Victorians were first on to the scorecard, but second-half strikes by Kerrie Bell and Jade Purdy secured a hard-earned 2-1 win for Ballyclare Ladies on Saturday.
The three points gained at Foundry Lane cemented Ballyclare’s mid-table Senior 1 position - well clear of relegation favourites NICS and Omagh.
During the opening quarter the home side had to concentrate on defence, with Louise Holmes and Victoria White making crucial blocks from penalty corners.
Twice Vics broke through with slick passing, but on each occasion goalkeeper Sara Coulter successfully shadowed the striker to keep the scorecard blank.
Coulter was eventually beaten in the 20th minute when the ball was deflected well beyond her reach, but before the break Lorraine Ashcroft, Vicky Milligan and Bell tested the keeper.
Ballyclare carried the momentum into the second session and were rewarded when Bell got a stick to a Milligan cross to level the scores.
Vics responded with a series of penalty corners, from one of which Coulter made a fine one-handed save, but with Gillian McMaw and captain Suzanne Dickey prominent, Ballyclare were well in the game.
Ten minutes from time Jacquie Hanley earned a penalty flick when she was obstructed in the circle, and Jade Purdy stepped up to confidently net from the spot to seal three precious points, after starting as underdogs.
“Victorians were rather flattered by their lead at the interval, and overall the girls deserved this win,” stated a Ballyclare official.
Ballyclare Ladies panel: S Coulter, V White, G McMaw, J Purdy, I Holmes, S Dickey (C), L Ashcroft, J Fox, K McLeod, K Bell, J Hanley, V Milligan, J Wilson, L McKinstry.
An unanswered goal in each half at Antrim Forum ensured that Randalstown Ladies III secured the Junior League Section 2 points at the expense of Ballyclare Ladies II.
Ballyclare Ladies II panel: S McIlroy, E Johnston, L McCracken, J Purdy, K Shanks, K Jamieson, J Cooke, J Wilson (C), Z Hunter, S Roy, L McKinstry, J McCowan, D McClenaghan, J West.
Fixtures (January 18)
1st XI v NICS (2:30 pm); Greenisland II 2nd XI; 3rd XI v Dungannon III, home.