HOCKEY: Ballyclare edged out by rivals Larne

Ballyclare went on to score from this attack against Larne Ladies.
Ballyclare went on to score from this attack against Larne Ladies.
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Larne Ladies got the better of their Ballyclare hosts in the Senior League Section 1 hockey local derby at Foundry Lane.

The Seasiders, who are challenging for promotion, were first on to the scorecard when Laura Withers scored at the second attempt after Sara Coulter had blocked the initial shot.

Suzanne Dickey’s girls were well in the game, with Lorraine Ashcroft and Kerrie Bell particularly prominent in left wing thrusts, and they drew level when Jacquie Hanley rattled the backboard, after Jade Purdy and Ashcroft had worked the ball in to the circle.

Dickey almost nosed Ballyclare ahead, but was foiled by the goalie who was quick off her line to make the block.

At the opposite end the home goal had a fortunate escape, when Louise Holmes made a goal line clearance after Coulter had made a diving save.

Approaching the interval Larne were having the better of exchanges, and Holmes again came to the rescue with another clearance off the line, with Coulter beaten from a long corner.

During the third quarter Ballyclare were on the defensive, and conceded the all important second goal when Ingrid Carmichael flashed the ball high into the net from a penalty-corner.

Up front Kerry McLeod posed problems for the visiting defence, but with Larne keeper Trish Neill in excellent form there was no late change in the scoreline.

The win hoisted Larne in to second spot, while Ballyclare drop in to the bottom half of the table.

“We had plenty of the ball, but when we got to the twenty-five we were met by a strong Larne defensive set-up, so there was no end product,” stated a home official.

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

The 2nd XI got nothing from their trip to Banbridge, where the locals collected the Junior League Section 2 points on a 3-1 scoreline.

The Down girls who turned round one up. In the second half Banbridge scored two more, Saturday’s fixtures: 1st XI v North Down; Harlequins III v 2nd XI; Civil Service III v 3rd XI.