Ballyclare Ladies set to face Raphoe in play-off

Ballyclare Ladies will be fighting for their Senior League Section 1 lives when they line out against Raphoe Ladies in the much awaited play-off.

Last month Vikki Milligan’s girls avoided automatic relegation when they finished one above the Larne lasses who drop down to Section 2, but they have been waiting for several weeks to find out their play-off opponents.

That issue has been resolved with the County Donegal girls having clinched the runners-up spot behind champions Rainey, but neither date or venue has been announced.

Coleraine would appear to be a likely neutral venue, and Ballyclare officials are hoping to hear from hockey head quarters within the next few days.

Dropping in to Section 2 would involve quite a bit of travelling to places such as Castlederg, Londonderry and Omagh, while Section 1 is more compact, so this will be an added incentive for Milligan’s girls to come out on top against Raphoe.

Meanwhile it has been rumoured that the lower sections might be reorganised on a regional basis.

With teams scattered as far apart as Raphoe, Ballycastle, Kilkeel and Enniskillen some clubs feel that it would be advantageous to reorganise on a regional basis, so this one is up for debate.

Meanwhile following the loss of several key players and subsequent relegation a year ago, Parkview Ladies have stabilised in Section 4 with a mid table finish.

Captain Clare McClean has indicated that she would be in favour of regional reorganisation. “During the past season we had Newry and Ballycastle teams in our section, so they would benefit greatly from having matches organised on a more local basis,” she said.