Earlier today Ulster Hockey hosted a finals day at Playball, Stormont with six cup competitions coming to a close.
The day started with the Junior 9 Cup Final between Mossley Ladies 5XI and South Antrim Women’s 4XI.
Despite the Lisburn side taking an initial 1-0 lead it was their opponents who won the competition having came from behind to lead 3-1. South did manage to grab a goal back and reduce the deficit to just one, but it proved to be a consolation as they fell to defeat in the final.
Next up was the was the Intermediate Cup between Larne and Owls which proved to be the closest contest of the afternoon.
Neither side could break the deadlock in regulation time as the game finished 0-0 and it took penalty run-ins to separate the two. Larne took first, but got off to a poor start having missed before Owls took the lead.
They would then go on to miss their following two, making it three misses from as many attempt, whilst their opponents scored all theirs for a 3-0 penalty run-in victory.
At 1:30pm it was the turn of the Intermediate Plate which was being contested by North Down Ladies 2XI and Instonians Women’s 1XI.
After a tense start to the game both sides managed to grab a goal as they seemed inseparable for large period of the game. However, finally Inst got their second of the game and from there they began to show their ability.
Before long they had doubled their lead to make it 3-1 before eventually running out 5-1 winners after a dominant display.
Next up was the turn of The McConnell Shield, a competition which has now been running for 99 years.
Another closely contestant final, this time between Ards and Queen’s University saw both sides go head to head, but again the defences look to be prevailing.
That was until just moments before the final whistle when Ards finally broke the deadlock to make it 1-0, a lead which they would hold on to to win the game and The McConnell Shield.
The penultimate fixture saw Bangor Women and Portadown Ladies 3XI’s face off for the Minor Cup.
It was the County Armagh side who took the lead first, which they managed to hold on to for a large period of the match before Bangor drew level. From there they grew into the game and eventually took the lead themselves.
Unlike Portadown they managed to hold on and see the game out as they were crowned Champions.
The final game of the day saw two teams in action that had both got to this stage of the season unbeaten in their League campaigns.
Instonian’s Men’s 3XI took on Bangor Men’s 3XI for the Junior Shield with at the Belfast side coming into the game playing a division higher than their opponents.
Their quality was on display early on as they rushed to a 1-0 lead, however, it was short lived as they were soon after pulled back to 1-1 by their opponents.
The underdogs put up a valiant effort but in the end Instonian’s quality told as they rushed to a 4- 1 lead and despite a late consolation goal from Bangor, they managed to hold out for a 4-2 win.