BALLYCASTLE Girls Hockey team were up against Belfast side Cooke at home on Saturday. Without regulars LJ Kernohan and Kelly Maybin it was important that the girls settled in quickly.
However ‘Castle were behind after only two minutes on the clock. A fast attack down the left saw the Cooke forward finish well.
The home team responded well and were soon on level terms, great work in the centre from Holly Watterson and Niki O’Reilly set up Kitty Dickson wide on the right, beating two defenders Dickson picked out Louise McNeill who had made a clever run to the back post.
Ballycastle seemed to be missing that little bit of bite that had seen them demolish College Hill the previous week. Watterson, Thompson and Brolly were working tirelessly in the middle to keep the pace Belfast team at bay.
However their pace was causing severe problems, and earned them two penalty corners, which they finished precisely, leaving the score at half time 3-1 in favour of Cooke.
With a few tactical changes at the break, ‘Castle came out a different team. Laura Todd was starting to cause problems down the right and soon the home team had a goal back.
Thompson broke into the circle and slipped a pass to Dickson who made no mistake, finishing neatly in the bottom corner.
Cooke bounced back well and had it not been for Beth McMullan in the home goal, the could have extended their lead again.
Along ball from Brolly was called by the home keeper, however Dickson had other ideas, a 30 yard sprint saw her just nick the ball past the keeper and unselfishly pulled the ball back for strike partner O’Reilly to smash home.
Moments later a foul on Dickson ended her game, a tackle which went unpunished by the travelling official.
It was a spirited fight back from ‘Castle who surely now must remain unbeaten for the remainder of the season to stay in contention for the title, a feat which is not beyond them.