded, meaning it was to be the last action.

Stephanie Jameson cleverly picked out Laura McAlpine at the far post and she smashed the ball into the net as the Elks avoided a third defeat in a row.

Kirsty Walker had given Garvey the lead seconds after the start of the second half when Laura Johnston and Diane Robb combined to set her up.

"We took our keeper off when we were losing to Armagh the previous week and it didn't work for us but we were relieved that it went in our favour this time," said Lee.

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"It was good to get the point given the circumstances, but we would obviously have liked to leave with all three points going into the game."

Garvey coach Simon Toole's emotions were precisely the opposite to Lee's as his team were gutted at the end of the game.

"We'd have settled for a point going into it but to be so close to winning the game and to be denied with the last hit was hard for the girls to take," he admitted afterwards.

"They were the better side in the first half but I thought we just about shaded the second when we tried to hit them on the counter attack.

"It could turn out to be an important point for us later on in the season and avoiding the bottom two places is still the priority for us."

It's as you were at the top of the table after both leaders Ards and second placed Pegasus won to underline the fact it is a two horse race for the title.

Ards hit eight goals without reply against Armagh at Ardmore while Pegasus were 3-0 winners over Queen's at the Dub.

Zoe Wilson and Katherine McDowell scored for Randalstown in their 2-0 success at Lurgan, while Ruth Millar got the winner for Harlequins in their 1-0 victory over Ballymoney, played on Friday night.

In Senior One, Leanne Cassels hit a treble as leaders Portadown beat Ballymena 4-0 and there were also wins for Ballyclare, Cookstown, North Down and Banbridge.

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