Portadown ladies’ veterans finished the season with that familiar winning feeling as league-and-cup double champions despite a change of format.
Ladies wrap up season with two titles across the veterans’ revamped format
Glory days for the town ladies down the decades have ensured a thriving veterans’ scene around Portadown but Ulster officials opted to restructure the regulations this season to encourage maximum participation.
Portadown entered the season as the defending league champions on the previous 11-a-side structure and continued that impressive form across the revamped Blitz-style seven-a-side programme.
The league finals’ day finished with Portadown and Harlequins sharing the title and a midweek cup defeat of Omagh wrapped up the season in style with a second prize.
“The Blitz format was tough going due to the seven-a-side play but it allowed more clubs to get on board with veterans’ hockey,” said Portadown goalkeeper Alison Thompson (nee Vance). “There was a real family atmosphere around the Blitz programme and on the league finals’ day, with so many old friends from rival clubs.
“Over the past few seasons with the growth of the veterans’ scene we have had more and more former players make contact to take part.
“That is great for the club overall and has led to past players reconnecting with Portadown.
“We decided to share the league on finals’ day after such a brilliant event and to then go on and win the cup was a great way to finish everything.
“We finished our league Blitz section with an unbeaten record across 12 games over three different days, then knocked out Ballymoney before facing Harlequins in the final match.
“We came out on top against Omagh by 2-0 in the Ulster Cup final.
“That was nice after losing out last season in the semi-final.
“Congratulations must go to Ulster Hockey for helping everything go so well and it is great fun.”