Women’s EY Hockey League
Railway Union 0 Ards 1 (Chloe Brown)
Ards secured their place in the women’s EY Hockey League for another season with a smash and grab 1-0 win over Railway Union at Park Avenue with Chloe Brown once again the heroine in their back match on Saturday.
Railway were the controlling force for long periods but could not find a way past the impressive Ashley McIlroy. She blocked Zara Delany’s shot at point blank range while the only corner of the first quarter, from Emer Lucey’s shot, was cleared by the Ards’ defence.
Niamh Carey was driving Railway forward but the final pass was eluding them while Emma Smyth flashed a reverse shot that went just over, keeping it scoreless at half-time.
As the hailstones arrived for the second half, Ards sat deep, hoping to catch Railway on the break, making it difficult for Railway to penetrate the circle. Railway did flash a few balls across the face goal but failed to get a touch in a crowded circle.
And when Ards did break out, they won the game. A mis-timed tackle in the 23 earned them a corner which Brown dragged low and hard into the bottom left of the backboard. A second Railway corner went wide, leaving it 1-0 going into the final quarter.
Ards remained disciplined in defence and Railway’s task became harder when captain Julia O’Halloran took a yellow. Lucey sent a great ball in to Michelle Carey but McIlroy once again was quick out of her goal to clear the danger, keeping her clean sheet.
While Ards are now out of range of UCC – who are destined for a relegation playoff – the result keeps alive the battle for the playoff places. Railway need a win over Pembroke to make sure of their spot but anything else could open the door for UCD to overtake them.