Ballyclare Ladies edged out by Banbridge

Ballyclare Ladies' Jacquie Hanley in action in the game against Banbridge INNT 04-138-GR
Ballyclare Ladies' Jacquie Hanley in action in the game against Banbridge INNT 04-138-GR

Team captain Vikki Milligan got Ballyclare Ladies off to the best possible start with an early goal, but the Banbridge girls recovered to collect the Senior 1 points with an odd-goal-in-three win.

Home officials were smiling after only five minutes at Foundry Lane, when Jade Purdy’s penalty corner was played across the circle by Gillian McMaw to Milligan who applied the finishing touch.

Spurred on by this success the hosts piled on the pressure with Suzanne Dickey and Emma Wilson prominent in midfield, but the Bridge defence held out.

Midway through the first half the visitors were back on level terms, when a sweeping move brought the ball out of defence, for one of their strikers to rattle the backboard with a firm shot.

For the remainder of the first half Sara Coulter in the home goal was busier than her opposite number, but the teams turned round all square.

Jacquie Hanley and Lydia Mills were linking up effectively in attack, but were unable to get the ball in to the net against robust tackling by the defence.

Rebecca Mills and Lorraine Ashcroft probed down the left flank from time to time, and forced a couple of penalty corners, but shots by McMaw, Milligan and Purdy all failed to hit the target.

Fifteen minutes from time Banbridge got the winner following some neat inter-passing, and only a fine save by Coulter in the dying seconds prevented them from increasing their lead.

Coach Paul Hardy said that his girls had enough of the ball to win the game, but they lacked a cutting edge when they got the ball in to the circle.

The defeat leaves Ballyclare still in relegation trouble alongside neighbours Larne Ladies, with only four fixtures remaining.

Ballyclare Ladies panel: S Coulter, G McMaw, J Purdy, R Campbell, L Ashcroft, S Dickey, E Wilson, R Beattie, V Milligan (C), J Hanley, J Mills, L Mills.

Ballyclare have no league fixture this weekend.

Having received a bye in the first round of the Senior Plate, Parkview Ladies were idle on Saturday, but this weekend they will be hoping to consolidate their Senior League Section 4 mid table position with a win against strugglers Cooke at Foundry Lane.