Ards were crowned national indoor champions for the fifth year in a row after a clean sweep of victories in Sunday’s finals at the Queen’s PE Centre, writes John Flack.
They made light of the absence of star striker Chloe Brown, who was unavailable, as they earned the right to represent Ireland in Europe for the fourth year in a row.
Kerry Harvey, who joined the club from Pegasus a few weeks ago, was in sparkling form, hitting seven of the goals as the holders won the title with a game to spare.
Harvey hit a brace in a decisive 5-0 win over an inexperienced Railway Union side before Ards finished in real style with a 4-0 victory over Randalstown when the glittering trophy was already safely in the bag.
Women’s National Indoor Championship: Queen’s 0 Randalstown 0; Clontarf 0 Railway Union 3; Ards 5 (T Macleod, K Harvey 3, S McClure) Queen’s 2 (J Allison, J Orr); Randalstown 3 (A Ogilby, E Getty, E Patterson) Railway Union 3; Ards 6 (K Harvey 2, T Macleod, S McClure, F Brown. A Benson) Clontarf 0; Queen’s 6 (T Hastings 2, J Orr, J Allison 2, E Hood) Railway Union 2; Randalstown 2 (E Patterson, E Getty) Clontarf 0; Ards 5 (K Harvey 2, T Macleod, A Benson, N Grundie) Railway Union 0; Queen’s 4 (T Hastings 3, J Orr) Clontarf 0; Ards 4 (F Brown, A Benson, S McClure, N Grundie) Randalstown 0;
Final placings: 1. Ards 12pts; 2 Queen’s 7; 3 Randastown 5; 4 Railway Union 4; 5 Clontarf 0.
On the men’s side, Railway Union and Avoca both sealed places in the Leinster indoor semi-finals on Sunday, January 10.
Railway beat Glenanne first up 10-2; a rapid start saw them go 5-0 in the first four minutes and they extended the lead to 6-0 at half-time. The second half was more event but the outcome was never in doubt as Mateusz Nowakowski netted six times in total.
In game two, Clontarf had to beat Glenanne to have a chance of qualifiying for the semi finals but they will rue a host of missed chances in the second half and poor displcine as they lost out 3-2 with Rowland Rixon-Fuller proving the star player.
It left Railway and Avoca to decide who would top the group. Railway again started brightly and at half-time led 5-1 with Nick Tate scoring a hat-trick en route to a 7-2 win.
Men’s Pool A results: Railway Union 10 (M Nowakowski 6, N Tate 2, D McCarthy, K Carroll); Glenanne 2 (J Stewart, P Byrne); Clontarf 2 (M Fulham, T Noonan) Glenanne 3 (D O’Malley, P Byrne 2); Railway Union 7 (N Tate 3, M Nowakowski, C Reilly, K Carroll, J Dick) Avoca 2 (Oliver, A Rooney)