Ballyclare Ladies picked up a hard-earned point against Knock Ladies, but they still remain at the foot of the Senior League Section 1 table alongside local rivals Larne Ladies.
The result means that the Knock girls preserve their five-points advantage over Vikki Milligan’s side in the bottom half of the table, while at the opposite end Armagh are odds-on favourites to secure promotion to the Premier League.
Larne Ladies had no game at the weekend but will be hoping to get something from this weekend’s trip to Cookstown.
With home advantage at Shaw’s Bridge, Knock controlled the opening quarter, but goalie Sara Coulter was not seriously tested owing to some sterling defensive work by the back four - Jade Purdy, Kerry McLeod, Lorraine Ashcroft and Gillian McMaw.
Emma Wilson and Suzanne Dickey were working industriously in midfield, while Ballyclare’s best scoring efforts were from Milligan and Joanna Mills in a scoreless first half.
After the interval Milligan was again denied by the goalie, who also saved shots by Jaquie Hanley and Caroline Darragh.
Three penalty corners were gained, but rehearsed routines involving Purdy, McMaw and Milligan failed to break the deadlock. Finishing stronger the Clare girls had the home defence under pressure in the closing stages, but an evenly contested match ended scoreless.
Coach Paul Harvey said: “The girls played their hearts out, and were unfortunate not to collect full points.”
Kerry McLeod is off to America to take up a teaching appointment. All at Ballyclare Ladies wish her success in her chosen career.
Ballyclare Ladies: S Coulter, G McMaw, J Purdy, L Ashcroft, K McLeod, E Wilson, C Darragh, V Milligan (C), J Hanley, J Mills, S Dickey, J Jones, V White. Next up: Banbridge Ladies (h).
Senior Three: Leaders Mossley Ladies continued their charge towards promotion with a 4-1 home win over Bangor on Saturday. Tori Wallace found the net twice, while Sophie McDowell and Lauren McKee added the others.
Jamie Vincent and Lauren Compton were on target in the Seconds’ 3-2 defeat to Queen’s III.
Mandy Axon scored the Thirds’ only goals as they lost 2-1 to QUB Fourths.
Sarah Laverty’s strike secured a point for the Fourths in a 1-1 draw with Coleraine III.