Randalstown Ladies’ Hockey Club First XI advanced to the next round of the Irish Cup with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Armagh on Saturday.
The match started slowly with it visible both teams were nervy, with Randalstown having the lion share of possession but the majority of the attacking moves breaking down in the final third despite the hard work of the front three, Catherine McDowell, Nicole Moore and Jayne McGrillen.
This allowed Armagh to get into the game and they had some good counter attacking moves as Town tried to push for the opening goal however these were quickly squashed though the continuous hard work of Shelley Geddis, Emma Patterson, Emma Clyde and Alex Ogliby.
This hard work enabled the midfield including Catherine McGrillen and Kerry Coulter to link up with the forwards who in turn created chances and won numerous short corners, however it took until the stroke of half time for Town to break the deadlock with Alex Ogliby touching in a strike from Erin Getty from a short corner at the back post.
After the break, Randalstown knew they had to keep possession better and let the ball do the work as Armagh would begin to tired with only 11 players.
Town started reasonably well and again created chances with Alice Christie linking up well with Megan Quinn and the forwards seeing the Armagh goalkeeper smother numerous attempts and others glance wide.
Again pushing for another goal to make their lead more comfortable, Armagh were able to find gaps opening up and their best chance of the game came from a counter attack with their forward 1 vs 1 with Emma Leslie, however Emma did brilliantly to slow her down allowing the defence and midfield to recover and secure the ball.
The game ended with a another shot go wide of the goal and summed up Randalstown’s performance.
Randalstown would like to thank all of their supporters and Redz their sponsors for their continuous support.
Randalstown II 1, Belfast Harlequins II 2: Randalstown seconds had a Wednesday night away match this week to Deramore Park, where they faced Harlequins; a side which has struggled to get any points in the league table thus far this season.
The match began with fast paced hockey being played by both sides, with Randalstown initially dominating possession in the middle of the field thanks to the fine passing of Alice Reid and Megan Quinn in the left hand side of the pitch. This excellent passing was complimented by several superb runs in the opening 15 minutes by captain Miranda Livingston and right mid Alice Christie, who made light work of dodging her opponents incessant tackles to create opportunities for the girls in green.
However as the half progressed Harlequins began to fight back hard, becoming increasingly threatening on the attack.
They were fended off on numerous occasions by the timely tackles of the back four, who worked excellently together to thwart the Harlequins offensives.
However after approximately 20 minutes of play Quins got their first goal of the game.
The home side continued to attack for the remainder of the second half and got another goal from a fortunate deflection.
The half ended 2-0, however could have been a more damning scoreline had it not been for Kathryn McCullough, Fiona Lee, Ruth Gleghorne and Grace Clarke, all of whom had a fantastic performance throughout the match.
After a quick half time talk courtesy of coach Andy Gleghorne the girls emerged in the second half and began to dominate a surprised Harlequins.
The front four began to see much more of the ball as did the Quin’s keeper. There were opportunities for Trinity, Anna and Lottie at the front and several short corners were won, but unfortunately not converted.
Town’s only goal of the game came from Miranda Livingston with and excellent strike from the far right of the circle which slotted into the left hand corner.
The girls continued to play hard and were denied a flick when Holly Steele Nicholson was tackled by the Harlequin’s keeper, thus preventing a goal after an excellent run. The game ended 2-1, with the girls playing excellently throughout.
Thanks to the continued support of Randalstown 2nd XI sponsor Doherty and Grays.
Randalstown III 1, Victorians II 3: Randalstown started positively and had the lion’s share of the possession and put a lot of pressure on the Victorian defence. Some great goalkeeping denied town several goals.
Victorians however were quick to break and just before half time they managed to get the ball slotted past the Randalstown keeper.
After half time Victorians upped the pressure and another goal followed.
However, Randalstown, still determined battled on and a good pass from Megan Lamont to Carys brown in the circle allowed her to put the ball past the keeper.
Encouraged from this town again put more pressure on the Victorians defence but the goalkeeper was outstanding. Victorians broke through the Randalstown defence with minutes to go and scored the final goal of the game leaving the score 3-1. Thanks to umpire David Lamont.
Randalstown 1, Knock 0: The Performance team played their first league game on Sunday against Knock.
Randalstown attacked from the start winning a short corner in the first minute, but the strike went just wide.
Randalstown had many more chances but the Knock keeper made some very good saves. Midway through the half Randalstown took the lead when Charlotte Stacey ran the ball up the wing and crossed to Keely Hurst to slot into goals. Despite more pressure, Randalstown could not increase their lead.
They began the second half like the first in that they almost scored straight from the pass back.
However despite dominating most of the game they could not get another goal.
Whereas it was good to get the win, nevertheless it was disappointing not to score more goals.
The Randalstown goalkeeper, Ellie Kyle did not have anything to do at all in goals throughout the game. The next league game is away to Mossley. Thanks to coach Andy Gleghorne and umpire Mike Campbell.
On Friday night Randalstown U11’s dressed up for Halloween at training.
The club will continue the programme until Christmas with over 40 girls regularly attending.
Next blitz session is at Carrick on Sunday 15th November.