Ballymena Hockey Club ladies’ First XI’s hopes of closing the gap on the Senior One leaders suffered a blow at the weekend.
The Braid ladies were beaten 1-0 by Grosvenor in their latst league fixture.
Ballymena took the game early to Grosvenor but several attempts from the forward line went unconverted, before Grosvenor picked up their pace and pushed the visiting back line hard to find the gaps.
Goalkeeper Davis proved influential with some massive saves to deny the home side, who finally broke clear before the half to take a 1-0 lead, despite Ballymena’s best defensive efforts!
Into the second half and Ballymena never really got started, even when Davis again did her part in saving a penalty flick!
In the last 10 minutes Ballymena’s midfield of Reid, Sutherland and Crooks worked hard to earn a draw but the chances couldn’t be converted leaving the girls disappointed with the defeat.
Ballymena: J. Davis (GK), C. McCracken, G. McBurney, S. Morrison, J. Sutherland, S. Reid, S. Montgomery, A. Crooks, C. Gillespie(C), E. King, S. Penney, E. Gillespie.
Ballymena II 1, Queen’s II 5: Ballymena 2ns hosted a Queen’s side holding top position in the league with 5 wins so far this season and Ballymena soon found out why as the visitors opened the scoring in the opening minutes!
Queens scored another 3 goals in the first half, 2 coming from the numerous penalty corners won against the Ballymena defence, although brave defending, in particular from Holly Dickey managed to keep the score at 4-0 for the visitors at halftime.
Although a much more determined Ballymena opened the second half a converted penalty flick increased the deficit to 5.
Undeterred Ballymena began to create their own chances and finally the goal came from Kerry Aiken from a penalty corner.
The team would like to thanks Chris Aiken for umpiring.
Seconds: L. Hanna (GK), A. Harbinson, N. Greer, E. Clarke, H. Dickey, A. Logan, E. Anderson, L. McClintock, G. Weir, E. Alexander, L. Logan, K. McMaster, K. Young, K.Aiken.
Result: Ballymena IV 1, Donaghadee II 1.
Lisngarvey 1, Ballymena 3: Ballymena travelled to Lisnagarvey on Saturday afternoon in the opening game of their new league campaign and came away with all 3 points.
Garvey came close to opening the scoring late in the first half from a well worked corner routine only to be met by Birrell on top form scrambling the ball clear when a goal looked certain.
A change in personnel from the home side after the half time break allowed Ballymena’s midfield more of the ball and chances started to fall for the away side.
Lorimer opened the scoring after 45 minutes, latching onto Barr’s through ball, beating the last defender and crashing the ball into the net.
After this opening Ballymena increased the tempo of their passing against a tiring Garvey side and quickly scored a second with Monteith finishing on the reverse after some sharp play between Fulton and Lorimer.
Ballymena’s final goal came from a nice piece of work in the circle which found Crooks in space at the edge, his fierce effort could only be parried by the keeper and Lorimer was on hand to tuck away the rebound from close range.
With the game petering out Garvey scored a late consolation goal to wrap up the scoring.
Ballymena would like to thank Davy Lorimer for travelling with the side to umpire.
Ballymena: J. Birrell (GK), C. Fulton (C), A. Crooks, D. McDonald, M. O’Neill, A. Lorimer, W. Barr, M. Monteith, R.Jess, V. Orr, C. Hogg, E. Archer
Instonians V 6, Ballymena II 1: Ballymena 2nds met a strong Instonians squad at Shaw’s Bridge on Saturday and having held much of the possession and play in the first fifteen minutes, quickly found themselves 3-0 down from a combination of short corners and open play! Minutes from the break Ballymena got a lifeline, again from a midfield turnover that saw Hampton connect with Nicholl in the circle, who traversed across the goal to move the goalkeeper, only to send the ball back into the corner with a mighty strike and close the half out at 3-1.
Into the second half and Ballymena knew the next goal was key and quickly moved towards the Inst defence with good work from Barr and Cole, but again Ballymena failed to convert, where almost instantly at the opposite end Instonians did!
Two more goals followed for Inst to wrap the game up and take the win.
Ballymena: K. McConaghie (GK), A. Hanna (C), S. Glass, J. Grimason, D. McDowell, P. Nicholl, P. Moody, T. Cole, B. Mills, W. Barr, S. Gordon, E. Hampton.