Ballymena ladies book return to top flight of Ulster hockey

A Ballymena player break forward as an Armagh opponent stumbles during Saturday's match at the Showgrounds. INBT 12-916H
A Ballymena player break forward as an Armagh opponent stumbles during Saturday's match at the Showgrounds. INBT 12-916H

Ballymena Hockey Club ladies’ First XI will be back playing in the top flight of Ulster Hockey next season after securing promotion at the weekend.

Saturday’s 2-1 win over Victorians means the Braid ladies are assured of a top four finish and one of the promotion places.

Vic’s started quickly, attacking the Ballymena circle within seconds and winning successive penalty corners where they opened the scoring from a left post deflection to give Logan no chance.

Ballymena finally settled and were soon level when a free hit from Reynolds found Kirsten Young’s well placed stick to deflect the ball into the corner of the net for 1-1.

Ballymena defended solidly in the second half, while still providing their own forwards with plenty of opportunities and the pressure paid off as Storey converted with a powerful finish for what proved to be the promotion-clinching goal.

Ballymena: J Logan(GK), S Morrison, A Logan, G McBurney, A Logan, H Taggart, E Gillespie, C Gillespie (C), S Storey, C McCracken, N Greer, E King, K Young, V Hogg, R Reynolds.

SECONDS

Dromore II 0, Ballymena II 2: Ballymena travelled to Dromore needing 3 points to secure promotion to Junior 1.

Ballymena started confidently and were rewarded midway through the first half with a superb goal from Aimee Logan.

Ballymena absorbed some pressure and with quick counter-attacks Lorna Murphy scored a second goal with a pinpoint pass from Logan.

Seconds: L Hanna (Gk), A Harbinson, K McMaster, H Dickey, N Rea, A Logan, L McClintock, L Logan, K Aiken, R Murphy, L Murphy, E Clarke, N Greer(c).

THIRDS

Ballymena III 1, Ards IV 4: Ards’ experience proved too much for Ballymena, despite a well-taken goal by Sarah Montgomery.

Thirds: K Richmond (GK), R Reid, D Lipsett, L McClintock, S Montgomery, J Lowry(c), J Duncan. E Johnston, R McPeake, C Lorimer, J Kernohan, N Sloane.

MEN

Result: Ballymena 2, Armagh 2.