Jaquie Hanley stole the show for Ballyclare Ladies’ when she hit the winner in last Saturday’s 3-2 win over NI Civil Service.
Suzanne Dickey’s girls started favourites against Senior 1’s bottom team, but they found themselves trailing early in the second half, before clinching victory.
“Even though the girls weren’t at their best they deserved to win, but if they had been a little more clinical in front of goal they would have won more convincingly,” said coach, Paul Harvey.
The visitors were forced to defend in depth in the opening quarter with Lorraine Ashcroft, Vikki Milligan and Dickey all testing the keeper without success. However, Kerrie Bell fared better when she opened the scoring from a pass by Joanne Fox.
The Stormont girls soon were swarming round the home goal, and eventually secured the equaliser and only fine tackling by Gillian McMaw and Caroline McGookin prevented them from going ahead before the break.
Ten minutes into the second session the hosts conceded a second goal when the ball flew high into the net after Sara Coulter had made a one-handed block.
It took Ballyclare only two minutes to draw level when Milligan connected with a Victoria White free to give the keeper no chance.
This equaliser heralded a period of home domination. Ashcroft dribbled round four opponents but had her effort cleared off the line, and later Milligan played the ball across the face of the goal where Hanley was unable to make the vital connection.
It had developed into a tough end-to-end battle and only a timely tackle by Jade Purdy prevented Service from forging ahead.
Ten minutes from time Hanley ghosted past her marker and flicked the ball neatly past the keeper for a hard-fought win.
Ballyclare: S Coulter, G McMaw, V White, L Holmes, C McGookin, L Ashcroft, S Dickey (C), J Fox, K Bell, J Hanley, K McLeod, V Milligan, J Purdy, J Wilson.
On Saturday the ‘Clare girls are away to Ballymena in a league fixture.
The 2nd XI’s game against Greenisland II didn’t go ahead, while the 3rd XI’s Junior 7 game against Dungannon III was postponed becasue of the overnight rain.