There were scenes of wild celebrations on Sunday when Omagh hockey starlet Gemma Frazer captained the Ulster Elks to a stunning 1-0 victory in the final of the Irish Senior Cup in Dublin.
Defying the odds the 21-year-old lifted the trophy for the first time in the Jordanstown based club’s history.
Gemma was joined in the team by Drumquin Irish hockey International Shirley McCay who only a week earlier was celebrating Irish success and taking a step closer to qualifying for the Olympic Games next year in Rio.
Despite the narrow score-line the Ulster Elks dominated possession and territory throughout at the National Hockey Stadium at UCD against the favoured Hermes team who were vying for to win an unprecedented four trophies this season.
Aine Curran’s delightful 30th minute goal propelled the Ulster Elks into the lead. However, with only the one goal margin there was tension right to the end, with a sense of relief and elation at the sound of the final whistle.
“It was amazing to finish the season on such a high and win the cup against such a good team,” said Gemma.
“We worked really hard to get that second goal but their keeper (Irish International Emma Gray) made some great saves.
“ This all added to the tension and the occasion. The last five minutes were a little too close but it was unbelievable to get the victory.
“The girls have put in so much hard work this year and we have a great mix of experience and youth throughout the team with a couple of Irish Internationals and a former Canadian International.
“This is the biggest win of my career and to captain such a great bunch of girls to win the Irish Senior Cup for the first time ever for the club is a great honour.”
A bus load of pupils from Omagh Academy travelled down to support Gemma who is currently in a year’s placement working and coaching in the PE department of her former school.
With a large contingent also travelling down from Jordanstown, Gemma said even though they were playing a team from Dublin, it seemed like the Elks had home advantage.
“There was a great atmosphere and the cheers we got from the sidelines really spurred us on when we needed it,” commented Gemma who was back on the pitch this week playing for Irish Universities this week in a tournament.