Ballymoney Twos played host to Dromore at the Joey Dunlop centre on Saturday the 18th of Feb in the Qualifying Plate competition.
Having suffered a defeat to Dromore in their first league meeting ‘Money’ knew it was going to be another tough encounter and true to form the game ended in dramatic fashion!
Ballymoney made an energetic start to the game with Olivia Linton winning possession in midfield immediately after Dromore took pass back.
This allowed Ballymoney to test the Dromore back line and struggling to find their feet Ballymoney were awarded their first short corner. Laura Jane Kernohan made no mistake in smashing the ball into the bottom right corner giving the ‘Money’ side a one nil advantage after three minutes.
Ballymoney continued to dominate the game for the next few minutes with great link play down the right side of the pitch from Clare Parkhill, Sara Gardner and Heidi Johnston but the final pass into the circle was easily picked off by the experienced Dromore defenders.
In an effort to force a now more structured Dromore team out of shape Ciara Mc Guigan played her role well transferring the ball allowing Emma Heron and Lauren Henry to progress up the empty left hand side of the pitch but again ‘Money’ failed to capitalise in the final 25.
It was clear that the Money girls were becoming frustrated having failed to add to their tally as the remainder of the first half saw them forcing passes that were too easily intercepted thus giving Dromore the chance to make quick breaks.
However the collective backline of Clare Parkhill, Laura Jane Kernohan, Emma Heron and Ciara McGuigan made crucial tackles to see ‘Money’ through to half time leading one nil.
After a constructive team talk from coach Diane Kirgan Ballymoney were determined to start the second half much like the first however a slip in concentration early on and quick play from their opponents Ballymoney conceded their first penalty corner.
A well worked routine allowed Dromore back into the game levelling it at one a piece.
Ballymoney replied almost instantly when a quick free taken outside the 25 found an unmarked Sara Gardner who defected the ball past the Dromore keeper.
It was end to end hockey for the remainder of the match with Lauren Henry unfortunately hitting the post on an occasion but it was Dromore who equalised with another well worked penalty corner as the ball slipped under ‘money’ keeper Meghann Doeys’ left foot.
The score now two a piece both teams fought hard for a spot in the next round of the plate. With seconds to spare Ballymoney won a penalty corner.
With full time being blown during the set up all 10 outfield players were on the edge of the D determined to sneak the winner.
Dromore would give away a further two penalty corners in desperate hope of sending it to extra time however a deflection which was clearly goal bound hit the post defender on the line awarding Ballymoney a penalty stroke!
The Ballymoney captain Emma McElwee coolly slotted the ball past the Dromore keeper to send the’ Toon’ girls to the quarter final of the plate where they face Castle in March.
Thank you to coach Diane Kirgan, umpires and great supporters.