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Ulster Elks show their caring side in charity link-up


Caring side: Ulster Elks duo Danielle McNally and Megan Frazer with Marie Curie nurse Tracey Wylie

Caring side: Ulster Elks duo Danielle McNally and Megan Frazer with Marie Curie nurse Tracey Wylie

Caring side: Ulster Elks duo Danielle McNally and Megan Frazer with Marie Curie nurse Tracey Wylie

The Ulster Elks have signed up for a new two-year charity partnership with Marie Curie Cancer Care and the club's American signing Danielle McNally is to play a key role in the initiative.

McNally has been given leave of absence from her academic commitments for one day per week to work in tandem with the Ulster University authorities to promote the cause.

Marie Curie Cancer Care provides nursing care, without charge, to terminally ill people at home and in hospices across the United Kingdom.

The Elks will take part in a number of fundraising and volunteering activities with the aim of topping the Marie Curie 'Champions League' for fundraising.

The league has been set up by British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS), the governing body for higher education sport, which is calling on teams across the UK to use sport to support those affected by cancer.

The Elks, who announced the new partnership at a function to celebrate their recent Chilean Cup triumph, will compete against other universities to gain points by raising money through active challenges.

"The girls will be taking part in a number of fundraising events including the Belfast City Marathon, the Malin to Mizen Cycle Challenge and a Swimathon," Danielle explained.

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"Funds raised will help Marie Curie deliver high quality care to terminally ill people and their families in communities across Northern Ireland and I am delighted to be involved in a hands-on capacity."

On the pitch, the Elks will be in less charitable mood when they face Randalstown on Friday night at Antrim Forum in the Premier League.

Considering the Jordanstown team have dropped two more points than their two main rivals, Pegasus and Ards, a win is vital.

Successive draws with Ards and Ballymoney damaged the Elks chances of lifting the title for the first time but they got back to winning ways with a 2-0 IHL success over Greenfields at the weekend.

"They were very well organised and had some decent players, so we found them very hard to break down," said Elks manager John Cathcart. "I think Greenfields were in our circle on two or three occasions and our keeper had only one kick to make in the 70 minutes, but it's up to us to convert our pressure into goals.

"Randalstown are also a very well drilled unit and their coach Harry McNeill has done a great job with an essentially very young group of players. We are expecting a very tough match on Friday."

Leaders Ards tackle Lurgan at the Co Down venue on the back of an impressive 3-1 IHL win over Cork Harlequins.

Champions Pegasus are at Ballymoney while struggling Portadown host Queen's and Lisnagarvey, who are also in early relegation difficulty, face Belfast Harlequins at Comber Road.

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