GIRLS 2-1 UK LIONS:
Ulster beat UK Lions 2-1 in their opening game of the day at Lisnagarvey.
Despite conceding an early goal the side were able to come from behind and continue Ulster’s good form over the weekend.
It was UK Lions who got off to the better start after they took an early lead after a scrappy move was worked into the Ulster goal.
Despite going behind Ulster remained well in the game and created a handful of chances of their own before going into the first break a goal behind.
It was the home side who started the second quarter best.
After winning a series of early short corners they should have been level but were denied by a handful of good saves from the Lions goalkeeper
As the half progressed they continued to threaten the visitor’s goal and again won several short corners but the defence remained firm to go into the break at 1-0.
Five minutes into the second half Evie Girvan got Ulster level after getting the finishing touch on a well-worked move from the home side.
Seconds later it was 2-1 as Ulster finally got their goal from a short corner after a straight strike from the top of the circle.
The third quarter saw the UK Lions start to create chances and win a handful of short corners, but they were unable to break down the Ulster defence.
Then as we entered the final quarter both sides continued to look like a threat, however, they still couldn’t get the next goal.
The best chance of the quarter came right at the end as Ulster caught the Lions on the break but they were unable to add their fourth.
BOYS 1-1 UK LIONS
After an evenly contested start to the game, Ulster were dealt a blow as they were reduced to ten men when Oliver Tumilty was shown a yellow card for his protestations towards an umpire’s decision.
Despite their disadvantage, they took the lead seconds later as they were awarded a short corner.
After an initial strike was saved, the ball was worked to Seb Holley who eventually beat the goalkeeper from close range.
As the game entered the second quarter Ulster almost doubled their lead as Tumilty got past the goalkeeper but was denied by a defender at the last moment.
Right at the end of the half, there was another chance for the centre-forward to double the home lead but his shot from the penalty spot was straight at the goalkeeper.
The third quarter proved to be an even contest with both teams struggling to break each other down.
Despite a handful of half chances, neither side could find the next goal in the game as the sides went into the break with the score remaining 1-0.
Early in the fourth quarter, Ulster won a short corner for a foot in the circle which saw a well-worked move as Ed Irwin picked out Tumilty, but the forward’s effort was saved on the line.
Moments later it was 1-1 was a Lions forward played the ball across the face of the Ulster goal before a defender diverted it into his own goal.
A good response from the host saw them win a short corner which almost restored their lead.
Ethan Redford’s initial effort was well saved before Tumilty’s rebound came off the post and the game would go on to finish 1-1.
BOYS 2-4 UK LIONS
The UK Lions got the better of Ulster in a 4-2 thriller.
Two goals from Jacob McIlhatton were not enough to get the result for Ulster despite a resilient performance.
The UK Lions took an early lead when an unmarked forward got the ball five yards from out with his back to goal. The forward had time to turn before getting a shot off beating the Ulster goalkeeper at the near post.
The visitors continued their good start when they won a short corner 3 minutes later. An initial strike was well saved by the goalkeeper before the rebound was fired into the top corner from the edge of the circle.
Ulster had a chance of their own straight away when Harry Thompson picked out Jacob McIlhatton on the edge of the circle but the forward dragged his effort wide.
Ulster finally got their goal just before the end of the quarter. After winning a short corner McIlhatton’s effort took a deflection off a defenders stick and into the goal to make it 2-1.
As the game entered the second quarter Ulster continued where they left off in the first.
Harry Thompson skilfully beat his man on the edge of the circle before sending his reversed effort wide of the post with just two minutes gone.
Just a minute later the Lions ran down the other end before picking out a forward at the back post. The youngster slid in at the back post to tap in at an empty goal to make it 3-1.
The goal didn’t stop Ulster’s momentum as they continued to push forward and won another short corner.
However, two good saves from the Lions goalkeeper kept the score at 3-1.
As the second half start it was the Lions who got the next goal.
After a penalty flick was awarded, Ulster player Finn Thompson stepped up for the Lions and found the side netting for 4-1.
As the quarter went on Ulster began to look more threatening as Ethan Redford was unlucky to see his effort from a short corner well saved by the goalkeeper.
They got their second soon after as Jacob McIlhatton’s strike proved too strong for the goalkeeper.
The final quarter was one of few chances for either side and with little both sides hard to split, but with the damage already done, UK Lions ran out 4-2 victors.
GIRLS 3-1 UK LIONS
Ulster Girls sealed a 3-1 victory to make it two wins from two in today’s fixtures.
It was Ulster who started stronger as they won a short corner with just a couple of minutes gone.
The first shot from the edge of the circle was well blocked by a visiting defender before an Ulster rebound came crashing off the post.
However it was UK Lions who took the lead after working it well down the left wing and picking out a free forward in the circle to who finished to make it 1-0.
They continued to be the more dominant side in the first quarter as they once again went close from a short corner.
Midway through the second period Ulster almost got their equaliser when a brilliant pass from the top of the circle was just too far in front of the onrushing forwards.
Second later Ulster had a short corner but saw two shots on target saved by the goalkeeper.
The Ulster pressure soon paid off when Alannah Thornton beat her opposing player in the penalty area before her reverse effort went through the keeper’s legs to make it 1-1.
They continued their momentum into the second half when they broke down the left and put a ball into the penalty area.
After a defender failed to clear the danger, Ulster got a shot off from just inside the penalty area but the angle was in favour of the goalkeeper who made a comfortable save.
Moments later they were ahead when a short corner from Nieve Caldwell went through a crowd of defenders and took a touch as it flew into the Lions goal.
Ulster doubled their advantage when Leah Callaghan ran through on goal and remained composed to place her shot into the bottom corner and make it 3-1.
In the final quarter, it was UK Lions who looked the better side as they forced the Ulster goalkeeper into a handful of saves from both open play and short corners.
However, they were unable to find a way through and get a second goal as the match finished 3-1 to Ulster.
BOYS 4-0 UK LIONS
Ulster ended the weekend with an emphatic 4-0 win over UK Lions.
Two goals each from Jacob McIlhatton and Toby Lyons in each half were enough for the young side to seal the victory.
Just two minutes into the game Ulster were awarded a short corner and scored the opening goal of the game.
Toby Lyons drag flick from the top of the circle was low and hard as he managed to pick out the bottom left corner and give his side the lead.
The Ulster side remained a threat as the quarter came to a close but were unable to find their second goal.
Midway through the second quarter they were awarded another short corner and once again Lyons took the strike.
However, on this occasion, the strike was saved before a penalty flick was eventually awarded.
Lyons was the player to take the flick and despite a touch from the goalkeeper he found the bottom corner to make it 2-0.
Right at the end of the half, there was a final chance for Ulster as Jacob McIlhatton broke down the wing before his reverse cross was played just in front of teammate Harry Thompson.
Having made a strong start to the third quarter Ulster made it 3-0 when Jacob McIlhatton’s strike rounded off a well-worked Ulster move.
Two minutes later McIlhatton added his second and Ulster’s fourth in a quick-fire double for the young forward.
The visitors were awarded a penalty corner, but after Daniel McKee was first to the ball Ulster launched a counter.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t pick out a final ball as it remained 4-0 as the game eventually finished.
Girls 4-3UK LIONS
Ulster girls rounded off their weekend in a similar fashion to the boys as the beat UK Lions 4-3.
Despite an even start to the game, it was UK Lions who took the lead midway through the first quarter.
The move was worked from back to front with an aerial down the pitch launching a counter for the visitors.
After getting the ball under control the UK forward ran through 1v1 with the goalkeeper before scoring from a reverse effort.
Ulster had a chance to level the scores early in the second quarter when they were awarded a short corner.
Unfortunately, they were unable to get their shot on target as a defender was quick to charge down the effort.
As the game approached the halfway mark Ulster continued to have most of the ball in the Lions half but couldn’t break down a stubborn defence.
They were nearly punished for their lack of goals as they were hit on the counter-attack but the goalkeeper made a fantastic save to keep it 1-0.
Just before half-time, Ulster found their equaliser through Evie Girvan as she rounded the goalkeeper before finding the roof of the net with her strike.
Ulster’s lead was gone just minutes into the second when UK Lions were awarded a penalty flick.
The young Lions attacker stepped up to take the flick and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 1-1.
However, Ulster had the perfect response and immediately restored their lead through Lara Wilson.
The forward finished off a move which saw the Ulster side run straight at the Lions defence from the restart.
With the quarter coming to a close the travelling side won a short corner which after a straight strike and a deflection off a defensive stick, required a player to clear off the line.
However, there was still time for Bonnie Connor-Boyd to add a third Ulster goal after she broke free and rounded the goalkeeper to tap into an empty goal.
The young Ulster side continued their momentum into the final period of play. With five minutes played they added their fourth goal.
However that goal was immediately ruled out by the Lions, and the visitors managed to score straight from hit-off like their opponents had previously done to them.