Ballymoney Firsts in seventh heaven

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Ballymoney travelled to Comber Leisure Centre for the 1pm slot in their latest Premier League fixture focused on getting a win to keep the pressure on at the top of the table.

Travelling without their Captain Laura McCurdy (school ski trip) and Vice Captain Katherine Minihan (injury) added to the pre game nerves but little did the team know that Nikki Parke had a plan - she had her new goal scoring trainers with her as she claimed four goals in this 7-0 victory. 

Nikki got the scoring started on 14 minutes when she glided passed several defenders and beat the keeper with a reverse stick strike.

Jan Hamilton almost doubled the lead three minutes later when she burst into the circle and the keeper pulled off a fine double save from her strike and then the rebound.

North Down took confidence from this and fought hard to get back in the game but Jodie Shannon stayed focused in the Ballymoney nets and cleared any danger.

Ballymoney when 2-0 up just before half time with excellent interchange between Nikki Parke, Katherine Gawn and Suzanna Brown bamboozled the North Down defence and Nikki claimed her second goal of the game.

Whatever coach Richard Fairman said to the team at half time certainly worked a treat as Ballymoney hit three goals in the first four minutes of the half to kill off the game.

Nikki Parke claimed her hattrick slotting home the rebound from a Ruth Sutherland corner.

Jessica Moore made it 4-0 tapping in at the back post and 5-0 pouncing on a rebound from a Bridget Cleland strike. 

Goal of the game to make it 6-0 started at left back where Aine Kearney was surrounded by several North Down players only to find a sublime pass out to Olivia Mullan on the right hand side of the pitch.

Olivia headed straight for the circle and calmly slipped the ball to Nikki Parke to deflect passed the keeper. 

Captain for the day and last one standing, Rachel Minihan got her name on the score sheet with one minute left on the clock finishing off a short corner routine to leave the final score 7-0.

Ballymoney now have a busy week ahead as they travel to Raphoe on Wednesday night and play host to Banbridge on Saturday.

On Saturday 11th of February, Ballymoney 1XI travelled to Lurgan for a hugely important clash at the top of the table. It was a highly charged game right from the whistle, with Ballymoney setting the tempo. It was a titanic battle by both teams.

It was Ballymoney who drew first blood in the 24th minute when captain Katherine Minihan pounced on a loose ball out of defence. A timely and well executed shot from the edge of the circle left the Lurgan keeper with no chance. However, Ballymoney squandered their lead in the next two minutes as Lurgan forced their way through the money defence easily giving away a soft goal.

A nasty facial injury ten minutes into the second half to captain Katherine Minihan stifled Ballymoney’s momentum. Ballymoney had to reshuffle and compose themselves to replace their injured captain.

It was a great game as play ebbed and flowed from end to end with neither team able to break the deadlock and gain the ultimate three points needed by both teams.

The team would like to thank manager, Liz Lamont, Coach, Richard Fairman and supporters who stayed and travelled the long distance. It was a game that didn’t disappoint. The team would like to wish Katherine a speedy recovery!