Ballymoney secure first victory as Parke scores timely winner

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Presseye'Women's Hockey: Electric Ireland Senior Cup Semi-F'Teams: Ballymoney (blue) v UCD (white)'Venue: UCD'Date: 23rd March 2013'Caption: Nikki Parke, Ballymoney
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Presseye'Women's Hockey: Electric Ireland Senior Cup Semi-F'Teams: Ballymoney (blue) v UCD (white)'Venue: UCD'Date: 23rd March 2013'Caption: Nikki Parke, Ballymoney

Ballymoney 1stXI travelled away to Lurgan on Saturday.

With both teams positioned near the bottom of the league table, it was always going to be a closely fought game for that valuable three point win.

Ballymoney started the much stronger team with Cathryn Knipe and Nikki Parke working hard up front to force the Lurgan defence onto the back foot. Ballymoney were rewarded for their high tempo play in the 17th minute with Nikki Parke scoring past the keeper from close range.

Ballymoney continued to retain much of the possession, earning a number of penalty corners but failed to capitalise on their one goal lead. Lurgan started the second half in a determined manner forcing Ballymoney’s goal keeper Jodie Shannon to make a save in the opening minutes.

Lurgan’s pressure resulted in Ballymoney having to defend a number of penalty corners. Ballymoney’s Captain Nikki Parke proved her worth in both circles making not one but two goal line clearances demonstrating her exceptional eye for the ball.

This inspired the team to push forward again and they were unfortunate not to extend their lead on a number of occasions.

The game finished with Lurgan continuing to press Ballymoney until the final whistle but Ballymoney’s defence held strong with Tori Hastings making some important tackles to secure Ballymoney’s first win of season.

Ballymoney welcomed back Julie Nelson as her football season with Glasgow City came to an end. Julie brings much needed experience back into the team and obviously some of her winning habits.

The team will take a lot of confidence from this game into their next game against Ulster Elks on Wednesday, November 26th.

It will be a tough game for Ballymoney as they clash with former team mate and current Irish Captain Megan Frazer.

The team would like to thank Angie Huey (coach) and Liz Lamont (Manager) for their efforts at the weekend in Lurgan.