Thirds pass Queen’s examination as they end students’ unbeaten record

Ballymena 4ths Claudia McKernan looks to put the ball in the PSNI danger area. INBT11-293AC
Ballymena 4ths Claudia McKernan looks to put the ball in the PSNI danger area. INBT11-293AC

Ballymena Hockey Club Ladies’ Third XI produced a superb display on Saturday to end opponents Queen’s unbeaten record.

Ballymena travelled to top of the table Queens expecting an extremely tough game but returned home victorious by one goal to nil.

Ballymena played attacking hockey from the first whistle and the game was very evenly matched for the first 15 minutes.

Frustration started to show in the Queens defence as Ballymena worked hard as a unit and pressed the opposition defenders leaving them no option but to put the ball out over the side line allowing Ballymena to keep the pressure on.

Ballymena broke down the right after a Queens attack broke down and with 10 minutes to half time an excellent pass from Emma Johnston gave Rebecca McPeake a clear shot on goal which she easily converted for a 1-0 at half time.

Queens pushed Ballymena hard in the second half causing them a few problems with their pace on the break but they were unable to convert any of their chances.

Ballymena were unlucky not to extend their lead with Laura Logan’s deflected shot narrowly missed the target.

At the final whistle Queens won a penalty corner and pushed all their players up field in a last attempt to salvage a point but the danger was dealt with by the defence and Ballymena held on for the win. Thanks to Joanne Logan for umpiring the game.

Thirds: L Hanna, D Lipsett, J Sutherland, S Reid, G McBurney, J Lowry, A Logan, C Law, S Montgomery, E Anderson, E Johnston, R McPeake, H Dickie.

MEN

Mossley V 2, Ballymena II 1: After some early opening exchanges Mossley took an unexpected early lead from an unchallenged move into the circle and quick shot to beat keeper Birrell.

Ballymena struggled a little with the quick drying surface, but eventually got the ball moving through the midfield to create some pressure on the Mossley back line, with one or two changes going just wide of the post.

Mossley though commanded the possession for much of the half, but fell short at the last hurdle thanks to Ramsey, Grimason and McDowell.

Into the second half and Ballymena pressed forward in search of an equaliser and much like the first half it was an early goal for Ballymena that levelled the score, when Alex McKeown roofed his shot into the top corner to give the keeper no chance.

It was Ballymena now pushing for the next goal, both from open play and penalty corners. Nicholl and Hanna both forced saves from the Mossley keeper with powerful strikes, while Glass, Murphy and Mckeown had chances from open play.

With minutes to go to extra time the game turned again with Mossley winning a penalty corner, which they duly converted for a 2-1 lead for what proved the winning goal.

Ballymena: E Hampton, J Birrell, A Hanna, D McDowell, J Grimason, T Cole, P Moody, S Glass, H Ramsey, M O’Neill, E Archer, K Murphy, P Nicholl, A McKeown.