The curtain finally came down on Ballyclare Ladies’ hockey season when the 3rd XI completed their Junior League programme.
However, it proved to be a sad day for Julie Cooke’s young hopefuls, who lost the relegation battle with Dungannon III on a 2-0 scoreline.
With the losers doomed to the dreaded drop, Dungannon brought a panel of 15 players to Foundry Lane, but the young ‘Clare girls, who had only 10 players throughout, battled courageously before falling to two unanswered second-half strikes.
The visitors had the major share of possession but the home defence held firm, with impressive left-back, Laura Patterson, making several vital blocks from penalty corners, in addition to making one crucial goal-line clearance.
Team captain Cooke was happy to have turned round with the scorecard blank, but the visitors introduced several more experienced players for the second session, and they eventually made their numerical superiority count, with those two match-winning goals that preserves their Junior League Section 7 status for another year.
Club officials take this opportunity to thank Julie Cooke for devoting so much time and energy to the club’s talented young players throughout the season.
n Zoe Wilson (Ballyclare HS / Randalstown), Jessica McMaster (Belfast HS / Ulster Elks) Julea Glover (Belfast HS / Ulster Elks) and Abbie Brown (BRA / Ulster Elks) have been named in the Ulster U17 girls’ squad heading to Lilleshall this weekend for the a training camp against England U16.