Irish Cup final: Elks beat Ards in penalty shoot-out
Ulster Elks retained the Irish Cup when they defeated Ards 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out after a 1-1 draw in Dublin.
Lisnagarvey were beaten by Monkstown in the men's final, losing by the same score on penalties after a 2-2 draw.
Garvey had already booked a place in the IHL play-offs and should they win the title they will secure a berth in Europe next year.
Ulster Elks progress to the play-offs as winning the cup opens up an extra berth in the series.
The holders shaded the first half, winning five penalty corners but failing to convert any of them with Ards restricted to a few half chances.
But it was the Co Down side who took the lead in the 44th minute when Irish international Chloe Brown drilled in her side's first penalty corner of the game.
The Elks missed a great chance to equalise five minutes later when they were awarded a penalty stroke, but Ards goalkeeper Ashley Orr saved Megan Frazer's weak effort.
Orr proceeded to pull off a string of fine stops, including two from Jessica McMaster in quick succession.
But she was eventually beaten four minutes from full-time when Frazer made amends for her earlier penalty miss by scoring from a corner to force the shoot-out.
It was 4-4 after the first five attempts and 5-5 in sudden-death when Shirley McCay scored and then Brown's effort came off the post as the Elks prevented Ards from winning the trophy for the first time since 1964.
In the men's final, Lisnagarvey took the lead in the third minute when Monkstown failed to clear a long ball out of defence and Daniel Buser scored at the second attempt after his first effort had been saved.
There was an element of controversy surrounding the Monkstown equaliser as David Carson swept in a right wing cross just as the half-time hooter was blown but despite token protests the goal was allowed to stand.
Paul Gleghorne was denied by Monkstown keeper David Fitzgerald from a 47th minute penalty corner and then Michael Watt shot over when well-placed.
But Watt put Garvey ahead in the 56th minute when he fired home after Sean Murray had pulled the ball back from the goal-line.
After some fine saves from John Tormey, Monkstown's late pressure was rewarded when John Bruton beat the Garvey keeper from close-range in the 67th minute.
Both teams scored all five of their penalty strokes in clinical fashion in the first phase of the shoot-out.
But when Steven Arbuthnot's sudden-death attempt was saved, Gareth Watkins converted to give Monkstown their second Irish Cup success in three years.