Randalstown come out on top in six goal thriller

Action from Ballymena 3rds v Randalstown 4ths at Antrim Forum. INBT 04-204CS
Action from Ballymena 3rds v Randalstown 4ths at Antrim Forum. INBT 04-204CS

Randalstown Ladies’ Hockey Club First Xi came out on the right side of a six-goal thriller with Lisnargarvey at the weekend.

Randalstown came out with a fighting attitude to win the 3 points to keep themselves in the top three of the table.

Action from Ballymena 3rds v Randalstown 4ths at Antrim Forum. INBT 04-202CS

Action from Ballymena 3rds v Randalstown 4ths at Antrim Forum. INBT 04-202CS

Both teams were fairly even in the first half with chances in the circle from both sides.

Despite losing their captain, Shelley Black, to a head injury early on in the game Randalstown continued to apply pressure on Lisnagarvey.

Even though Randalstown’s first goal was disallowed, they continued to press, following some good work down the right Katharine McDowell scored the first goal of the match. Lisnagarvey responded well and managed to score an equaliser before the end of the first half.

The second half started off with Randalstown on the front foot but against the run of play, Garvey surprised Town with a second goal to go 2-1 up.

Sophie Robinson of Randalstown 4ths up against Rachael Reid of Ballymena 3rds. INBT 04-203CS

Sophie Robinson of Randalstown 4ths up against Rachael Reid of Ballymena 3rds. INBT 04-203CS

Despite the setback Town continued to press and were rewarded when Katy Aston tapped in a Katharine McDowell cross on the far post.

Town took the lead when Alex Ogilby scored from a penalty corner and sealed the game up with a 4th goal when Katharine McDowell struck the ball high into the net past Garvey’s keeper, who had a busy day during which she made plenty of good saves.

Town kept applying pressure as Erin Getty, Alex Ogilby and Zoe Wilson pushed through the middle creating several chances for the Randalstown forwards. Town dominated the second half with a couple of breakthroughs from Garvey that were well handled by the Randalstown defence.

Thank you to all the supporters who travelled to watch and to Redz for their continued support.

SECONDS

Randalstown II 0, Belfast Harlequins II 2: Saturday saw Randalstown 2nds host Belfast Harlequins in the Irish Junior Cup Quarter Finals with a place in the last four at stake.

A bright start saw Randalstown win a penalty corner following good work from Alice Reid and Trinity Geddis but unfortunately Kathryn McCullough’s effort rebounded off the post.

A few minutes later a Harlequins counter attack saw them score the opener somewhat against the run of play.

They continued to dominate the next period of play and it took solid defending from Grace Clarke, Ruth Gleghorne and Charlotte Anderson to prevent any further danger.

Randalstown re-established some control and Anna Wilson and Sara-Jayne McClung combined to almost put Kirsty Manderson to score but for the intervention of a ‘Quins defender on the line.

Half time arrived with the game at 1-0 to the visitors and Randalstown and coach Andy Gleghorne knew the importance of a strong second half performance.

In the second period Megan Quinn stamped her authority in centre midfield and linked well with Alice Christie.

Lucy Stewart’s driving runs were causing problems for the visitors however Randalstown continued to struggle to find that vital touch in front of goal with further penalty corners going unconverted.

Again Belfast Harlequins broke quickly on the counter attack and scored a second.

Randalstown goalkeeper Megan Porter had to be alert to avert any further danger and Fiona Lee was also on hand to make some important tackles in defence. The final few moments of the game saw Randalstown push for an all important goal but with no luck.

Randalstown would like to wish Belfast Harlequins good luck in the semi finals and thank their sponsors Doherty and Grays and all the supporters.

FOURTHS

Randalstown IV 3, Ballymena III 2: Randalstown 4s, eager and hyped up, hosted local rivals Ballymena 3s at the Antrim forum and were hungry for a win, having suffered a defeat in the corresponding fixture earlier on in the season.

From the whistle the match had the writings of a fierce local derby written all over it, with both teams ensuring it was a challenging contest that produced a hard fought, competitive game of hockey that was exciting and tense.

The first half was an evenly hard fought duel with exciting end to end open play with both teams having equal attempts on target.

However it was Ballymena who scored from a long corner, just 10 mins from half time.

The second half was equally as exciting and saw 4 excellent goals being scored.

The first was scored 5 mins into the second half from a great Randalstown counter attack finding Laura Elliot in the circle unmarked and she buried the ball to the right of the keeper. This gave Randalstown their well deserved equaliser.

The second goal was scored 5 mins later again by great Randalstown midfield play between Joey Chan and Rebecca Simpson, who penetrated the Ballymena defence finding Laura Elliot who took a super strike at goal, which was marginally saved by the goalie.

However, the deflection was well read by Jess King, who made sure it went through the keeper’s legs for another Randalstown goal.

The third goal again went to Randalstown and came from a super clearance from defence with Katelyn McCormack hammering the ball through the field players finding Laura Elliot just over the half way line.

Her first touch fooled the last remaining defender and she sprinted past them for a tense one on one with the goalie.

She ran into the circle and took her time to strike the ball at the perfect point and position to place the ball in he left hand corner.

The fourth goal came from Ballymena pressure in the circle stretching the Randalstown defence, just 5 mins from the end.

However Randalstown held their nerve and with a great team spirit and determination they ensured the match ended 3-2 to town.

A thoroughly enjoyable match and thanks must go to girls and also Miranda Livingston and Heather Allison, for their umpiring skills.

JUNIORS

Randalstown Junior Club had a busy day at Mossley Hockey Club on Sunday.

In the morning Randalstown had three U11 teams in the monthly blitz playing 4 matches apiece.

In the afternoon there were two U13 teams in the monthly blitz. And following this Randalstown U15 Development played Mossley U15 Development team.

The girls saw a lot of action and played well, enjoying their time out playing competitive hockey.

Thanks to all the organisers, coaches and umpires, and to the parents and family who supported.