Familiar end product as club veterans add to winning ways

Portadown Ladies' Hockey Club's Jeanette Gordon, Alison Thompson, Sue Gibson and Nichola Thompson celebrate victory with Ulster Masters.
Portadown Ladies' Hockey Club's Jeanette Gordon, Alison Thompson, Sue Gibson and Nichola Thompson celebrate victory with Ulster Masters.
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It was a case of old habits standing the test of time at Lisnagarvey last weekend as the Portadown quartet of goalkeeper Alison Thompson, Jeanette Gordon, Nichola Thompson and Sue Gibson added to the history of silverware across club and representative levels.

Success arrived in the Masters’ Inter-Provincial Championships when Ulster over 40s produced a perfect defence of last year’s ladies’ prize.

Gordon and Thompson shared a spot on the scoresheet during Ulster’s opening victory against Munster.

A 1-1 draw with Connacht left a win the target in the final test against a Leinster side with maximum points.

Gordon provided the assist for the game’s decisive goal and a late block by Thompson off a penalty corner helped protect her goalkeeper and the vital lead.

“It was a great experience and a lot of fun for the players and our family members who turned out to support us all,” said goalkeeper Thompson. “The veterans game offers some excellent opportunities for Ulster and Ireland if successful on the trials.

It was a great experience and a lot of fun for the players and our family members who turned out to support us all

Alison Thompson

“Although everyone enjoys the whole experience, once the game starts you can see those old competitive habits kick in.

“It was extra special to have four of us together from Portadown.”

Portadown’s club veterans have recently opened a defence of the Ulster League prize and face Larne in the cup quarter-finals.

“The aim is to get back to the finals day in June,” said Thompson. “It is great fun but no-one wants to lose.

“During the Inter-Provincial Championships, everyone played a part but Jeanette is still just unbelievable.

“Many of us may not move as quickly as in the past but you can see the quality in terms of awareness and distribution.

“Irish trials will be coming up then the veterans’ programme also has other international tournaments.

“Everyone puts in plenty of commitment.”