Ballyclare Ladies could face relegation dogfight

Ballyclare Ladies II against Banbridge Ladies II at Foundry Lane. Photo: Freddie Parkinson
Ballyclare Ladies II against Banbridge Ladies II at Foundry Lane. Photo: Freddie Parkinson

With three fixtures left to complete their Senior 1 programme, Ballyclare Ladies could be dragged in to a relegation dogfight.

Suzanne Dickey’s girls are three places above NICS Ladies who are already doomed to Senior 2 hockey next season. But, along with Omagh and Banbridge, they are watching over their shoulders.

Thankfully, the ‘Clare girls have their future in their own hands, with two of their remaining matches against Banbridge and Omagh at home, with their most difficult assignment being against Cookstown.

The Tyrone girls have been sizzling this season, and have already secured the runners-up spot behind champions Portadown, so even with home advantage Ballyclare will be rated underdogs in this one.

In preparation for these three determining fixtures, the Ballyclare girls fitted in a friendly against Mossley, and eased to a 5-0 win against the Section 4 side at The Glade. The scorers were Jaquie Hanley, Victoria White, Suzanne dickey and Vikki Milligan, plus an own goal.

Ballyclare Ladies panel: Sara Coulter, Gillian McMaw, Victoria White, Louise Holmes, Caroline McGookin, Jade Purdy, Lorraine Ashcroft, Suzanne Dickey (C), Joanne Fox, Vikki Milligan, Kerry McLeod, Jaquie Hanley, Kerrie Bell.

Defeat for Seconds

The 2nd XI are also flirting with relegation in Junior League 2, following a 5-0 home defeat by Banbridge II who are serious promotion contenders.

The well-drilled County Down side scored twice in the opening 10 minutes, and only several excellent saves by Steff McIlroy and sound tackling by Kerie Glenn and Lauren McKinstry restricted them to a 3-0 lead at the interval.

Zoe Hunter almost scored from the first penalty corner of the game, and with right winger Kirsty Shanks and centre forward Kerryn Girvan in fine form, the Down defenders had to be at their best.

There was a sting in the tail when Banbridge scored two late goals for a flattering win.

The Seconds have only two fixtures remaining against Portadown II, home and away.