Round up of Ballymoney Ladies Hockey games

On Saturday Ballymoney 1st XI travelled to Omagh to play their third competitive game of the season.

Ballymoney attacked from the first whistle and forced several early penalty corners, none of which were converted. However the away team continued to press and the Omagh goalie was called into action after good attacking play from Robyn Chambers, but still the score remained 0-0. It was from an attack up the left that Emma Lynch was able to slot a reverse stick effort home and the deadlock was finally broken after 12 minutes.

The one way traffic continued and Jess Lynch deflected in a penalty corner quickly followed by an excellent solo effort by Katie Mullan and one further devastating strike by Mullan made the score line 4-0 just before half time. Just before the half time whistle blew Susie Martin slotted in a well worked penalty corner to make the half time score 5-0.

The second half followed much of the same pattern as the first with Ballymoney often on the attack, and with the Omagh goal keeper frequently being called into action. As the pressure on the Omagh defence continued more short corners were awarded and from these Susie Martin and Anne Hephill both added to the score line. Katie Mullan then completed her hat trick from a well worked penalty corner. The team continued to attack with purpose, and Jess Lynch finished the scoring for the day after Angela Huey found a pin point pass to her in the circle.

Final score Omagh 0 – Ballymoney 9.

Ballymoney 2XI vs Lurgan 3XI

Ballymoney 2XI played their first match of the season against Lurgan Ladies on Saturday 17th September at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre. Fresh from promotion, Ballymoney, with a new faces and new pitch, got the season off to a flying start. From the beginning Ballymoney were constantly attacking the Lurgan defence, with numerous opportunities being created.

The midfields and forwards linked well, stringing passes together and making life difficult for the Lurgan defence. After a series of attacking play up the left wing, a nicely placed ball from Cara Ferguson allowed Laura McCurdy to put the ball away to make the score 1-0 to the home side.

Lurgan turned up the pace after the goal but Ballymoney’s defence remained strong and were able to take a pressure situation and turn it into an attacking play for Ballymoney. A penalty corner then allowed Cathryn Knipe to rattle the back board, making the score 2-0 to the town.

Play continued with both teams having many attacking opportunities and both teams playing a good standard of hockey, moving the ball quickly. Another break of play up the left hand side for Ballymoney, again allowed Cara Ferguson to place the ball for Laura McCurdy to make it 3-0 at half time.

Lurgan came out strong in the second half, turning up the pressure on the money defence and Lurgan brought a goal back making the score 3-1.

The remainder of the game was equally matched and the game finished 3-1 to Ballymoney. The new team gelled well and worked together to win the first match of the season and shows a lot of promise for the remainder of the season. Thanks to Ivan for Umpiring and Judith for coming along an coaching,

Ballymoney played host to Randalstown last Wednesday evening in their second Ulster shield game of the season. The game started with both teams full of confidence due to Randalstown only days earlier beat Omagh 12-1 and the home side were out to maintain their unbeaten record in their defense of the shield, plus out to impress their new coach Mark Evans in his first game incharge.

Ballymoney seemed to settle the quickest and created numerous opportunites in front of goal but were lacking the finishing touch at the posts. Firstly Katie mullan’s strike from a short corner was cleared off the line. Minutes later Jill Kennedy crossed and beat the keeper only for Jess Lynch to narrowly miss the final touch at at the back post. The break theough cam on 19 minutes when Nikki Parke found space on the left and crossed the ball to Jill Kennedy, only for a defender to nip in and deflect the ball in passed her own keeper.

On 23 minutes Katie Mullan again found space on the left but her cross when agonising out of reach of the in rushing forwards.

The second half continued where the first left off with Ballymoney in the ascendancy and on 10 minutes Jill Kennedy looked to have doubled Ballymoney’s lead having beat the keeper, only to be denied by the post. Randalstown won their first corner of the game on 21 minutes which was ably dealt with by Jenna Holmes in the Ballymoney goals, having little to do the rest of the game. Randalstown forced 2 further corners in the dying minutes but the Ballymoney defense held strong and saw the game out with a 1-0 victory.

Victory for Ballymoney 3rds

Anadale 1 – Ballymoney 3

Ballymoney 3rds played their first league match away against Annadale at Wellington College grounds. With Hollie Fleming taking pass back, Kathy Hewitt worked her way up to the circle, putting pressure on Annadale’s defence although they managed to protect their goal area. The team showed confidence and produced many chances to score, but unfortunately were not able to finish off their attacks. One such attack came from a fabulous run by Rebecca Turton who swept the ball with high pace across the goals but Hollie Fleming just failed to get in contact on the ball.

Jodie McGrath and Rebecca Webb were able to beat their opponents by working towards the goals by clever stick work and speed. Annadale were a well drilled and fit team even though they were not as skilled as individuals as the Ballymoney players.

Annadale made a quick break ten minutes into the game but outstanding tackles were made by Ballymoney’s defenders Chloe McConaghie, Ciara McGuigan, Lesley Davis and Rebecca Martin continuously throughout the first half.

The Toon girls continued to get closer to scoring a goal and the pace of the game increased. Chloe McConaghie intercepted the ball and quickly dribbled up the right hand sideline passing the ball to Hollie Fleming who received it and continued to work her way up towards Annadale’s goals creating an excellent pass across the circle, Jodie McGrath finishing off the winning goal with a soft touch leaving the score 1nil to Ballymoney.

In the second half of the match Ballymoney’s midfield worked really hard and as the match was fierce and fast, a high level of fitness was required. Ballymoney’s attackers constantly pressurised Annadale’s defenders making many runs towards the circle but unable to convert these chances into goals.

Ballymoney picked their game up by pushing short, strong passes making their way up to the oppositions circle. Kate Ruddock and Rebecca Turton worked well together on the left wing putting pressure on the Annadale’s defence. Linking play between the forwards and defence caught Annadale off guard and Money began to ease their way into their attacking circle. Rebecca Webb created space on the pitch with a quick break through striking the ball into the circle whilst Rebecca Turton deflects the ball past Annadale’s goalkeeper. Annadale 0 – Ballymoney 2

There was a surprising break into our defending circle with a powerful strike from Annadale’s centre forward which led to a goal after some confusion in the defence where goalkeeper Nicola McCollum was unsighted thus unable to attempt to save the goal. The score was now 2-1 to Ballymoney. Fifty minutes into the game and the left forward of Annadale couldn’t beat Nicola McCollum who created a great number of spectacular saves.

Towards the end of the match Ballymoney consolidated their lead with a great goal from Rebecca Turton after Hollie Fleming delivering an accurate pass into the circle. The final score was 3-1 to Ballymoney with Player of the Match shared between Chloe McConaghie and Kate Ruddock. Many thanks to Lynne McCartney for coaching and umpiring.

Team Players: N McCollum, C McGuigan, L Davis, C McConaghie, J McGrath, R Martin, K Hewitt, R Turton, R Webb, H Fleming, K Ruddock

Fixtures 24th sept

1st xl away belfast harlequinn ulster shield

2ndxl away dromore league

3rdxl home 2.30pm cookstown