New season begins this weekend for hockey club

Ballymena Hockey Club members Vicky Hogg, Grace McBurney, Joanne Fulton and Tim Lowry receive sponsorship balls from Joe Martin from Maine Cycle Zone, Cullybackey. INBT 36-801H
Ballymena Hockey Club members Vicky Hogg, Grace McBurney, Joanne Fulton and Tim Lowry receive sponsorship balls from Joe Martin from Maine Cycle Zone, Cullybackey. INBT 36-801H

Hockey in Ballymena continues to flourish at all levels as the Minis, Juniors and Seniors at the Club get underway for another season.

The ladies’ First XI have already started their competitive season, beating Larne 5-0 in their opening Ulster Senior Cup tie.

Becky Reynolds opened her account for the season with a hat-trick, while Stephanie Storey and Susanne Morrison were also on target for Mary Glass’s side, who will hope to build on last year’s league form and Senior Cup win.

The Ladies Second and Third XIs have been working equally hard under their new Coaches in the form of Davy Allen and Eddie Hampton.

A rigorous Tuesday night program has been supplemented throughout the summer with fitness sessions at Pure Gym and Spin at Maine Cycle Zone, leaving the girls ready to do battle!

The Ladies’ Fourth XI will continue to run this season providing opportunities for novices and veterans alike to enjoy the game in a friendly league structure.

Both Senior Men’s teams aim to improve their league standings of last season and have been challenged during pre season by their new Player/Coach Andy Linford, who brings a wealth of skill and knowledge to the Club.

This year has seen a lot of newcomers to the Men’s game, who will be very welcome within the 2nd XI structure to build for the future.

Senior training runs on Tuesday nights from 7-9.30pm for Ladies and 8-10pm for Men.

Ballymena’s youth setup, the Mini and Juniors are an extremely important group for the Club, in securing male and female players for the future senior teams. With over 250 participants last year, Coordinators Stephanie Storey and Mary Glass hope to continue to attract young people into the sport.

Sessions are already up and running from 12th September, but places are available within the following age groups: Primary 1-5, Friday from 4-5pm; Primary 6-7, Friday from 5-6pm; Year 8-9, Friday from 6-7pm; Year 10-11, Tuesday from 6-7pm.

The Club would like to thank those who support them financially including Michelin, Ballymena Borough Council, Style & Sport, Zoo Sport and new sponsor Maine Cycle Zone, who has kindly provided match balls for the season to the Men’s and Ladies 1st XI teams.

This Saturday will be the first weekend of full fixtures for all teams, who hope to continue to challenge for league and cup titles throughout the season ahead.