Ballyclare lose out to Braid girls in final game

Ballyclare Ladies mount an attack against Ballymena.
Ballyclare Ladies mount an attack against Ballymena.
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Defeat in their final fixture in Ballymena leaves Ballyclare Ladies’ Senior League Section 1 future hanging by a thread.

Their final tally of 20 points might just be enough to prevent them facing Holywood in a relegation play-off, but Omagh hold all the aces.

The Tyrone girls are sitting on 15 points, but with three fixtures, all at home, to complete their programme, they could total 24 and pull clear.

Their next match against fellow strugglers Banbridge could settle the issue - an Omagh win would drop Banbridge in to the play-off, and leave the Ballyclare certain of remaining in Section 1.

Suzanne Dickey’s girls had their fate in their own hands when they travelled to Ballymena on Saturday, but it was the Braid girls who triumphed 2-0.

The visitors competed well in a scoreless first half, with Dickey and Kerie Bell forcing the keeper to make smart saves, while at the opposite end sweeper Gillian McMaw and centre-back Victoria White ensured that Sara Coulter was having a fairly easy afternoon.

However, after the interval the hosts began bare their teeth, and Coulter came to the rescue when she pulled off a stunning low save from a penalty flick.

Several Ballymena penalty corners were safely cleared, but eventually they scored from two more corners to secure the points.

Caroline McGookin and Joanne Fox posed Ballyclare’s best threat with some neat inter-passing down the right flank, and in a tense final few moments Kerry McLeod and Vikki Milligan tried in vain to prevent the whitewash.

Girl of the Game: Gillian McMaw.

Ballyclare Ladies panel: S Coulter, G McMaw, L Holmes, V White, C McGookin, L Ashcroft, S Dickey (C), J Fox, K Bell, K McLeod, V Milligan, J Purdy.

Ballyclare Ladies III were beaten 3-0 in Magherafelt it leaves them flirting with Junior League Section 7 relegation, with two fixtures to fulfil to complete their programme.