REPORTS: Ulster take on UK Lions

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A very evenly contested game at Lisnagarvey saw Ulster and UK Lions draw 2-2 in the first game of the day.

Two goals from Ed Irwin were not enough to secure a win for the home side as they were denied victory following a last-ditch penalty flick.

The game itself was evenly contested throughout with chances for both sides in the early stages but neither side could break the deadlock.

With both sides looking capable of scoring, they went into the first break scoreless.

The first chance of the second period fell for the visitors as an attacking player skilfully beat his man before his close-range effort was saved.

However, a short corner was soon awarded and again the Ulster defence remained strong to deny their opposition.

The early stages of the second half saw end-to-end action before a great opportunity fell for the UK Lions.

Their forward found himself free in the penalty area before his strike was straight at the Ulster goalkeeper who made the comfortable save and kept the scores level.

After a quiet third quarter, the youthful Ulster side looked much more composed at the beginning of the final period. 

Their good possession saw them fashion a handful of opportunities but sent one wide of the first post before another was saved by the goalkeeper.

It was in the dying stages of the game that it sprung to life as two penalty corners from Edward Irwin twice gave Ulster the lead. Unfortunately on each occasion, there was a quick response from their opposition as they levelled the scoring.

The game also had a dramatic finish with the UK Lions finding their second equaliser with a last-ditch penalty flick.


The Ulster Girls were 3-1 down in the middle of the third quarter before their match was abandoned due to a head injury.

Beth Strong was on the wrong end of a strike from a short corner which led to the game being called off. However, thankfully she is okay!

Everyone at Ulster Hockey wishes her a speedy recovery and hopes to see her back on a hockey pitch soon!




Ulster came out 2-1 victors over UK Lions courtesy of goals from Ed Irwin and Oliver Tumilty.

A late consolation goal from their opponents wasn’t enough to share the spoils as Ulster continue their good form in recent days.

The early stages of this encounter saw end-to-end action with chances for either side as the scores remained level.

It was Ulster who took the lead midway through the quarter after a series of short corners lead to a stunning reverse from Ed Irwin.

The defender received the ball at the top of the circle before his strike found the bottom right corner of the Lions goal to break the deadlock.

Ulster continued to be the more dominant side in the opening stages of the second quarter, but the Lions defence remained firm to keep the score 1-0.

The UK Lions looked to have their best chance of the half when they broke down the right wing and got a cross in the penalty area. However, Seb Holley beat his man to the ball at the near post and prevented any strike on goal.

Midway through the third quarter, Ulster made it 2-0 through Oliver Tumilty. 

Ulster caught the UK Lions sleeping after a swift breakaway before Harry Thompson’s reverse cross found Tumilty unmarked in the area where his first-time finish found the roof of the net.

The final quarter saw Ulster continue to throw men forward and pile pressure on the Lions’ but were unable to extend their lead to three.

However, before time was up, their opposition managed to grab a goal back, but it proved to only be a consolation strike as it finished 2-1.


Ulster Girls beat UK Lions in a close encounter at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club.

Bonnie Connor-Boyd’s strike was enough to seal the victory for the hosts in one of the closest games of the day.

It was the UK Lions who got off to the quicker start, putting the Ulster defence under pressure from the opening stages but with no reward.

However, it was Ulster who had the first big chance as Ruby Johnson missed from the penalty spot halfway through the period.

As the quarter went on Ulster grew into the game as Leah Callaghan saw her effort from the edge of the circle go just wide on the umpires whistle.

Five minutes into the second quarter Ulster were awarded a short corner for a foot just inside the circle. 

The resulting drag-flick effort was saved by the goalkeeper before the ball was eventually worked into the goal by Bonnie Connor-Boyd.

Ulster remained assured in both attack and defence to keep their lead until half-time.

The UK Lions came close to levelling the scoring five minutes into the third quarter as they worked the ball down the right wing.

Having cut inside their forward took on a reverse effort, but couldn’t guide it on target as it went wide at the near post.

Moments later Ulster were down to 10 flowing a green card for a strong challenge right in front of the umpire.

Ulster then thought they had doubled their lead at the beginning of the final quarter when they had the ball in the back of the net, unfortunately, the whistle had already been blown for a short corner.

From the resulting set-play, the UK Lions goalkeeper pulled off a double save to keep the Ulster side at bay and keep it 1-0 as it would finish.



Boys 2-0 UK Lions

Ulster beat UK Lions 2-0 in the final game of the day at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club.

Goals from Owen Dobson and JJ Holley sealed the win and rounded off a good day of results for the home side.

The first chance of the game came after five minutes when the UK Lions won the first short corner of the game.

Ulster were let off as their opponents opted for a straight strike from the edge of the area which couldn’t find the target.

Both sides were struggling to break down their opponents until JJ Holley opened the scoring just before the end of the quarter.

An initial strike from the edge of the circle saw the goalkeeper wrong-footed, but still making the save. However, he could only parry it as far as Holley who tapped the rebound into an open goal.

Just seconds into the second quarter Holley went close to doubling both his and Ulster’s tally.

The forward found himself free in the circle but under the pressure of an onrushing goalkeeper as he put his reverse strike over the bar.

Two minutes later it was the Uk Lions who went close on two occasions at close range only for Ulster goalkeeper Jack Fleming to deny them.

The final attack of the half saw Ulster almost double their advantage as Harry Thompson led the counter-attack. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find the final pass for Jacob McIlhatton.

As the game went on the UK Lions began to grow into but were unable to break down a resilient Ulster defence.

After a quiet third quarter, the score remained 1-0 with neither side coming close to scoring the next goal.

Midway through the final quarter, Ulster doubled their lead.

JJ Holley saw his initial shot blocked but the Lions failed to clear the danger as the ball landed at the feet of Owen Dobson.

The youngster took the strike on and beat the keeper at the far post to seal a 2-0 victory for Ulster.


Photo: Front Row Union

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