BALLYMONEY began their league campaign on Saturday against a strong Randalstown team, at the Antrim Forum.
Ballymoney knew what was ahead of them as they played Randalstown in the Ulster Shield a few weeks prior to the match.
Ballymoney started strongly from the first whistle, they held possession and were rewarded with a penalty corner within the first minute.
However Randalstown defended well, with their keeper saving shots on goal from Jess Lynch and Susie Martin.
Ballymoney retained possession and on the 11th minute a hard ball came across the circle and was deflected by Kate Caithness into the corner, to leave the score 1-0 to Ballymoney.
Ballymoney continued to press with shots on target from Robyn Chambers and Bridget Cleland. However 20 minutes into the game Randalstown were awarded a penalty corner, which was scored from a strike from the top of the circle, leaving the score 1-1.
Ballymoney were shortly awarded another two penalty corners after some great work from the front three, and as the corner broke down at the top of the circle Kate Caithness was quick to react with a goal from the right hand side, leaving the score 2-1 to Ballymoney at the end of the first half. Ballymoney came out strong in the second half and were rewarded with another 2 penalty corners, however they were cleared by a strong Randalstown defence.
Ballymoney were patient and continued to work hard in midfield and defence, with keeper Sammy-Jo Greer making a key save, as Randalstown began to push forwards.
Then 25 minutes into the second half Ballymoney players Angie Huey and Nikki Parke demonstrated great skill down the right hand side, where the ball was passed to Robyn Chambers in the circle, who with a great finish, left the score at 3-1. Ballymoney defended well for the rest of the game, starting the Ulster League with a strong 3-1 win.
Ballymoney 2nds 14
On Saturday, Ballymoney 2nds took on Knock at home. Ballymoney started well with quick passing and creating plenty of early chances. The first goal came from Julie Nelson who calmly slotted the ball home from a well placed strike.
Ballymoney continued to apply pressure to the Knock defence and were rewarded with a second goal from Lauren Mullan with a powerful strike from the edge of the circle.
The defence of Lesley Davis, Clare Parkhill, Alex Halliday and Laura McCurdy made sure any attack from Knock was dealt with. Julie Nelson made it 3 – 0 with an excellent strike from a penalty corner.
Ballymoney continued to add to the scoreline with Katherine Minihan skilfully winning a penalty stroke and making no mistake by slamming the ball into the back of the net.
Lauren Mullan got her second of the day from a well placed pass from Karen Watson. After a motivational team talk from coach Diane Kirgan the girls started as they finished the first half.
Karen Watson linked up well with Laura McCurdy to score her first goal which was quickly followed by a powerful strike from Watson making it 7 -0. Oliva Kearney made it 8 with a well timed run into the circle to slip the ball past the keeper. Minihan scored another shortly after with good stick work and was followed by Laura McCurdy who skilfully passed the keeper to make it 10-0.
Ballymoney continued to outplay Knock with Julie Nelson completing her hat-trick with a perfect strike into the corner of the net.
Karen Watson scored her third with a lovely deflection outwitting the keeper and defenders. Lauren Mullan also completed her hat-trick with a brilliant strike into the top corner of the net.
Ballymoney finished the match strongly winning 14-0, with the defence not conceding a single corner and keeper Kate making sure any threat to goal was dealt with. Ballymoney would like to thank all support and coach Diane Kirgan for her hard work.