Belfast Telegraph

Ards will learn from surprise defeat in our bid to become champions, maintains Weir

 

Positive outlook: Becky Weir
Positive outlook: Becky Weir

By John Flack

Ards are confident they can bounce back from Saturday's surprise 3-2 defeat by Lurgan and revive their aspirations of lifting the Ulster Premier League crown.

It was the Co Down team's first loss of the season in the league campaign, their only other reverse coming against All-Ireland champions Pegasus in the Ulster Shield.

Lurgan are bidding for a fifth successive title, having won the trophy every year since Ards last achieved the feat before their elevation to the IHL.

But since their relegation from Irish hockey's top flight last season, Ards had won all nine of their league games until Saturday.

Midfielder Becky Weir said: "It was a disappointing result and we know that we didn't start the game with the same intensity as we had done in previous matches.

"We recognise that and look forward to our next game against Queen's with a view to correcting some of the mistakes that we made.

"We firmly believe our chances of winning the title remain high, although we know we have made it harder for ourselves now."

Lurgan, who are now back in contention, moved into a 3-1 lead with goals from Charlene Stewart, Jenny Morrow and Olivia Gibson before Zara Malseed's late consolation.

Lurgan have done Queen's a favour as the Students are now level on points with Ards at the top following a 2-1 home win over Lisnagarvey.

Beth Ravey put Garvey ahead early on in the game before Christine Morrow and Jessica McMaster replied to secure Queen's ninth consecutive victory.

Ulster Elks have moved up to third after Hannah Irwin hit a hat-trick in the 8-0 win over Rainey.

Elsewhere, Raphoe were impressive 4-1 winners over Banbridge as the Donegal side eased their relegation worries, while fellow strugglers Mossley and Randalstown shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw.

Results: Ulster Premier: Ballymoney 2 (R White, N Parke) Dungannon 2 (L White, L Cassells); Lurgan 3 (C Stewart, J Morrow, O Gibson) Ards 2 (H Platt, Z Malseed); Mossley 1 (E Uprichard); Randalstown 1 (A Graham); Queen's 2 (C Morrow, J McMaster) Lisnagarvey 1 (B Ravey); Raphoe 4 (L Patterson,2, W Patterson, S Barnett) Banbridge 1 (P Haugh); Ulster Elks 8 (H Irwin 3, S Atkinson 2, C Mitchell 2, E Quinn) Rainey 0; Senior One: Ballymena 1 (E Gillespie) Armagh 3 (R Neville, E Mackey, N Babika); CI 1 (A Fawcett) Club KV 1 (R Hewitt); Coleraine 3 (Z Craig, C McNickle, K Caithness) Priorians 1 (N Lowry); North Down 3 (A Kimber 2, S Lewis) Omagh 3 (L McCollum, A McCollum, K Ballantine).

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