4-2 success at home to Elks is morale boosting win for Ballymoney side

RITCHIE CHEQUE. Pictured are players and management from Ballymoney Hockey Club, who presented a cheque to John from MacMillan Cancer Support following their game on Saturday. The money was raised at the club's Ritchie Remo fundraising night at Ballymoney Bowling Stadium.INBM8-14 026SC.
RITCHIE CHEQUE. Pictured are players and management from Ballymoney Hockey Club, who presented a cheque to John from MacMillan Cancer Support following their game on Saturday. The money was raised at the club's Ritchie Remo fundraising night at Ballymoney Bowling Stadium.INBM8-14 026SC.

BALLYMONEY 4 ELKS 2

This win was a much needed boost for Ballymoney. The girls knew it would be a tough match against Elks who are currently sitting third in the league.

Ballymoney went full steam ahead after only two minutes of play with a goal from captain Katherine Minihan.

Good movement and pace from the forward line of Jessica Lynch, Jessica Moore and Katherine Minihan helped create Money’s first goal. Minihan intercepted the ball from an Elks attack at the Ballymoney 25 yard line.

Making ground to the half-way line she passed the ball to Jess Moore who showed great skill and speed to weave her way into the opposition’s circle where Minihan was on hand to slot the ball past the keeper and into the back of the net.

Two minutes later Ballymoney increase their lead again. Lynn Macaulay was a driving force down the right hand side. Showing great strength in the mid-field she battled her way into the circle passing the ball to Katherine Minihan whose shot on goal was deflected by Jess Moore into the net giving Money their second goal.

Emma Kernohan controlled the play in the mid-field linking well with Nikki Parke to help add a third goal to the scoreboard.

Working tirelessly down the left hand side, Parke picked the ball up on the Elks 25 yard line, dodging players with effortless skill. She found Minihan in the circle who shot the ball down the left foot of the keeper and into the goal. Ballymoney had three more penalty corners in the first half, as did Elks, but neither team could capitalise on this. Jess Lynch was unlucky not to score as her deflection went just wide of the post.

As expected, Ulster Elks came out fighting in the second half, putting Ballymoney’s defence under increased pressure. The defence of Susie Sneddon, Aine Kearney, Alex Halliday and Lesley Davis moved the ball well around the back to create play into the mid-field. Both teams saw a player carded and sent off for 10 minutes in the second half. The Elks girls managed to pull one back after a goal-mouth scramble on the 49th minute. 10 minutes later Jessica Lynch won Ballymoney a penalty corner. Susie Sneddon fired the ball at the right post where Katherine Minihan was on hand again to deflect the ball into the goal making it her hat-trick of the match.

With Ballymoney comfortably taking the lead, a lapse in concentration on the 65th minute allowed Elks to claim their second goal. Goalkeeper Sammy-Jo Greer made great efforts to save the initial shot on target but Elks were quick on the rebound.

With 5 minutes to go Ballymoney made a break and surged up the pitch into the Elks circle. Cara Ferguson worked hard to make the initial break with well linked passes to Jess Lynch and Olivia Linton. Ballymoney were unfortunate not to capitalise after this good play as Olivia’s shot went just wide of the post.

In the dying minutes of the match Elks were desperate to catch up. This resulted in a change in tactics with the Elks keeper being substituted for another Elks attacker. This certainly put pressure on the Money defence. Lesley Davis made a vital diving tackle which was timed to absolute perfection to prevent a shot on goal. The defence remained solid with Aine Kearney and Alex Halliday putting in some great tackles when it counted. At the final whistle, the score remained 4-2 to Ballymoney.

The girls will play Lisnagarvey this week in a mid-week fixture Wednesday 19th Feb at the Joey Dunlop Centre as they hope to gain another three points and push further up the league table. All support for the girls would be greatly welcomed.

Ballymoney was missing defender Julie Nelson for this match due to football duties. The Northern Ireland footballer who has recently signed for Glasgow City FC will be back in action for Ballymoney this week.

Team: Sammy-Jo Greer, Susie Sneddon, Aine Kearney, Alex Halliday, Lesley Davis, Lynn Macauley, Emma Kernohan, Nikki Parke, Katherine Minihan, Jessica Lynch, Jessica Moore, Cara Ferguson, Olivia Linton.

Coach: Mark Evans

Manager: Liz Lamont

Ballymoney 2nd XI vs Randalstown 2nd XI – 15th February 2014

On Saturday 15th February 2014, with the season nearing an end, Ballymoney 2’s took on Randalstown in the second round of the Qualifying Plate. With deteriorating weather conditions, it was clear from the start that the fixture was going to be a tough occasion for the both teams. Ballymoney started slow and remained slow for the majority of the first half, the level of performance below that of normal, dropping to the same level as the opposition. The Ballymoney defence remained strong throughout and the midfield and forwards created some good attacking opportunities, but the stalemate could not be broken.

Ballymoney also took a huge blow early in the first half, with midfielder Sara Gardner taking the brunt of the end of a Randalstown stick, and having to head to the local hospital for ten stitches. The second half was a different story for the Ballymoney girls, with determination not to let the match go to extra time, the girls picked up the pace and this made all the difference. The Randalstown girls struggled to deal with the increased pace which allowed Ballymoney to create more and more attacking opportunities this time with some success. The break came when Charlotte Campbell slotted the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net from short distance, making the score 1-0 to Ballymoney early in the second half. This goal helped the Ballymoney girl’s confidence and increased determination and they really capitalised on this. Again the Ballymoney defence remained strong, stopping Randalstown getting into the Ballymoney circle, the midfield and forwards continued to attack with a new fire to hear the sound of the Randalstown backboard.

The second goals came as a result of an attack down the right wing, a cross into the circle and a poor clearance from the Randalstown defence, allowing Laura McCurdy to pick up the ball at pace and slot it into the top left hand corner of the net, making it 2-0 to Ballymoney. The Toon team won a penalty corner with two minutes remaining, and Laura McCurdy made the final score 3-0.

ballymoney 2 ards 3

On Wednesday 12th February, Ballymoney 1st XI took on a strong Ards 1st XI team at the Joey Dunlop Centre.

Ards started well and scored just after five minutes, from a series of play down the right hand side.

However, Jess Moore was on the end of an Ards deflection resulting a split head and no more pitch time for her. Ballymoney continued to be put under pressure and Ards scored their second in the 13th minute.

Ballymoney began to pick it up and began to put pressure on Ards defence.

Alex Halliday and Lynn MacAuley played brilliantly in their respective positions.

Ballymoney scored their first goal with Katherine Minihan at the far post in the 23rd minute.

This pressure continued and got their second goal from Olivia Linton from a short corner in with 30 minutes played. This left the score at 2-2 at half time.

The second half came and Ards continued to put the pressure on Ballymoney and it was clear to see that with the loss of Susie Sneddon Ballymoney were struggling at the back.

Ards continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded with a last minute goal to leave the score 3-2 to Ards.

Upcoming Fixtures:

Wednesday 19th February:

1st XI vs. Lisnagarvey 8pm (home)

Saturday 22nd February:

1st XI vs. Lisnagarvey 2pm (away)

2nd XI vs. Elks (away)

3rd XI vs. Dromore (away)