Double success against Lisnagarvey brings top four finish for Ballymoney hockey ladies

Liz Lamont's Ballymoney team grabbed a top four finish.

Liz Lamont's Ballymoney team grabbed a top four finish.

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A double success against Lisnagarvey means a top four finish for Ballymoney hockey team.

BALLYMONEY 4 LISNAGARVEY 1

On Wednesday 19th February Ballymoney 1XI took on Lisnagarvey at the Joey Dunlop Centre in the first of two back to back fixtures against the team. Ballymoney started excellently again, scoring from a penalty corner in the first 5 minutes, This gave the side confidence in the opening minutes. The ball was injected to the top of circle to Susie Sneddon and slipped to the left post for Katherine Minihan, who slot the ball past the keeper and into the back of the goal. Ballymoney continued to build a platform from the defence with Lesley Davis, Aine Kearney, Susie Sneddon and Alex Halliday finding great passes into the midfield. With many great periods of attack down the right handside from Lynn Macauley, Ballymoney then increased their lead from a pass from Jess Moore to Olivia Linton into the circle, who beat the keeper to leave the score at 2-0 at halftime.

During the second half Emma Kernohan dominated the middle of the pitch with excellent linking play with Jess Lynch and Nikki Parke upfront, creating many more chances on goal. Lisnagarvey managed to pull one back near the start of the second half. Ballymoney continued to attack, creating chances and winning corners. Ballymoney then increased their lead again through another penalty corner, as the ball was played from the top on the circle to the right post for Jess Moore to deflect into the goal.

The forwards continued to make runs, picking the ball up and driving into the circle. Jess Lynch made a great run into the circle, passing to Katherine Minihan who placed the ball into the bottom lefthand corner. This left the final score at 4-1.

* LISNAGARVEY 1 BALLYMONEY 2

On Saturday Ballymoney travelled to play Lisnagarvey in what was going to be a tough battle for the ‘Money girls who required a point to guarantee a place in the Premier League whilst a win would mean a top four finish.

Ballymoney started the game brightly and earned themselves a number of short corners in the first ten minutes of the game. However, these chances were not converted as ‘Garvey defended well to hold out the money attack. Against the run of play ‘Garvey took advantage of their opportunity in the ‘Money circle, scoring a reverse stick shot mid- way through the first half to put themselves 1-0 up.

The second half began with Money determined to take advantage of their pressure. Within five minutes of the second half, Ballymoney had been rewarded with a several short corners and it was from one of these opportunities ‘Money got themselves back on level terms. The initial strike from Susie Sneddon was well saved by the Lisnagarvey ‘keeper but Nikki Parke was on hand to score from the rebound.

The goal drove ‘Money forward in search of a second goal and it was not long before they achieved this. Good build up play from the back resulted in the Toon girls advancing further up the pitch and an excellent pass Sneddon to the returning Catherine Macaulay, led to a brilliant ball into the circle that found Parke, who slotted the ball past the ‘Garvey ‘keeper.

The ‘Money girls coped well with the pressure and even a corner on the final whistle for Lisnagarvey wasn’t enough to break down the ‘Money defence. The game finished with a 2-1 win for the Ballymoney girls.

The team would like to thank Coach Mark Evans and Manager Liz Lamont. Ballymoney play their first match in the IHL next week when they travel to play Ards.