Ballymoney end Pegasus 100% league record

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Pressey'Women's Hockey: One 1918 Premiership'Teams: Pegasus (red) v Ballymoney (blue)'Venue: The Dub'Date: 25th February 2012'Caption: Aine Kearney, Ballymoney and Suzanne Beaney, Pegasus
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Pressey'Women's Hockey: One 1918 Premiership'Teams: Pegasus (red) v Ballymoney (blue)'Venue: The Dub'Date: 25th February 2012'Caption: Aine Kearney, Ballymoney and Suzanne Beaney, Pegasus

Having already slipped up and dropped points to Ulster Elks and Ards earlier this season, Ballymoney knew travelling to Pegasus on Saturday that the Ulster league title was probably beyond their reach this time round.

However they were determined not to make it an easy run in for Pegasus and halt their 100% record so far this season.

Pegasus came out of the blocks fastest and were 1-0 up on 9 minutes through Amy Cooke.

This seemed to spur Ballymoney into action and Julie Nelson fought hard in the middle of the pitch and was rewarded with Ballymoneys first corner of the game on 14 minutes. Katie Mullan duely stepped up and sent the ball high into the net passed a stunned defence to draw the game level.

This kicked the game to life with end to end action. Ballymoney defence stood strong with Angela Huey, Susie Martin, Aine Kearney and Gayle Adams thwarting the Pegasus forward line, who between them this season have already scored 70+ goals, under the steady voice of Angela Platt in goals guiding their every move.

Kate Caithness, Julie Nelson and Nikki Parke worked tirelessly across the midfield and created openings for the Ballymoney forward line with Emma Lynch in particular finding space.

Pegasus won their first corner on 29 minutes and captain Arlene Boyles delivered one of her trade mark strikes to put Pegasus 2-1 up.

Ballymoney won 2 more corners but failed to convert them. Jan Hamilton looked to have equalised just before half time when her shot beat a stranded keeper only to see Pegasus defender Amy Cooke make a last gasp save off the line to maintain Pegasus’ advantage going in at half time.

The second half saw Ballymoney continue where they had finished the first half and won a corner just 3 minutes in.

Katie Mullan’s strike was saved by the Pegasus keeper and cleared to safety.

Ballymoney continued to find space through Jan Hamilton, Robyn Chambers and Emma Kernohan and caused problems for the Pegasus defence.

This work was rewarded on 10 minutes when Katie Mullan found space on the right wing and sent a cross into the circle where 15 year old Emma Kernohan showed experience beyond her years to calmly slot the ball into the net to draw the sides level once again. With neither team content with a draw, both teams pushed for another goal.

Ballymoney keeper Angela Platt was called into action a couple of times but ably saw the ball out to safety. Pegasus pushed hard in the last 5 minutes and won 3 corners, Platt saving 2 direct shots and Nikki Parke blocking the 3rd and clearing to safety.

The game finished 2-2 and proved a great advert for Ulster hockey. Ballymoney play host this week in the return fixture, welcoming Pegasus to the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre at 2.30pm this Saturday. Hopefully another positive display of hockey will be enjoyed by those braving the weather to come up and support.

1st XI player Julie Nelson and the Northern Ireland Womens Football squad will be enjoying warmer climates this week at the Cyprus Cup. Ballymoney Hockey Club send their best wishes to all involved.