On Saturday 18th February Ballymoney Seconds travelled to Deramore to play Belfast Harlequins in the intermediate plate seeking to end a disappointing run post Christmas.
Ballymoney were expecting a tough match, this being the fourth time the two teams had met this season!
The girls started strong, passing the ball into space, and maintaining possession. Quick passes and sharp decisions led to Ballymoney’s first goal of the match.
A competent passage of play, working the ball from the midfield allowed Laura McCurdy to play Emma Kernohan into an attacking position on the right wing.
Emma confidently carried the ball along the backline, dropping the ball back to the penalty spot for Karen Watson to place in the back of the net.
The girls continued to pass the ball, making it do the work, and the defence, consisting of Danielle Stewart, Becky Greer, Jill Black, Alex Halliday and Nicola Sargent, worked consistently to break down the Quins attack and clear the circle of any danger.
The continued work rate of the away side made life difficult for the Quins defence, and this persistent effort was rewarded when Ballymoney added to their 1-0 lead, Cathryn Knipe scoring.
A solid passage of play from Julie Nelson in centre midfield allowed Cathryn to deflect the ball into the left hand corner of the goal, past the Harlequins keeper. At half time the score was 2-0 to the Toon.
Lifted by the first half performance and improvement, Ballymoney again started strong into the second half, work rate still high.
Ballymoney defended some short corners very well, clearing the line effectively. Ballymoney won several short attacking short corners, but were unable to convert them into goals.
A slight lapse in concentration, led to Quins pulling a goal back. Harlequins pinched a sideline ball from the travelling side and a reverse strike from the edge of the circle left the score 2-1 to Ballymoney.
With added pressure, Ballymoney now had to maintain their lead in a tough game. The remaining 15 minutes of the game, saw Ballymoney defend and attack tirelessly and hold onto their lead, the match finishing 2-1.
The team would like to thank Jackie McNeill for travelling along to coach and support the team. The girls now meet Lisnagarvey 2’s in the next round of the plate.