Ballymoney 2XI made the long journey to Ardmore Recreation Grounds to play Armagh 2XI on a cold, Friday 13th December.
Unlucky for some, and unfortunately for the Toon on this occasion being unlucky for the Ballymoney side with Armagh stealing a 1-0 win.
Ballymoney having previously beaten Armagh at the start of the season in a very tight 3-2 win were not expecting this to be an easy match, and this proved to be the case. Armagh started out the stronger of the two teams in the first five minutes, putting pressure on the Ballymoney defence, but the Ballymoney girls remained strong, dealing with the Armagh pressure.
However the break came for Armagh through an own goal deflection by a Ballymoney defender, going through goalkeeper Kate McKane’s legs on the 15 minute mark.
Ballymoney lifted their game from this point and the remainder of the second half seen both teams having numerous attacking opportunities, with everyone working hard on and off the ball.
The second half saw Ballymoney come out the stronger of the two teams, with 80% of the play in the Armagh half.
Armagh’s defence held strong throughout and denied Ballymoney of a few scoring opportunities.
The Ballymoney girls really had turned up the pressure on Armagh and were determined to level the score, however there was no luck for Ballymoney being denied a penalty stroke with 15 minutes to go by the Armagh umpire.
The last 15 minutes saw both teams battle for the ball in what turned into a physical match, Ballymoney continued their pressure and were unlucky on a few occasions with Laura McCurdy hitting the inside of the post with 10 minutes remaining.
The Ballymoney girls should have clinched the win in the final ten minutes, with continued pressure, but due to factors beyond their control they were denied further scoring opportunities.
The final score was 1-0 to Armagh. The girls would like to thank Noel Sargent for standing in as coach and shouting from the sidelines, and also thanks to Ivan McNeill for travelling with the team to Umpire. This finishes the pre Christmas leg of the season and matches will resume for the 2XI on Saturday 4th January 2014.