Six of the best for Firsts in President’s Cup tie

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Ballymoney Ladies took on Grosvenor in the first round of the President’s Cup on Saturday.

Ballymoney came out strongly with the Grosvenor defence immediately being put under pressure.

Shots from Ballymoney’s Nikki Parke and Laura McCurdy forced saves from the Grosvenor goalkeeper in the first few minutes of the game.

Unfortunately for Ballymoney they could not convert any of their chances, and Grosvenor capitalised on this.

They won a short corner from which they scored the opening goal of the tie.

This did not reflect the balance of play during the half, and the half time scoreline remained 1-0 to Grosvenor.

Ballymoney returned for the second half in determined fashion.

The girls knew that they needed to convert their chances.

Straight away shots from Nikki Parke, Bridget Clelland and Katherine Gawne all narrowly missed the target.

Ballymoney’s hard work finally paid off with a strike from Cathryn Knipe bringing the scores equal.

Confidence grew and soon after Nikki Parke made the score 2-1. Again well worked play between the forward line allowed Nikki Parke to slot another one away, putting the local girls 3-1 in front. Ballymoney’s superior play resulted in the goals continuing. Good work through the midfield allowed Katherine Gawne in on goal to sidestep the keeper twice in succession, slotting away the next two goals making the scoreline 5-1. Ballymoney’s clinical finishing reflected their superiority. A shot played at the keeper by Ballymoney forward Sophia Rogers forced the error, allowing Katherine Gawne to finish up the game with her hatrick.

The final score was Ballymoney 6 Grosvenor 1. The ladies now progress through to the next round of the Cup.

* Well done to the U13 team who competed in the Ulster Hockey Finals day on Sunday at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club. The girls competed in a group with Portadown, South Antrim, Carrickfergus, Grosvenor and Owls, and finished third in their group which qualified them for the plate competition. The girls drew three of the games, and won one of their group games. Unfortunately this didn’t qualify them for the quarter final stage of the plate. Well done to all involved.